Best Way to Organize Art Supplies: 7 Creative Ideas

Whether the art supplies in your home are for you or for your children, somehow they can have a way of taking over your space. They are, of course, necessary for everything from kids' craft time to a quiet afternoon painting and drawing for yourself. Every home needs at least one creative space.

You may have already noticed that when your craft supplies aren't neatly organized, no one wants to use them. Painting is fun, but searching for paintbrushes isn't. Your kids will give up on their felt craft when they can't find the googly eyes to finish it. If this sounds like you and your family, it is time to get a handle on your art supply storage and organization. Here we will outline seven clever, different ways to organize art supplies to help you use and enjoy your art space.

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Create Your Own Art Studio Space

If your art supplies are scattered through different rooms and spaces in your home, it is time to gather them all up. Even if you are working with a small space, the good news is that there are solutions that will work for any amount of space. 

With a dedicated art space, you'll know where to find supplies quickly and efficiently when you need them, freeing up more time for creativity and less time spent searching. Designate a specific space where you can store all your supplies in a way that works best for you. Once you have your space, you can evaluate what types of organizing products you need. Creating a dedicated art studio space can help keep messes contained and is a great way to promote peak creativity without distractions.

First, evaluate how many arts and crafts supplies you have and estimate how much space they will take up when they are together. Factor in that your art space will need to have room to organize art supplies and also have room for at least one workstation. Next, identify an area of your home to set up your art studio. It can be the corner of a room or a whole room. The space you select should meet the following criteria:

  • Abundant natural light
  • Near a window or door that can provide ventilation from paint smells
  • Large enough to contain the volume of craft supplies

Try to look at each room in a different way to decide the best place for your art space.

Sort Art Supplies

Sorting art supplies by type of supply can be an effective way to organize your craft supplies, so they are easier to find. Group all art items into different categories, such as paper, paint, brushes, markers, pencils, fiber art, and embellishments. Once you have done this, you can begin to visualize the type of organization containers you will need to keep everything tidy and easily accessible.

Another great way to sort is by color. Once art supplies are sorted by category, you can also sort them further by color. Sorting in rainbow colors is a fun and popular way for art supplies to be sorted. Further sorting by color is an aesthetically pleasing way to find supplies easier for quick retrieval. If everyone in your family uses the art supplies, sorting them in these ways will help everyone to put things back once they are done. Everyone will visually understand which materials belong where so tidying up after creativity time will be a breeze.

sort art supplies by color

Purge Your Art Supplies

Sometimes, organizing your art supplies is less about organizing what you have and more about actually downsizing your supplies. This means that if you don't use certain materials or supplies often or if they are old and not usable, they can be discarded. The first step is to reduce the clutter in your art workspace to maintain focus and find items when needed. It also helps reduce the number of distractions that may prevent you from completing tasks in a timely manner.

When deciding which supplies to keep when organizing kids' art supplies, consider how often your children use them. If an item hasn't been used for more than six months, chances are it will remain unused. Eliminate items with expired shelf life and replace them, if needed.


Downsizing your art studio supplies collection helps prevent overspending when replenishing supplies. Once you declutter your art supplies, you will have a clear picture of what you use and what you need to purchase.

Organize with Frequency Of Use in Mind

When you organize and store art supplies, you prioritize them based on how often you use them. To implement this organizational method for your art supplies, separate your art supplies into three categories: 

  • Frequently used
  • Occasionally used
  • Rarely used

Organize the items you use the most often in an accessible place, such as on a cart, in a container, or on a shelf near where you will be working. This could include items like paintbrushes, sketch pads, and markers- things you may use daily.

Place the supplies you do not often use in a less accessible area, such as a storage closet or cabinet. Think of these as items like clay or large canvases. 

Art supplies storage using this method is more visually appealing and also functional when it comes time to use the arts and crafts supplies. Finally, place the rarely used items into sealed storage containers where they will not be disrupted by other activities in your home. When you do need them for a larger art project, you will know where to find them and they will be in great condition.

Now that you have identified a great space and sorted and purged your supplies, you can use these ideas to find the best way to organize your art supplies.

best way to organize art supplies

Use Clear Storage Containers

Using clear plastic bins as an organization system for art supplies is a great way to immediately take control of clutter and keep small items organized and contained. Clear storage containers allow you to locate supplies with ease without wasting time rummaging through drawers or bins. You can see what supplies are inside the container without ever opening it.

