Recently I added wire shelving to my studio as a flat-file alternative.
I typically clean up my studio in January, organize supplies, and consider changes. I had a table with a stack of paper; a medley of unused watercolor paper, works in progress, sketches, and finished paintings. The pile had become relatively high, and I knew I had to find a better way.
The traditional method of storing large sheets of paper is a flat file cabinet, but I couldn’t justify the expense right now, plus I also wanted something manageable to move.
After searching, I found a wire shelving unit at my local Walmart. This unit has wire shelves that are 48″ wide by 24″ deep.
On the third shelf up, there are full sheets of watercolor paper on the left and 1/2 sheets on the right. Lots of room!
This unit can be 72″ high, but I opted to keep it 36″ tall by not using the second set of corner posts. This gives each shelf about 6 – 7″ in height and is the perfect place to store paper and paintings in progress.
Of course, there are a few disadvantages to this. The paper is not protected from light and dust. Plus, this takes up quite a bit of space but only a little more than my table. It’s not the prettiest thing to look at, but I like seeing my paper and paintings.
If you’re interested in trying shelves like this, look for a shelving unit that is 24″ deep by at least 36″ wide, which is enough for a full sheet. (Mine is 48″L x 24″W x 36″H .) Here are some other features to look for:
- Adjustable shelves with wire decking (some have particle board which can warp over time)
- Shelves adjust in 1 1/2″ increments to give you options on shelf height.
- Easy rivet-lock assembly, no nuts or bolts, but I needed a rubber mallet.
- Assembles vertically or 2 side-by-side units (see photo on right). This means the corner posts come in two sections, so you can opt to keep it shorter and include all five shelves on one shorter section.
On another studio storage note, I’ve been using the clear Art Bin Super Satchel boxes for over a year, and I still love them. I have labels on the outside, so I know what goes in each one (there’s a total of 14, so labels are necessary). Inside some of the boxes are drawer organizers to keep things tidy.
The reason why these boxes work well for me is that everything has a home. Plus, since there is only so much room, I limit what I have. They have kept me organized for a year now!
These Super Satchel boxes are 15 x 14 x 3.5 inches (L x W x H). They have latches and carrying handles. I’ve found the best price at Joann, where they are currently on sale.
And now, my yearly studio clean-up is done. Time to get to work and make some messes!
The studio is less important than other things, like the burning desire to paint. If you don’t have this disease, you can’t catch it from a nice studio.-WARREN CRISWELL
That looks so nice, I love the feeling of everything has a place so I know where to put things and I don’t need to search to find what I need.
Thanks for the excuse of a messy studio … it must be my burning desire to paint … even though my friends know my leanings towards being a slob. But I am now going with the “burning desire” mantra.
Dale, glad I could enable the slob in you! 😉
Debi, your organizational skills are inspiring! I think of you when I’m trying to decide if I should keep something or not. 🙂
Your space looks so organized. You’re inspiring me. I like the idea of having a special time of the year to get everything in its place. I just returned from my sister’s in California. She’d had a hip replacement surgery. When I went to hang up my clothes in my room, the closet was empty. Now that’s a totally new concept to me! She and you have both inspired me!
Thank you, Nancy. An empty closet? That is a new concept, haha. I hope you had a nice time with your sister – I’m sure she appreciated your help.
so calming! You are inspiring me to go to the next level of organization!. Currently mostly cubbies with those cube things, or stacks of paper or small canvases. I could do better!
but I’m curious about all those clips that are almost off screen to the right of your boxes. What do you use those for?
Thanks, Karen! I bet your studio is pretty tidy already. I use those clips to clip watercolor paper to a board. I store them by clipping them to a ribbon hanging in the closet, but they are not usually lined up that neatly, ha!
I love your organization. I have a table of disorganization like the one you described first before you found you shelving unit. I definitely much get better organized. My studio space is very small 12’x12’.
Thanks Bambi! There are plenty of days when my studio looks pretty chaotic. My room is about the same size as yours, except it’s not a square, but I’m thankful to have the space.