I've organized, moved and reorganized my studio many times. In fact, its always in transition and isn't that the way it should be for an evolving artist? Here's a few ideas I've had on organizing. (posts are in reverse order so to see the oldest, scroll down.)


I've been in the art studio all evening, while the superbowl was being enjoyed elsewhere in the house. I had the place all to myself, no interruptions, no noise... except classical music playing on the TV. Heaven. 


As I'm putting things away, and moving things around, I'm noticing so many beautiful things. Did you know pens can be beautiful? All the vibrant colors. I love color. 

Must be why I like to spin my paint holder around a lot. It's like willing a rainbow to appear!

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I love fabric? That I have too much for my own good? My mother would be so proud. I actually used some this evening while creating valentine goodies (I'll share pics of those soon.) 


Plus I kind of have a thing for little unusual dolls and other touches placed around the room.

I was thinking the other day about animals and how they can't see color. I can't image going through life with only black and white as my palette. Think of all God's beauty we'd be missing out on!



Dd and I spent some time on Saturday morning redesigning the basement. On paper. Granted, its an unfinished basement and will stay that way for now but I moved my art room down there the beginning of this year. Since then, despite it being pretty organized, I find it gets so messy. Mostly because I'm trying to do so many different things in one space (and we've been dragging down all the homeschool stuff I need to sell off, and dropping it in the studio.) I don't know why I made an art room utilizing only a 1/4th of the basement. There is so much more room I could claim! Since it's a wreck right now, I haven't wanted to work in it for the last month. Now armed with a new plan, I have been down there every night doing a little organizing, moving 'walls' (old doors and shelves), going through boxes of discarded stuff from the dds' rooms and throwing neglected laundry in the washer while I'm at it.

(As the basement is now.)
I think I have a constant need to try something new. To change things. But when you see that things are not working one way, I don't see the reasoning of just leaving it that way and 'making do'. If its not the studio of my liking, why not change it. I want a wet area. A place to use that screenprinting set and Shiva Paintstiks I received for Christmas last year and have yet to use. A place to dye fabrics, get messy, etc... We have an old open shower down there that the previous owner must have used in some way. I want to take it out and buy a double stainless steel sink and have it installed. I've already started looking on Craigslist for a used restaurant one.

(The new plan. DD thought a TV and game system should be included.)

I want a sewing area. I want to see my fabrics out in the open, not on shelves in the storage area. I want to be able to pet them daily. I want a permanent place for my sewing machine with all my little bits, bobbles and bobbins lined up in a row as well as my thread racks accessible. I want to be able to lay out quilt pieces if I feel like being quilty, and have the room to do that!

I want a larger collage and painting area. I'm thinking 2 tables, one for working and the other one for projects in progress, where they can dry. I can also clean them off and have friends over to artify with me, as long as they don't mind an unfinished basement. The workbench will be where I can work standing up, work with tools (heatgun, melting wax, etc...) It's an old table that has the holes/makings for a saw, if I ever want to get more into wood play.

Finally, I want to be able to find my shipping supplies without killing myself climbing through the storage area to find them in the semi-dark. The new storage area will have all my ebay,, etsy and homeschool items ready for sale, in labeled rubbermaid boxes. That way I can just grab a box when I have a minute, list the items and then put it back in storage with a note that I've already listed it.

Organization. I can dream, can't I?!



I'm still working on the new art room. This week and last has been all about fabric. I love seeing it start to all line up on the shelves, just waiting to be petted and used if I can part with any.



I have to tell you what I've been up to! 2 weeks ago we took several days and lots of man hours and moved my cramped - busting at the seams art room from the small dining room...

... to the unfinished basement (after lots of cleaning/hauling out of course.) I painted a wall red, doubled the amount of space I had and went from 3 bookshelves to 9. I am a happy camper!

The previous owner had cobbled together a horribly heavy and now old and ugly workbench. It must be 40 years old! I plan to give it a wash and a bright coat of paint. I'll have to share after it's been altered. I find that I'm now standing as I do art, at the workbench. DH installed a hanging light so I can see what I'm doing.

I have so much more to do but the shelves are partially organized. I have way too many embellishments so that is a whole weekend of organizing I can foresee, but paper, mags and other stuff are almost complete. (My fabric is a whole other story and I have yet to move it down from my bedroom closet...)



