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The beauty of any art space, whether at school or the office, is how it inspires the artist. You may work in a large studio or a small corner of a room, but if the space is a jumble of art supplies or mismatched tools, when inspiration strikes you may spend more time searching than creating. Make the ideal art space for inspiration and action by following these simple tips.

Simple Tips to Help with Art Room Organization

Create Zones

Art Room Work Zones

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Think of the art space in zones. Create an area that will be the primary work space, leaving room for any table or easel that you made need. Then, designate an area to keep all necessary supplies, like paint, recycled objects, paper or specialty items, as well as any tools that are specific to your craft. Consider the flow in the space as well.  For example, storing paint near the sink can make clean up easier. Keep your wet and dry areas separate as to avoid unintended spills. Paper drying racks should be stored away from wash-up areas, as well as dusty areas so that dust does not settle and embed itself into wet artworks.

Sort Supplies

Sort Art Room Supplies by Age Groups

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Once you have identified your zones, sort out your supplies for each zone, keeping similar things together. By sorting supplies and tools in categories, you can more easily figure out what cabinets or storage solutions work best for your space. Paper and paint need different types storage and it is helpful to know how much of each material you have so you find a storage solution that fits everything. For smaller art supplies, use small plastic bins that are stackable and easy to label.  Consider larger storage racks for scrap lumber or framing materials. Flat paper file cabinets are a perfect way to sort all of your paper materials while keeping them damage-free.

If you are organizing a multi-age art room. This would be the time to separate the age appropriate art supplies. Store your standard scissors separate from your kid-friendly safety scissors to avoid dangerous accidents. Do you really want your 5 year old students painting with expensive and messy oil paints? Separate your non-toxic acrylic paints and encaustic paints now to avoid later regrets! A good way to separate is by height. Use overhead, wall-mounted storage cabinets for older students and keep your kid-friendly art supplies in the lower base cabinets where they can reach them.

Labels

Labeled Art Supplies

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As simple as it seems, labels on your bins and storage drawers can make the ultimate difference in the success of your art room organization. Using a simple handheld label maker or even tape and a marker, you can create labels for each category or item that make it easy to find what you need and even easier to clean up at the end of your work time. If you are a teacher and are planning to repeat a particular project, save samples of each step involved in a project and label them for visual reference during your next demonstration.

For large shared art rooms, create a label system and teach all of your students your preferred method. Making sure all students work is clearly identified and stored properly will make each class begin and end smoothly. Make this fun by assigning unique color names or use the names of famous artists to label group work or material storage areas. Your fourth period class could store their projects on the Salvador Dali shelf, for example.

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