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Whether you’re an established painter getting ready for their next gallery opening, or just a spare-time Jackson Pollock who enjoys seeing their ideas hit the canvas, keeping an art studio in your home can be an involved process.

Even above and beyond a lot of other hobbies, art involves a lot of supplies that can be too big and/or too numerous to really put away effectively, and the mess can start to pile up quickly if you aren’t careful.

Whether you’re an old hand at the art world and just want to make things a little easier in your studio, or if you’re thinking about setting up an art room in your home but aren’t sure how to keep it decluttered, here’s a few of our best tips for organizing an art studio and storing your art supplies:

 

Purge what you don’t use

Any good organization project should start with a solid purge of your current supplies. Maybe you didn’t use those markers as much as you thought you would, maybe those paints have finally dried up, maybe that tube of Mod Podge is finally empty. Whatever the reason, try to purge as much as you can. Throw out everything that’s actually unusable, and if you have anything that’s salvageable but you won’t use in the near future, donate them to a local school or kid’s rec center to help them find a new home where they’ll get used.

 

Small containers for small items

Art involves a lot of small, easy-to-lose tools like brushes, pens, and markers. These smaller items could be kept in low-profile storage options like plastic storage bins, Mason jars, empty tin cans, or even shelf baskets to keep them close at hand and make them harder to lose—which we’ve all done a time or two.

 

Think vertically—store up, not out

A lot of art studios need to conserve as much space as possible when it comes to storage so you actually have room to work. Make the most of your wall space by hanging up wall shelves to hold supplies up and out of the way, use corner shelves to help maximize storage in areas you usually can’t reach, and remember to leave floor space for your actual work to get done.

 

Leave room for works-in-progress

One of the biggest uses of space in an art studio is the need to store all the projects you’re currently working on. Designate an area to organize your in-progress paintings, such as adjustable shelves with more space on the top than on the bottom to hang onto larger canvases or your vases while their current coat of painting dries.

 

Label everything

Finally, you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste by forgetting to use a shelf or putting the wrong thing on it. Once you’ve decided where everything is going to live, use wire shelf label holders to mark where everything should go and keep it all organized even after the first organization is done. This will help you keep it clean and prevent further chaos down the road.

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