How to Organize Your Collage and Altered Art Supplies

As I collect more and more art supplies for creating collages and altered art , I need to be more organized. I collect all types of papers, fabrics and found objects for my art, and I’ve slowly run out of space for all of this material, so I have to be clever in where I store it and how I organize everything. Here are some tips on organizing and keeping your art supplies under control.

I’m not a naturally neat and organized person. In fact, I am quite the opposite, and must constantly struggle against my true natural tendency towards messiness in order to keep some semblance of sanity and order in my home. And it is doubly hard having several small children and their assorted belongings underfoot to consider as well.

I do not have an overly large house, in fact it is rather small for the amount of possessions and people in the home. In regards to storing my art supplies, I must take into account the small amount of storage and work space, as well as keeping everything out of the reach of my children.

My main work area is a dining room table, which is, ironically, in my living room. This is where I do the majority of my art work, for reasons relating to having to keep a close eye on the kids. I can only keep a small amount of materials on my work table, usually just the things I am working on for my current project. The rest I keep on a table up in my bedroom, and the things I use the least I keep stored away in various places.

This must sound confusing, but it really isn’t. It’s only inconvenient. To reduce confusion, I keep a notebook with a list of all my materials and where in storage they are located. I can almost always find what I’m looking for.

I have a large table in my bedroom which is off limits to my kids, and out of their reach. This is where I keep in the open most of the items I normally use, neatly organized. I have sections for glues and other adhesives, polymer clay supplies, and other areas for general supplies. I keep rows of glass jars with different items like beads, old clock parts, buttons, paintbrushes, and everything else. I like to use glass jars for containers so I can easily see what is what. I also don’t have to take everything out when I’m looking for a specific piece. I just look at the jars.

I keep my collage papers in an old file cabinet, and file in regular filing folders by category. For smaller clippings and papers, I just stick them in an envelope and put the envelope in the proper category folder.

As long as I keep my inventory list up to date, this system keeps me relatively organized and lets me concentrate on my art.

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