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Maintaining Your Organized Space

This is the forth article in a series on organizing your creative space. To see the first three articles, see the links at the bottom of the page.

Now that you have a clean, pretty, and organized art studio space you need to maintain it. The best way to do that is to commit to spending a few minutes putting supplies away, cleaning brushes, and reseting the space every time you work in your studio. This simple act of prepping your space for the next art session sets you up for success. More importantly, you will be able to walk right in and begin creating.

The following tips help maintain the systems you put in place.

How to keep your art studio organized:

Keep supplies in the their "zones". Remember everything needs a home and this will save you time because you will know exactly where to look to find your favorite set of acrylic paints.

Practice the "One In, One Out" rule: anytime you bring something new to your studio, something else needs to go out.

Consider keeping a box for new supplies on your work table. This will remind you to use your new supply and gives you a place to house new supplies after shopping until your next art session.

Continue to keep a supply list. This will keep you from purchasing unnecessary supplies and keep you from running out of your favorites.

Note on your supply list what items you use over and over again so you will be able to hit sales. When you do find a good sale, keep in mind the shelf life of a product before you buy in bulk.

Note what supplies never make your list. Don't purchase anything that doesn't support the art you are currently passionate about, regardless of price.

Shop consciously. Before you bring any supply, storage, or decorative item into your creative space, consider if that item is right for you. Ask yourself if it meets your artistic goals and if you have the real estate available to house the item.

Sleep on it. If you still want the the item 24 hours later, chances are you you will use it.

Keep a trashcan, recycle bin, and donation box in your studio (or somewhere close by) to keep the clutter at bay.

Put quarterly cleaning sessions on your calendar to reassess your artistic goals, run through your current supplies, and to empty the donation bin.

Consider joining an art swap and/or an round-robin art exchange. This is a great way to use what you already have and to keep you creating.

Invite people over to create with you in your studio. It will motivate you to tidy before folks come visit and as an added bonus you will have built in time specifically for creating art with a friend.

Lastly, you might fall off the organization wagon and that's okay. Start again the next day (or next time you are in your studio). Once you get in the habit of spending a few minutes after each art session cleaning up, it will become second nature. Walking into a space ready for you to create something fabulous becomes its own incentive.

Next week will cover keeping projects organized.

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