Organizing Your Art Supplies with the KonMari Method

Organizing Your Art Supplies with the KonMari Method

When you are a creative person, you tend to accumulate lots of junk. This is especially true if you go into a Creative Field. Being a Freelance Graphic Designer and all around artsy person, I have tons of art supplies. I also have projects from college that I just cannot part with.

In the process of rearranging furniture, I realized it’s easier to move items when they are lighter. So I decided to clean out two of my art drawers and take you all along for the ride. I’ve used the KonMari Method in my bedroom, so I figured my office was another great space to use it again. I’ve read two of the KonMari books and they have been life changing.

For those of you unfamiliar with the KonMari Method, it involves removing the things that no longer bring joy into your life. It makes a lot of sense because there is no room in our hectic lives for things that don’t bring us joy and happiness. There is a specific order of getting rid of clutter.

Start with “clothing”, in which case you’ll be thinking about fabric scraps, crocheting yarn and anything that is soft. Pick up the scraps and touch them, keeping only the scraps that really make you excited about using them in a project.

Then move onto “books”. These include manuals for cameras and your computer programs. This can also include art books and magazines. Things become obsolete so fast. Do you really need a QuarkXpress book from 2008? No you don’t Kelcy.

The next section, called “Komono” represents miscellaneous items. Think about magazine clippings and collateral material you were so inspired by when you first picked them up. If you haven’t looked at them since, they are not inspiring you. Toss them. Still make sure to hold everything and really think about if it brings you joy. I have Anthropologie brand catalogs from around 2010, because I truly love them and they still bring me joy almost 10 years later.

Last, but definitely not least, is the “sentimental” category. These are things that you love and can’t bear to part with. One thing that technology gives us is the way to capture things in a photo, so they no longer take up physical space. The photo above is of a mosaic project I did in college. For years I couldn’t bear to part with it. So I photographed it and I can keep it forever, without the physical space it took up.

I couldn’t share what I did without “before and after” photos. See how it went below.

When I started, the drawers could barely close and I had no idea what was inside those black bags.

I started with “clothing” and threw away most of the fabric scraps in those bags. Most of the scraps were so small and were from projects that had been finished long ago.

The result was a few pieces of fabric what really inspired me to create and nothing that I would never use.

I did the same for the “paper section”. There were a lot of old freelance ads that I had responded to years before. There was no longer a reason to keep them.

Below is the finished result of the “Komono” drawer. There were lots of art supplies that I hadn’t used in years. Among them, paints that had long dried up and pens that didn’t write. Now I can see exactly what is in the drawer and get to everything I need quickly.

Most of my “sentimental” items were in the paper section. There were art projects that I had kept. There were also a lot of duplicates of items like 10 year old Annual Reports I had created that were of no use to anyone now. How many samples for my portfolio do I really need?

I was able to really see the things that bring me joy. The things that really inspire me are there. The things that no longer bring me joy are in a big garbage bag or headed to the Goodwill. Glad I could bring you along for the ride.

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