It’s time: Lisa Tilse declutters her workspace

Lisa Tilse is a highly-respected and influential voice in Australia’s contemporary craft and design community. The We Are Scout co-founder, designer and crafter is a woman of many talents, but she admits keeping her workspace clean during the creative process is a major challenge. But she knew she had to clear her workspace to keep on top of her to-do list and have more space to create new craft projects.

What does your workspace look like when you’re working?

I’ve a confession to make: I am a bit of a neat freak, but when I’m busy, my workspace ends up a mess. The top of my desk can become messy and my desk drawer is a dumping ground for anything and everything.
Also, as a creative, I’m not too fond of doing admin work or office organisation. On my desk, there are scribbled notes, a heap of mail, piles of paperwork to address, receipts and general mess.

This is what Lisa Tilse’s desk looked like before her office’s makeover.

So when did you realise it was time to declutter?

Once I started sifting through my things, I realised that the more space you have the more you accumulate. I had so many craft pens, textas, scissors and knitting needles on my already-crowded desk. I also had my daughter Roxy’s bits and pieces lying around. So I started emptying my drawer and removing everything but the office supplies.


How did you re-organise your desk?

I bought two clear trays with compartments to hold all the bits and pieces, so my drawer is now a neat freak’s dream! I also got myself a magnetic whiteboard to display all my important notes, design inspiration and moodboards. I have a document tray, folders, a stack of small notebooks and one small pen cup now.

A little dedication to cleaning and sorting made Lisa’s office beautiful.

How did you sort and file your paperwork?

I used to keep my documents in this orange carry bag beneath my desk or on the shelf, and I would go through them every three months (when I need to do my business tax reports!). Now I’ve got everything in folders – either in the document tray or in the white boxes in my cupboard. I got some black folders – which really appeal to be as a designer – and use one for ach day of the workweek. Then I got a white document tray and staked clear A4 and A5 wallets, labeled with washi tape, so I can file things easily. I even colour-coded and neatly arranged my washi tape in a storage box!


Was it a rewarding experience?

Definitely! I’m more inspired now that my office has good, simple filing systems and storage solutions. It’s a fresh start to keep me sorting, filing and organising on a daily basis so that I don’t let things get out of hand again. I’m feeling like admin work might not be such a formidable task in the future… even though I’d much rather spend my time making something!