Now is the Perfect Time to Re-Organize Your Art Studio

14 Dec 2012

Re-organizing your art studio at this time of year—among the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the cerebral fog of too many cocktails or sugarplum sweets, and the craziness of trying to get a slew of handmade projects created for gifts and décormay seem like a silly idea. Wouldn't it be better to wait for the New Year to begin, after all the Christmas clutter has been swept out and your resolutions are made?

baskets for studio organization
Baskets like these in Andrea Villarreal's California
studio can hold a multitude of art supplies.
Photo by Sonia Adame.

Not necessarily. Here are three reasons why now might be the perfect time to reorganize your home studio-or at least make specific plans to reorganize in the near future.

1. Right now, while all your creative "stuff" is pulled out and piled up all around you, is the perfect time to assess what you have accumulated. Is there a better way to store it? Do you find you're constantly walking around boxes, tables, or bins that are in your way-but you never use what's inside? Maybe you need to get rid of what you're not using or put it somewhere that's out of the way.

2. The holidays are the perfect time to find new uses for containers-and not just for gifts and holiday decorations. Ornament storage boxes could also hold balls of yarn, found objects, or rubber stamps.  Mason jars, baskets, and tins that hold goodies over the holidays can hold fabric, buttons, or spools of thread after the sugar high is gone.

3. Organizing can be soothing. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, the end-of-the-year frenzy at work and the darken days can get on your nerves. Folding fabrics, sorting buttons, and lining up jars of paint are mindless, meditative tasks that can take you away from the madness that often grips the season.

Actually, just spending time dreaming about your creative space and how you might rearrange and organize it (or thinking about how you might someday get a dedicated creative space) can seem like a mini vacation.

I highly recommend curling up in a chair with your favorite beverage and a few copies of Studios magazine. Whether you take note of the creative organization and storage ideas employed by fellow artists or simply dream about having a spacious, light-filled craft studio like the ones in the magazine, you'll find a peaceful respite from the hubbub in Studios--50% off right now.

P.S. What's your favorite reusable storage container? Leave a comment below.

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on 14 Dec 2012 10:20 AM

A small idea in the "recycled" category is the plastic container Crystal Lite comes in. Peel off the label and stuff with your heart's desire. Mine has craft buttons. I can see the contents and colors, and in my space, out of sight, out of mind. I think this container would also safely store a small rotary cutter if you are taking it out of the house for a class.

I love all the little containers I have that I keep scissors, pencils and markers, forceps, rotary cutters and other items standing on end rather lying flat on my work surface -- lost in the shuffle.

on 14 Dec 2012 3:01 PM

Like FuzzyWhiskers, I like to use the plastic containers that lettuce comes in.  I keep one on my sewing table for scraps and use others to keep pieces sorted when piecing together large quilts.  I can see at a glance which pieces are which because they are clear, and I can stack them with or without the lids and the cut pieces don't get mixed up.  I guess we quilters are truly recyclers!

Sew4Now wrote
on 15 Dec 2012 7:06 AM

My favorite reusable container is the box that my dog food comes in. Each box holds 12 cans and the sides are about 3" tall. When I empty a box, I paint it or line the outside with decorative papers from my stash. Then I make a fabric inner lining with a stretch top that pops just over the edge of the box and holds the liner in place. Voila! An attractive place to gather and sort project parts and pieces. These boxes can be embellished to my heart's content or left simple. I try not to make them into more projects though, so I do tend to keep them 'clean'.

on 15 Dec 2012 10:38 AM


We "recycle" now. In the past, we were "pack rats". ;}

jeballard8 wrote
on 16 Dec 2012 4:01 PM

We are still pack rats if we never get to the recycle part!

ShawnaK wrote
on 25 Dec 2012 6:12 PM

My absolute favorite reusable storage container is the plastic Nestle Quick Containers... the 2 pound ovals. They can be covered in fabric, labeled and have air-tight lids. They line up nicely on my shelves and hold everything from extra bottles of stickles to pop can pull-tabs.