Last week was a busy week for me. The whole family left for summer camp. All of them. DH and DD #1 volunteered while DD #2 enjoyed 3rd grade camp (I don't 'do' heat.) I had 4 whole days to myself, if you don't count the dog in heat and 2 whiny cats. Surprisingly enough, I barely did any art. I organized for the most part.

Remember the ribbon my friends were helping organize in June? I finally gave it all a home. Plus many other things that were sitting around, stuffed under the table (that used to be here on the left). All have homes now on the shelf. The shelves above my computer/art desk are now more uniform and full of the items I use the most. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to find things. My work is never done though. I have the 3 rolling carts to reorganize as they have been used to stuff extra things that didn't have homes.

My friend Trish came over one of those days and we played around with collage. I finished my 5th journal page seen on the previous post. We had the best time and some yummy tortellini and brushetta to boot! I'll have to share the recipes sometime. My favorite organizing project was of the 3 notebooks below. Do you know how easy it is to find sheets now?



Yeah, so I'm not the best person to make this list, considering I'm always organizing, filling up, messing up, purging and then organizing my studio again. However, I've been organizing yet again and a few things have popped into my head that seem to work. Tell me your favorite tip for organizing, maybe it will help me too!

Studio Organizing Tip #1

The Pen is mightier than the sword. Keep a notepad and pen at hand so you can jot down creative ideas you think of while organizing.
I have this terrible habit. When I think of a good idea, I sweep all the piles I so neatly organized, on the floor, combine them, whatever; just so I can create the idea I came up with. Write the ideas down until a later time.

Studio Organizing Tip #2

The right music can make all the difference!
There is nothing like singing into my scissors; belting out some Def Leppard, Cher or The Beach Boys while I'm organizing. A friend on Twitter turned me on to Top 50 songs of the year of your choice. Just go here and choose your favorite year and get singing and cleaning! (I have it set to 1988 right now.)

Studio Organizing Tip #3
Items organized in clear or tinted containers are used more often. But then you knew that huh? When you see it, you remember you have it and you're more likely to use it. I have beautiful blue glass Ball jars I collect specifically for this purpose. They store all manner of things, thread spools, pompoms, clothes pins, etc... I also bought milky clear drawers & containers for storing everything else (see below.)

Studio Organizing Tip #4

Separate things down to the smallest detail.
Okay, you might be more patient than I am. But when I think of sifting through 3 big containers of mixed buttons looking for the perfect pink button, I'm gonna quit. Or the big apple basket holding all game pieces/items? I never end up searching for the bingo chips I want. My buttons are now separated into 4 clear embroidery thread holders (some shown here w/my bead & flower boxes.) The game pieces are now in 4 containers on my bookshelves.

Studio Organizing Tip #5

A place for everything and everything in its place.
All those clear containers you're now using to store your stuff? I have found if you STORE IT NEAR YOU, you'll do much better. Before I figured this out, I was storing things neat on bookshelves behind my chair where I work and I would pull out drawers and bring them to the table, and soon I'd have an avalanche of drawers, paper, stamps, and ink. My friend Krissi from Twitter says she is a failure at putting things up right away. I am too but at least now I know where everything goes and can put it up quickly. I use ink and paint the most so ink hangs right above my desk. Paint was on a lazy susan on the desk (and in 3 containers) but I've since bought the paint carousel (seen above.) I'm in love with it! Stamps and ephemera are very close seconds as to what I use the most, so ephemera is on my left, stacked high in 12x12 pull out drawers. Stamps are in the same type drawers, right in front of me above my desk on shelves. Buttons, small flowers & beads I use a lot as well and used to keep them in metal containers or baskets or stuffed in a drawer elsewhere. Didn't work. Now they're stacked right in front of me where I can reach them.

Studio Organizing Tip #6 (or 5b)

Convenience is everything.
Let me tell you, I hate taking more than a step or two to do something. I don't want to pull my heat gun out a drawer, unwind the cord, crawl under my desk to plug it in and keep it on a heat resistant tray thingie for when its hot. I now keep this handy dandy long metal cookie tin to the left where I work, plus there is a power strip (on the desk top) next to it where I can easily plug everything in. In the tin I keep essentials I hate searching for: a bucket holds all scissors, wire cutters, pliers and exacto knives. Next to it in the tin are decorative scissors. In the back of the tin is the heat gun, dremel tool, hammer and my trusty clover iron. I also keep my tall tower of jewels and sequins because there just happened to be enough room.

