Stress-Free Art Studio Organization Tips

So, it's official: our eldest has moved out of the house to her own apartment. Now, in this day and age, I won't be surprised if she moves back after college. But in the meantime, her sister and I are turning her room into an art studio.

Meredith and I have been debating how to set up the home studio to meet our different needs. But before we get to furniture, decoration, and other art studio plans, we have to get rid of a lot of my glut art studio supplies I haven't used in years, and probably never will. Fortunately, I already have a roadmap for that, based on past experience with Studios magazine. I think you might find these tips handy, too.

5 Simple Steps for Stress-free Art Studio Organization

1. Start by getting rid of what you don't use or don't need. Be realistic with yourself: if you bought paper-making supplies in 1996 and still haven't used them, maybe you don't really want to make paper. Donate or sell the goods to someone who can't wait to use them.

2. Organize according to your style. In the Summer 2010 issue of Studios, professional organizer Barbara Tako explains that it's easier to work with your particular organizing style than to impose someone else's structure on your studio.

3. Work with what you have. Get creative by looking at the furniture you have in a new way, such as attaching a larger top to an existing table for more work space. And be sure to look carefully at the spaces in Studios to see how other artists use every inch of space they have.

4. Get what you need. On the other hand, there are many stores and businesses that cater to the needs of artists and crafters, with specialty furnishings and containers that can make your studio more comfortable and efficient. Check out the Resources section of Studios and, if you have the means, go shopping to get exactly what you need to make your space work for you.

5. Use the buddy system. Afraid you can't part with that stack of wrinkled wrapping paper saved from birthdays dating back to 1983? Just too overwhelmed by the mess to motivate yourself to get organized? Phone a friend like Sharon Tomlinson did when she wanted to expand one very cluttered, outdated studio into two well-functioning spaces. In the Summer 2010 issue of Studios, Sharon details how her friend kept her on task and led her to two-studio success.

Meredith and I have a built-in buddy system, plus, she has good taste and little sentiment when it comes to "stuff." So I have every confidence she can help me part with superfluous stash and then come up with an art studio design we can both live with.

The Studios issues from 2010 are packed with ideas for repurposing, destashing, organizing, and designing a fun and functional art studio space. All four issues are available on one space saving Collection CD. Order or download the Studios 2010 Collection CD now and whip your studio in shape.

What are your tried-and-true organizing tips? Leave a comment below!


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