Organizing Art Supplies: Day Two

This is the second edition of a new series where I’m sharing my messy spaces and process of organizing as I strive to build a more beautiful, accesible, and relaxing space for living and creating (here’s the first post). My friend and professional organizer, Jillian, is spearheading this project — it helps to have company — and this week we tackled so many things: art supplies, coat closet, office supplies, and toy bins. I’ve taken at least three trips to the thrift store (sad…I’ve lost count…shows you how badly I needed to go through this!) and I’ve learned so much about myself and my home along the way!

organizing art supplies: day two

For our first project, we tackled these catch-all drawers that are home to mailing supplies and office materials. Now everything has a home. Ah, breathing sigh of relief. If you’re planning to join me with your own urge to purge, I recommend beginning in a small area like this. It won’t overwhelm you and you’ll have results in super-quick-no-time. The strategy, really, is to toss/donate/sell anything that you won’t use or have duplicates of. And it helped that I already had the drawer sorters. You’ll need little boxes or sorters to keep small things in their own tidy areas.

I realize now that I’ve been cleaning and organizing AROUND my clutter, which takes so much time and effort. Effort to clean, effort to find things, effort to put things away. It boils down to the plain fact that we have too much stuff, so this first step has been all about clearing the clutter. And once the clutter is gone we’ll have room to dream up fun ways to maximize our space.

Here’s a good example:

organizing art supplies: day two

Eeek! Overstuffed coat closet!

If your first thought isn’t “Horror,” it could very well be, “you live in California; Why on earth do you have so many winter coats?!”

organizing art supplies: day two

The same closet, looking down. This may actually be the worse view of the two.

We use the closet for a lot things, but it’s time to clear it out so we can find the best way to use it. Jillian suggested that once it’s empty it would be a great place to it to store our art-making supplies, which is why I’ve been pinning all of these fab art storage closets. Yes to that!

organizing art supplies: day two

I think N overheard this conversation because the next day she and her entourage set up shop in the now almost-empty closet. They sat there in their self-proclaimed art studio, happily tinkering away with newly-found rolls of paper and markers. This process is hard and time-consuming, but I can already see that it’s worth it!

Have you been inspired to purge? What do you do with all that stuff?

Are you challenged by space limitations? Do you struggle with having too much stuff? Have you succeeded at paring things down, and have a space that inspires you?


  1. It looks so nice! All our art supplies are just tossed in baskets and baggies. I so hope to find some time and space to make more sense of all our stuff!

    • Thanks, Chelsey! We’ve been through tons of iterations on art supply storage, including baskets and baggies. It does all boil down to finding time and space: two things that are tricky to uncover with little people (with lots of time and space demands) underfoot. I’m so glad you’re here!

  2. Wow! What a transformation! And you’ve inspired me to do some serious purging of the unnecessary coats in our coat closet. Sadly, only Celeste could fit in that closet, but I’m sure I could make it much more useful! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • I’m thrilled that this inspired you, Aleksandra (but I’ve seen your house and can’t imagine there’s a speck of uncluttered trouble with it!). 

  3. There must be something in the air as I posted about this yesterday – we did the craft supplies so far but I’m working on everything in the house so we can all live together happily. I love the cupboard we have a cupoard but I daren’t take pictures of that as the coats aren’t even hung up at the moment

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