Studio Organizing Tip #7

Be Energy Efficient.
Ef·fi·cient. Pronunciation:\i-ˈfi-shənt\ - productive of desired effects; especially : productive without waste. I'm usually doing marathon organizing. I go all day, every waking hour until I fall in bed exhausted. I don't like to piddle around doing bit by bit, seems like a waste. To be efficient with your energy; Set aside the amount of time you want to spend organizing. Only take bathroom & drink breaks (don't play around on the computer. Twitter is my downfall.) When you break for lunch/whatever meal, give yourself a 1/2 hour to rest and surf the net or watch TV. Then back to work. Don't stop and sit to do time consuming things, like tearing articles out of magazines or organizing buttons. Don't do that in the middle of your energy. When I get to the end of my day, I will gather a time consuming/sitting organizing chore and sit on the bed and do it. One night I caught up on my TV shows while I breezed through 30+ mags I've had sitting around to pull out articles and pieces to use in art. At that time, I was tired, so standing and organizing wasn't a good use of my energy. Sitting but still working was.

Best Organizing Tip
Two heads are better than one.
Or three or four, including their hands. To finish off my art room so its ready for consumption, I invited my closest friends over (aka: the friends who won't fault me for my less than perfect house) for a 'Ribbon Organizing Party'. Personally, my ribbon is one of my biggest headaches. I love ribbons, trims and laces of all kinds but I have amassed so much its now shoved into a big garbage bag and another big blanket bag. Can't really use it that way. I promised my friends free lunch/drinks, a looksie through my art room (some had warned me they would be stuffing their bras with stuff they wanted to steal), and plenty of freebies from the stuff I'm getting rid of. This was a great ending to my organizing endeavor (or is a great way to start it if you need help with the whole process.) Plan a party, invite people over. Make it a big deal to finally be done. And give it all the way, the stuff you no longer need. There are others out there who haven't conquered their clutter bugs yet and will gladly take stuff off your hands!

(I only took one pic while they were here, they were sorting through my giveaway boxes. The rest of the pics are: 1-friends, 2-sorting aftermath, 3-some progress made from hours of work, 4-work still left for me to do, 5-some of what I finished last night watching Numb3rs first season on DVD.)

Extra Little Tips:

1 - Keep a bin or box nearby to throw in items that you're tired of. Give or throw away. Or,
address several padded or priority mail envelopes to people you know might like the extras you have to get rid of, or someone who might need a little 'pick me up' this week. Fill with your extras & mail.
2 -Pop on a top. I tend to put big Rubbermaid bins under my desks to hold things like mat board, packing envelopes for order shipping, etc... But I find that having them in large OPEN boxes is bad. When I'm looking for a quick place to shove something, it invariably ends up under the table in the top of one of those open boxes.
3 - Keep a Rolling Cart. I have my most used items in mine:
pens laid flat, paint brushes and adhesives. glitter pens & staples, alcohol inks/rubons, dymo labler, large punches, small xyron & refills, batteries (for camera), wheel stamps & rolling handle. I can wheel it to wherever I'm working at the moment.
4 - (this is still on my list of to-dos.) Make a detailed list of everything you own, feathers, metal stripping, chipboard, fluid acrylics, etc... Alphabetize it and put locations for the items (especially if you have lots of drawers.) This saves you lots of time looking AND reminds you in a glance of what you have to use.

Tips shared with me by Twitterpals:
CollageArtist (Claudine Hellmuth) - "
I organize all my papers in the 2 gallon ziploc bags, divide them up by color and then throw all the bags into a giant bin!"Tsoniki - "Use what you have! Use baskets, containers, shelving units. Group like with like of course."
Little Pies -
"My 'studio' is a kitchen. I vacuum my kitchen counters frequently.. because I have a constant haze of flour everywhere." ** Vacuuming sounds like a good idea to me! **brendapinnick - "I keep my paints organized by color in galvanized steel, long oval planters from IKEA."