Creating space for creativity: storage hacks and tips

At the last count, I have lived in 20 different homes.


That’s 20 lots of packing, unpacking, de-cluttering, re-arranging, re-creating. That’s at least 10 “Daaaad can you help me move house again” phone calls, definitely 5 or 6 “why I did get drunk last night when I still haven’t packed avoidance crises”, and a whole memory book full of housemates, friends, stories, laughter and tears.

Every home re-invention has required me to create my creative area to work in.

I have been self employed for the last 9 years, but often worked from home in my Design Manager roles (yes I did have actual jobs once!).

creating space

Nothing kills creativity for me like clutter.

Clutter makes me feel encroached upon, unorganised and totally unproductive. I am also a sucker for procrastination when I see Piles of Stuff (us Type A’s flit don’t ya know).

Having two five year olds careering around the place currently means my home working space isn’t exactly streamlined right now and it’s something I am targeting in the next few weeks.

I love having a creative environment with inspiration boards, mementos, art by the kids and photos around, but it can so easily feel a little..



From the queen of house moving and boxes, here are some tips for creative space for storage and creativity.

1. Work in small chunks

When a pace feels cluttered it can be really hard to know where to start. I am prone to having a meltdown in the middle of a room full of STUFF (just as my partner who has rescued me from many such scenes), so working small and often is a life saver. Whilst there is a lot to be said for blasting a room or an area, if you are like me and juggling work and a family, that time is very hard to find.

Like my #divasdaily10 business and social slices, working on a room by attacking it in Pomodoro style timed segments can really help make a headstart on the job in hand.

2. Get it out before you bring it back in

This can be SO handy to do and is something I have done often before in my life re-inventions.

Boxing all your stuff up and getting it out so you have a clear area really makes you question what you bring back in, and you will find yourself being FAR more ruthless.

If you have a spare room or garage space to decant your clutter into box it all up and sort one box at a time.

If you are in between places to live and have more belongings than space, using self storage is a brilliant way to save your sanity. When I left London to move back to the sticks I did this, and had a flat load of furniture, clothes, books and belongings to “park” for a while. I ended up eBaying a vast amount of my clothes and belongings, and I didn’t have to move into my next abode with nearly as many items had I not.

Just finding a neutral ground to hold everything while you travel, stay with friends, or find your next home can be such a lifesaver.

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
William Morris

3. Use QR codes and Google docs for archiving

Ok, this really does reveal my inner geek here. I have found it useful to create inventories of items in boxes in a Google doc, and then to create a QR code of the link. I can then number the codes and tape the code to the box.


4. Store creative clutter safely (+ use Evernote to archive)

As a 37 year old creative industries bod I have decades of sketchbooks, books, portfolios, craft materials, scrapbooks and so forth that I treasure. They don’t really have a place in the house, but I don’t want to get rid either

Safely storing them away from small people/pets/damp / damage means your works of creative genius are safe for when you need them or want them later.

I often photograph my artwork and the girls’ treasures from nursery and school etc into Evernote so I have an easily accessed visual reference whilst the originals are in a safe place.

I just got some creative space making hacks from @dexdiva

This post is a sponsored post by the guys over at Big Yellow Storage, and I happen to be a huge fan of the facilities on offer (see how they can help with business here).

Rent storage space for your belongings while you travel (as us non-location dependant entrepreneurs are prone to do), store away your stuff while you re-create your creative space at home, or even use their space as a storeroom for any physical goods you are selling in your empire.

I would love to hear how you deal with your creative clutter in the comments. Share with us your storage hacks and tips, and if you have beaten me on house moves, let me know (I have already been in my current house FAR too long, itchy feet ahoy!)

Stay super + sorted,

jo gifford

11 super smart business blogging hacks that will rock your world and your wallet

pppst! no time to read? No worries, scroll on down to my Soundcloud sonic boom at that there bottom of the post. Also, you can highlight any text from this page and tweet it, DO IT!

Running a small biz means two things can often be short at times – those old favourites time and money.

Blogging for your biz is an essential part of your thang (and if it isn’t, it should be, folks!), so if the idea of finding time to blog is a little…


…here are some handy blogging hacks + tips to rock your online world, make blogging + time your bitches whilst keeping your budgets (+ sanity!) in check.

