When I was first starting out as a professional artist, one of the challenges I faced was trying to figure out how to manage my small studio space. I had art supplies floating around, boxes halfway unpacked, and papers stuffed everywhere. Not to mention the mess of the artwork itself? My paintings just sat around on the floor hoping not to be stepped on. This had to stop! Although some would argue that artists deal well in chaos and disorder, I just felt more stressed and confused than anything.

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, than the following tips might be helpful:

Keep Your Space Clean

It is essential that you keep your artist space clean. Again, I will mention that there are those out there that would prefer the chaos, but I have found a clean environment more efficient. You’ll have an easier time finding the supplies you need, and your artwork will have a clean space to be stored.

Store Supplies Neatly

Supplies should be stored in a closet, cabinet, or on shelves. It’s easier to keep them organized, and it saves you money in the long run because you can keep track of your inventory. In the past, I found that I would lose supplies and purchase additional ones I didn’t need because I wasn’t storing my supplies properly.

Organize Paperwork

You don’t have to file your paperwork every day, but it’s a good idea to keep it all in one place. I empty out my receipts and print out copies of online transactions every day. I place them all in proper folders and then go through accounting at the end of each month. If you don’t put all the paperwork in a place where you can find it, most likely it will get lost in the shuffle. You could lose money in the long run if you do not keep proper documentation of expenses for taxes.

Store Artwork Properly

Storing artwork should really be called its own form of art. I work with oils and I have noticed that they are quite finicky. I recommend storing wet paintings on a drying rack, dry paintings should be framed and shored with a plastic cover over the frame if the painting is not hanging up. I would also recommend covering prints with archival plastic bags so they don’t get damaged over time.

Create Calendar

I have no idea why I was so resistant to the idea of a calendar, but it took me a long time to finally embrace the calendar. Now I use one on my smartphone, and I have a physical calendar in my studio. The calendar is essential and it helps with staying organized, especially if you have a lot of artwork going in and out of your studio.

Hopefully these simple (often overlooked) tips can be a great start for anyone who is trying to reduce clutter in their studio space. Taking a day to clean out your art studio can be quite therapeutic. Why not give it a try?

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