If you are anything like me, you are kind of loving art supplies – like a lot! If you see a pretty brush, a new type of paper or a color you just need to have – you get it. I am right there with you. But I bet at some point you feel the clutter too!
When is it time to declutter?
Well, that is such a great question and actually one with many answers. Because there can be several reasons why we suddenly feel the itch to clear out.
A very common reason is that we just don’t have the space. Maybe you moved to something smaller, your kids need your office for toys or you just ran out of drawers.
Another reason can be that you have so much stuff that you can’t find what you actually need. You are looking for that brush you love, but have to go through 100 to find it. And by then the paint has dried out half an hour ago.
The reason I feel cluttered is when I feel all the supplies affecting my creativity. In my world, less is more. And I am truly a hoarder when it comes to supplies, so that is not a match made in heaven!
So whatever the reason might be for you, I have 5 tips for you here to help you clear out some space and make room for creativity and new art.
Tip 1: Gather aaaaall your supplies at once
This can actually be quite the job, but I promise you its worth it. Gather all the supplies you have. Brushes, paint tubes, old watercolor sets, waterjars and if you are going for the full craft stash, also bring glueguns, beads and the weird craft supplies. Put it all on the table or preferable on the floor. It’s just easier to walk around the piles on the floor. Now this can be overwhelming, so take a deep breath before the next step.
Tip 2: Sort them into categories
Now the fun begins. As an old librarian (yes, it’s true) this is one of my favourite steps. Sorting everything into piles with a label on it. Brushes, paper, craft to make jewelry, stickers all sorts of things. This step will give you an overview of how much stuff you actually have of a specific thing. You might get surprised at the amount of brushes, I know I did.
Tip 3: Remove what is broken and say goodby with grace
This step is actually very easy and super effective. Remove what is broken. Try your pens and gluesticks to see if they dried out, did you save paperpads without paper? Do you have brushes so worn out that they cant really paint anymore? Find all those things and before you throw it in the bin, I want to encourage you to listen to Marie Kondo. She is a cleaning goddess (fangirl here) and she always says to say goodbye to your stuff with grace. Thank your brushes for the paintings they created, your pens for the drawings they made. Be grateful, and then let go.
Tip 4: What sparks joy with you?
This is also a Marie Kondo tip I adopted. She tells us to keep what sparks you. This might be the hardest tip here, because somehow all the supplies left here sparks joy of some kind. But if you look at bit closer you might have unfinished projects that make you feel bad when looking at them and maybe the 10 gluestick you bought by a mistake can be put to better use by someone else? you know what sparks joy for you.
Tip 5: Now we organise
By now you should have a lot of piles connected to different categories and a big pile of stuff that need to go out and away from your office. More on that in a second. First let’s organize the stuff you WANT to keep. Gather shoeboxes, glass jars, small jewelry boxes or whatever you have to store things. Now you can start putting things in systems. Do you have a drawer? Then fit the boxes neatly in there. And if there is still not enough room, you gotta make a choice. Do the entire thing again to find even more to get rid of, or find more room.
Bonustip: What to do with the piles
So we are now left with a big pil off old artsupplies. And since you love sorting things, why not do so again with the stuff you are getting rid of. Make 4 piles
- Stuff to donate
- Stuff that can be used by your kids (or some kids you know)
- Stuff to sell
- Stuff to throw out
So are you ready to start decluttering you art stash? It can be terrifying when you start out and exhausting in the middle, but I promise you it’s so very much worth it.
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