5 quick and easy tips to help organize your art studio

Photo: Undrey Photos/Shutterstock
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An artist’s studio should be a haven of creativity. That’s why it’s so important to organize the room in the way that’s most conducive to your workflow. While there’s a neat range of products out there that can help you get things in order, there are also several budget-friendly ways to turn your studio into the one of your dreams.

Before you start tidying up, it helps to analyze your artistic practice in the context of your creative space. Ask yourself the key questions: How can I make my process smoother? Where do I spend the most time working? Is there anything in the room that I wish was different? This can mean different things depending on the medium(s) you are working on and the size of your studio. However, whether you’re a painter or a graphic designer, there are several universal ways to enhance your workspace.

Scroll down to learn five useful tips that will help you get your art studio in shape.

Learn how to organize your art studio with these five handy tips.

Art supplies in containers

Photo: Belen Eugenia Photos/Shutterstock

Separate your supplies into containers

Once you’ve amassed an enviable collection of pencils, markers, and brushes, it’s important to give them a home. By organizing your supplies separate containers you’ll save time and effort to find exactly what you need. For example, you can reuse common household items such as vases or mason jars to hold your utensils. Almost any mug will work as long as it’s sturdy enough not to tip over.

Or, if you need a solution that will keep your desk and shelf free, you can store your supplies in drawers. Flat files are ideal for artists who work with a lot of paper, as they come in a range of sizes to accommodate even large-scale materials. On the other hand, if you prefer to have your toolbox on wheels, you can store your utensils in a rolling cart. This way you can stay organized on the go.

ArtBin storage container

ArtBin Paint Storage Tray | $24.17

Blick Rolling Cart

Blick Studio Stool | $112.49

Rolling cart and organizer

Honey-Can-Do Rolling Storage Cart and Organizer | $66.97

hanging desk organizer

Safco Onyx Hanging Desk Organizer | $37.33

Safco flat files

Safco flat files | $98.95+

Safco Stackable Trays

Safco Stackable Trays | $143.32+

Use labels

Another great way to streamline your workflow is to label your supplies. Adding names to your storage will help you navigate a large collection with convenient ease. Plus, when it’s time to clean up, you can skip the hassle of finding the right container.

Investing in a label maker will simplify this process, but if you prefer to add a personal touch, you can hand-write labels on scraps of paper and stick them to drawers and jars. Sort supplies by color? Consider adding a sample shades you’ve grouped together so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

DYMO label maker

DYMO Label Maker | $79.99

Enjoy extra wall space

Storage shelf

Photo: Niradj Photos/Shutterstock

If you’re working in a smaller studio, you’ll probably want to use every inch of space you have. Free your soil by incorporating floating shelves and trays. This is especially useful for mixed media artists who work in a variety of mediums. Store the art supplies you use most often closer to your desk and put lesser-used tools on a higher shelf. Even your door can become a useful station with a hanging storage cabinet.

Triple Cubby Floating Shelf | $7.00

Storage shelf

Storage rack above the door | $61.95

Give extra supplies

Whether it’s once a month or once every three months, it helps to regularly comb through your art supplies for empty paint tubes, dry pens, and other unnecessary tools. You might come across a set of watercolors or colored pencils that you no longer use. Instead of throwing it away, consider make a donation to a local organization or school. It’s a great way to streamline your studio and help someone else make art!

Organizations where you can donate art supplies:

  • A Little Something—Denver-based organization helps refugee women learn new creative skills.
  • The Dreaming Zebra—Based in Portland, this foundation provides art supplies to children and schools.

Prioritize cleaning

Organizing your studio is only half the battle. Once you have everything arranged the way you like it, it’s up to you to maintain it. That is why to clean after each creative session is so important. Even if it seems complicated to you right now, you will thank yourself for preparing the studio for your next artistic project.

Photo: Photos by Lightfield Studios/Shutterstock

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