Whether or not we can tell that it is indeed spring in our little corner of the Seattle area (whichjust broke a 122 year-old record for rain between October and April), we can tell that it's about that time for de-cluttering our studio and coming up with new and innovative ways to store everything from oil pastels to tubes of paint to random bits of colored paper. In the spirit of spring cleaning, we've curated some of the most creative and practical ideas on the internet for your own little artists' art supplies organization at home. Do you already have a great system or some tricks that work well for you? We'd love to hear about them so drop us a line in the comment section!
Maximize desk-top space and keep your supplies within reach with one of these tiered caddy designs. You can either find one of these caddies in a container store, or get a little creative and put one together like the metal tray one on the right. We'd suggest gluing a Lazy Susan - like turnable plate underneath to make your cool caddy even more convenient. Organize supplies with anything from office supplies cups in the photo on the left, or mason jars, or even spray-painted tin cans in whatever color scheme you're going for.
2. Clear Kitchen Containers
Clear containers are a great way for little artists to be able to see what they're getting into so they don't scatter the contents of four different boxes searching for the markers. Don't be afraid to think outside the box with these containers - there are many clear glass or plastic ones made for kitchen organization that work great for art supplies. Switch out the pasta for paintbrushes and the cookies for crayons and you've got the idea.
3. Bar Cart
Turn that metal Bar Cart into a kid-friendly Art Cart for a mobile and accessible storage solution. You can even wheel this little guy into a closet when company comes over, and wheel it out as needed - to the playroom or the kitchen table. Ikea sells a model, and you can also get one a Target for about the same price. Plastic magazine holders are also great ways to not only organize coloring books, but also finished and in-progress artwork.
4. Book Cases/Cubbies
Dedicate a re-purposed book case as an art cubby. Fill the cubbies with your already organized clear kitchen containers and magazine holders, or maybe color-coded, labeled boxes. The key to making book cases and cubbies work and still look clean and neat is having those containers. Without the containers, they'll just start to look like a place to pile anything that needs to be off the floor (story of our lives!).
5. Peg Boards
If you're lacking in floor space, peg boards are an awesome way to store art supplies where you won't be tripping over it, but still have easy access to it. You can find the tutorial to creating the peg board in the photo on the left here. Peg boards are also a great way to allow mom to store those special supplies at the top, safe and out of reach until special occasions call for them.
6. Hanging Shoe Organizers
We love this idea for maximizing small spaces without the commitment of hanging a peg board. Stick labels onto a clear shoe organizer and hang it behind a door and wah-la! You're organized in $7 and 5 seconds! And if you want to get fancy, like in the picture on the left, the blogger cut colorful paper to fit each pocket as a decorative background.
7. Portable Organizers
We've found so many cool ways to organize art supplies to make them portable - perfect for trips in the car, at the park, on a vacation, trip to grandma's, or even just moving from room to room! Choose your favorite and pack a to-go art kit, ready for when you'll need it.
a. 3-ring Binder with Binder Zip Bags
Binder zip bags are probably not the technical term for these helpful binder organizers, but they certainly describe what we're looking at and whatever they're called, they make a great way to store supplies on the go. We're still big supporters of labeling everything so there's no confusion on what goes where, so make sure you take a Sharpie to the outside of these pockets first. You can find the how-to instructions for this projecthere.
b. Tackle Box
They're plastic, they have a handle on top, and they already have organizing trays split into sections ready to be filled with art and craft supplies. Pick one up next time you're at your favorite bait shop (if you can't decide on a favorite, Target and Walmart have them too).
c. Tool Tote
Another awesome re-purposing project, this Craftsman tool tote makes a super easy way to have an art room to-go. Fill with your child's favorite art supplies, note books, sketchpads, or coloring books.
There are SO MANY creative ways to get organized with your art supplies this spring. If you're interested in more, you can check out ourPinterest Board dedicated to and brimming with art organization ideas. No matter what method you decide one, here are some general art organizing tips we've learned along the way:
1. Store like items and items often used together near each other. This not only saves time, but decreases the chance of messes made by frustratingly searching through multiple places.
2. Store frequently used items in the most convenient place possible - in the front, at arm's height, on top, whatever is necessary. You'll be more likely to put it back where it belongs then too.
3. Don't over-stock: avoid buying more supplies until you have room to store them. If you buy something and it doesn't fit in you designated art space, get rid of something else and follow strictly a "one in, one out" policy. You'll decrease clutter and make sure everything that has a space is being used.
4. Labels, labels, labels. On everything. Trust us. Then no one can claim they "didn't know" they put the scissors where the glue is supposed to go again.
That's it for now. But while you're in a productive mood, check one more thing off your to-d0 list this spring and head over to our Summer Camps page and make sure you have the kids' schedule this summer all taken care of so you're not dashing around at the last minute praying for space in a camp, any camp. Phew, that will feel good.
Don't forget to let us know any organizing tricks that work for you, or if you try anything on this list, we'd love to hear about it - drop us a comment!