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Organize Your Art Supplies!
writes, "Do you have googly eyes in your kitchen? Are there glue sticks in every drawer? A fun, art-filled summer can be messy. Establish order in your craft zone to keep it fresh and interesting."
What You'll Need:

1) An official art spot
Designating a home for your supplies will help inspire creativity and make clean-up a breeze. Your art department can be as small as a basket or as big as a basement. Most of us probably need a space that falls somewhere in between those two extremes. Is there a place in your house that needs a new purpose? Try to think of your space in a new way. With a few changes you can transform a corner of your guest room, an underused kitchen cabinet, an old chest of drawers, or even just a single shelf in your office into a user-friendly art corner.

2) Empty containers for organizing
I like to use clean 28 oz. tomato cans. I cook with these often, so I generate lots of them. They are unbreakable, straight-sided, a good size, and {best of all} FREE. Use what you have on hand. If you already have a storage system, there is always room to reevaluate and make little changes to keep things organized and inviting. Have you made a "Pickle Jar Menagerie?" Those fun jars would be excellent to house everything from beads to bottle caps. Take a look in your kitchen and garage for containers you have readily available.

3) 15 minutes
Use this time to gather and assess all of your art supplies. I realized that I had several different locations for my supplies: my home office, an art cabinet in the kitchen, and some in plastic bins in the garage. Getting everything in one spot helps to see all available options, which will inspire new ideas. If there are any supplies that are unusable {dry-as-a-bone markers or glue sticks?} throw them away, recycling whenever possible. Keep a list for things you might need to replace.

4) 15 more minutes
Use this time to group like items and put them away. If you have small amounts of certain items, try grouping them in a category {"embellishments" or "feathers + googly eyes"}. This is your chance to make the space look the way you want. Some things, like colored pencils, look beautiful stored standing upright. Others, like beads, look great in a clear jar.

5) Enjoy order
Stand back and feel inspired. Adapt your system as needed over time.

More Ideas:
~ Self-serve art kit: Fill a bin with a few choice materials, like: construction paper, several colored pencils, a few feathers, and a glue stick. You could customize a kit like this to suit each artist. Designate a special shelf or drawer for kits like this that are ready at a moment's notice.

~ Vertical storage: Will a bulletin board fit in your art space? Consider options like a cork board, a magnetic board, or a peg board. This would allow you to hang a few smaller items {like ribbon} or a special tool {pinking shears} as well as use it for display.

Catie Eyer
Artist, mom, and blogger at http://five-ten-fifteen.blogspot.com/


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