1. Use Fancy Hands for research

Outsource your research for your blog post to Fancy Hands, and you have immediate access to a whole army of virtual assistants to help you, usually within the hour. Ask them to ping you a Google Doc of references + resources, then step in to draft a post around quotes from resources. Add your personal magic for authenticity and style, and you will find a job is much much easier.

You may also like: Smart + Savvy tech in 31 days: Fancy Hands


2. Dictate to Evernote

Do you find it easier to flow when you are speaking?Have loads of ideas when you are out + about?

Boom, this is for you: dictate a blog post straight into the mobile app of Evernote and see your words transcribed immediately. How amazing is that? Sure, you will need to dip into the synced version of your app on your desktop and make some changes ( like I am doing right now on this post), but you can get a blog post DOWN in less than 5 minutes.

Alternatively, you can dictate into Evernote directly to your desktop computer,  save the audio file + send it to be transcribed over on Fiverr.

You may also like: How I use Evernote


3. Crowdsource a social discussion, baby!

Crowd source some opinions on Twitter and Facebook;  ask a question,  gauge the responses and embed those responses in the post (aka make your followers write your blogs for you. Muahahahaha).

Invite discussion by linking back to the original users when you pimp your posts, and they will also share with their peeps, a cunning plan to not only create a debate but also to reach more eyeballs. BAM!


4. Use smart research + roll up some great material to share in a link post

Use our buddy IFTTT to flow some lovely content straight to your swipe files, or stalk your Twitter lists for awesome posts from your niche/sector. Collate some key posts that you love and you know your audience will too;  use these posts in a bumper roundup information link pack post, and share via your social media (just like my Links of Love).

Tag the original content creators when you share, and see your post go wide whilst giving your audience fab reading fodder.

You may also like: 5 research hacks + tips for writers



5. Hire me! (muahahahaha)

Hire me for an espresso express blog boost to brainstorm three months of banging content ideas to keep your blog (+ your clients!) super happy.

Combine with earlier steps –  send to Fancy Hands to get some extra research links,  dictate into Evernote it and have your post written as you talk. Sweet.


6. Client interviews

Interview a few lovely clients and invite them to talk about their experience with you on Skype. Record the calls (I use Call Recorder for Skype), and you then have some options; you could embed the calls as a YouTube video, upload the audio to Sound Cloud, or have them transcribed on Fiverr.

Making a post from testimonials gives you sales fodder, true connection and endorsements, credibility, and of course blog content!


7. Speak Pipe Q&A

Install Speak Pipe and invite your audience to record their opinions and questions on a subject or topic. Send the audio for transcription on Fiverr and add your magic on the blog post to showcase your expertise in between the quotes.

Share it on social media and invite everybody who participated in the post for a bumper readership round up.

You may also like: Blogging tips – a secret source of expertise


8. Guest post slots

Offer a guest post slots for super smart content creation; open up some slots for other biz bloggers who would add value to your audience and who would also benefit from meeting your peeps online. Win win!



Use  to create a list of resources + products your audience will love. Embed the list as a post and BOOM. You are done.

10. Slideshare hit + run research

Raid Slideshare for some topic ideas that your audience would love, such as relevant themes, topics or news + add your personal spin for the magic.

For extra points, make slides of your new post and re-upload to Slideshare to get some more blog link juice. Niiiiiiice…..


11. News quotes + pundits

Grab a news article or post relevant to your niche as it flies around the web.  Quote the article, add  some embedded  tweets of reactions,  and add your magic in between the comments to showcase your authority, knowledge and superstardom.

I just got down with some some biz blog hacks from Diva

So there you have it! Some quick fire tips to make blogging for your biz a breeze.

Have you tried any of these tips? Share your posts in the comments below if you try some of the hacks out.

Love and loose leaf paper,

jo gifford






P.S // If you missed the first round of my all new Blogging for Business Bootcamp: Blog Boost Juice for a Supercharged Biz, stay tuned for the next round by signing up to my list (and get a pass to an awesome private Facebook group while you are at it).

Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!