For some reason, I always find it extremely difficult to keep my art supplies organized. While big tools such as easels are standing room only, smaller materials such as paints, pencils and paint brushes never seem to stay organized.
I think part of the issue is that I like to work with a lot of materials and tools spread around me, easy to grab when I need them. When I am in the middle of a project, I like to leave everything where it is, ready to be used at a moment’s notice. The problem with this way of working is that I often work on several projects at the same time. If I don’t put my projects away, I run out of room to do things like eating. Therefore, I have learned to keep at least one table surface free of art supplies by staying more organized.
I have found that most of my art supplies will stay mostly organized if I put them in boxes, or drawers. I am not the type of person who needs to organize their supplies by color, mostly by type so that I can pull out my acrylic supplies if I need them or my drawing tools. I like to keep a rolling storage unit because it can move easily from one project table to another. The drawers can be kept open one at a time to make art supplies easy to access. Here are some of the tips that I have found useful over the years when organizing my tools and materials:
- Use containers that are small enough to move easily.
- Keep materials sealed from open air.
- Clean paint brushes thoroughly and let them dry completely before storing them
- Keep your art materials stored in a cool, dry room
- Develop a system to organize your materials and tools to be able to find them easily. Otherwise you will find yourself buying duplicates.
- Art supplies do not have an indefinite shelf life. Buy only what you within a reasonable amount of time.
Depending on how many art materials you own, you may even want to get a rolling unit for each type of art. This way, you can then further sort your materials by color or project.
When I was in college, I used cheap plastic containers to store my paints brushes and other materials. Now that I am older, I appreciate a better made rolling storage unit with easy-to-open drawers such as the Gerstner International R532 Red Oak Roller Cabinet because it is sturdy, looks like a real piece of furniture and will last for years. You ultimately have to make your choice based on your budget, but my philosophy is buying the best you can afford. Find the organizer unit that you fall in love with. It will be worth the time you spend searching for what works best for you.
- Paulina A.
Madison Art Shop
& Lake Erie Artists.com