I have been trying to sculpt in a very cramped, very dusty room- and yesterday it suddenly got to me. I snapped. I had to do something, right then and there. A massive clean up started at 2pm and went through to the wee hours. However, unlike my previous attempts at cleaning (think Scott Pilgrim drying his hands), this was a controlled attack based on strategies garnered from a declutter your life book my wife bought to help dig herself out of our dining/library/sewing/piles of random crap room (easily confused with our bedroom/library/piles of random crap room).
The thing I wanted to share in this episode is a few tips on clutter and the psychological, nay, spiritual impact of filing away unpainted minis.
I first went through my shelves and picked out the unpainted and unstripped figures onto a tray. Anything still to be stripped of paint was taken out of the collection and put into a tray ready for the dettol jars. All unpainted minis where bagged by category and set aside.
Tip of doom 1:
I then created a filing cabinet (of sorts) for my Lead Pile.
I took two clear stackable storage tubs and divided them into two with foamcore. The tubs where then broken down with divider cards, and all my minis where bagged, tagged and entered into the correct slot. Look at all those little cards! Fiend Factory, Fantasy Adventurers, Lotr, Paranoia, Rogue Trader, Chaos, Things with Big Heads from Bob Olley, Jes Goodwin Ogres, AD&D - ahhh, the deep, strange enjoyment a mini collector you probably understand.
The good thing is now I can quickly flip to a section and check to see what I have already got- I have been plagued with doubles of late. Seriously, part of my brain says I do not own a female night horrors vampire. I just keep buying her!
Side note: Space farers- what's with the sudden ebay rush this week? Months go by, not a single one, then boom- the entire lot every way you like- painted, job lot and still in bag- your choice of these teeny, tiny little sci fi kitch range!
I store my minis in plastic baggies- NEVER store old figures in wooden or cardboard boxes- sometimes these have acids in them, over time these react with the lead in the figure and you got yourself a lead rot nightmare situation.
Tip of doom 2:
I then blue tacked my figures to black pieces of foamcore and board all cut to 3x6inches. This allowed me to pick up my whole display collection, dust it and move it from shelf to shelf in batches of 24. A large nylon painters brush for the figures, a damp cloth for the shelves. Again, no cleaning products- lead rot is such a curse!
Tip of doom 3:
Box of doom. When de-cluttering, and this tips a corker, rather than moving stuff around endlessly, just carry a box around with you. Anything that does not belong on the place your working on goes into the box. This stops you endlessly circling junk around. This is the best tip ever for me!
Be merciless. Little bits you have been meaning to use for scenery, scraps of material, weird tools from gameforce you never actually use... paint pots with a little bit left- just a little.... screw all that its time to ditch them. You got minis to paint and need that mental energy.
The Dust settles on the aftermath...
The net result of this onslaught is two shelves of neat, painted minis and a floor I can actually see. That's the physical difference. The mental difference is suddenly I do not have a thousand unfinished projects glaring at me from every corner of my studio nibbling at my mind. What I now have is a neatly boxed collection, and a display of finished, and mostly finished figures. Clean. Zen. Achievable.
Tonight I am going to hoover the ever living crap out of the studio and finally transfer the remaining citadel paints into Reaper bottles and ditch the containers.
Once I have the LAM mutants finished its back to Kingsminis business as usual- pictures of old school figures tickled with a hairy stick!
Go on. You know its time to clean your studio.