Purchase clear storage containers of varying sizes to accommodate art supplies of all sizes. Colored pencils could be placed in one container, markers in another, paintbrushes in another, pipe cleaners in another, and so on. 

If you love square and rectangle storage containers, you will love these clear acrylic storage solutions. If you prefer round storage containers, check out these clear acrylic storage containers. If you have mason jars lying around, these are perfect for storing glue sticks, paint brushes, pip cleaners, and even embellishments like buttons and googly eyes.

We love clear acrylic storage containers for several reasons:

  • Find the items you need quickly when creating artwork
  • Protect art supplies from dust and moisture
  • Easy to wipe clean 
  • Aesthetically beautiful

Make the most out of your creative art experience while maintaining orderliness in your workspace using clear storage containers.

clear storage containers for organizing art supplies

Assemble an Art Cart

For frequently used art supplies, it is fun to assemble a rolling cart for art. Have your art essentials within reach at all times with your art cart. We love the 3-tier rolling carts with dual pegboards and hooks, so we recommend starting with one with these features. The baskets and hooks are perfect for storing sketch pads, charcoals, pencils, a pencil box, paints, yarn, or any other craft items that need to be tidy and accessible. Using clear containers is a good option for little hands, so that they can see which supplies are inside. 

We love how this art cart is set up:

Label Everything

Research shows that when storage containers and items are clearly labeled, we are more likely to return items to their proper places. Not only do we return items to their designated place, but all of the household members are more likely to return items to their labeled places, even young children. Using labels in our art space will help to keep it tidy for months and years to come. 

We love the Talented Kitchen Craft Labels in a script. The font is artsy and elegant and the labels include heading such as:

  • Acrylic Paints
  • Watercolors
  • Paint Brushes
  • Pens
  • Colored Pencils
  • Needlework

The pack of labels has all of the art essentials.

Invest In A High-Quality Art Supply Storage System

If you have limited space or aren't sure how to organize your designated art area, consider investing in a high-quality art supply storage system with vertical storage and small containers.

A solid storage system for art supplies is one of the best ways to organize and benefit different types of art supplies. A well-designed storage system can help you keep your supplies neatly tucked away, out of sight and out of mind, until you need them. With the correct type of storage system, you can organize your supplies into categories that make sense to you and enable you to find anything quickly when needed.

For those who are serious about art, investing in a high-quality storage system could mean the difference between an overwhelming mess and an efficient, artistic workspace. Quality systems should be made with sturdy materials like wood or metal, which will last longer and look more attractive than cheaper alternatives. Invest in drawer organizers, stacking bins, adjustable shelves, or wall-mounted racks to make sure that each item has a specific place.

An added bonus of investing in an organized storage system is that it can also help keep art projects clean by containing the dust created by any paper goods or other media. Plus, with everything put away neatly, you can easily spot items that need replacing or restocking instead of keeping too much excess around. With just a bit of effort in selecting and setting up an organized storage system for your art supplies, you will experience the benefits for years to come.

We love this art supply storage cabinet by Martha Stewart because it is a great solution for both kids and adults.

Use A Chest Of Drawers

If a high-quality art supply cabinet is not within your budget, consider using a chest of drawers. You may have one in your home already, or you can pick one up at a yard sale. With some drawer dividers and clear acrylic containers, you can use a set of drawers to create your own custom art supply organizing system for a fraction of the cost.

Assemble A Portable Art Caddy

Many times, art is best created in nature. Organize a to-go art materials caddy for those times when you are inspired to create outdoors or away from your art studio. If you work with multiple mediums, assemble an art caddy for each type of art. One art caddy can have charcoals, pencils, and sketchbooks. Another art caddy can have acrylic paints, small canvases, paintbrushes, and medium. We love this clear acrylic art caddy because you can see everything inside, and it is easy to clean.

Use Wall Space With Pegboards

If space is limited, take advantage of vertical space with pegboards. With a few sheets of pegboard and some hooks, loops, and baskets, you can easily create art supply storage using wall space.

Whether you are a serious artist or you create as part of a peaceful and creative life, now is a great time to figure out the best way to organize art supplies in your home. A tidy art space will inspire creativity and joy.

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