Tips & Techniques

Tuesday Tip: Pencil and Pen Storage


First off, 90% of my art studio is IKEA furniture. I have 5 2×5 Kallax shelf units. My goal is to keep everything at hand, but not have the room look like everything is at hand. I find these shelves and some boxes go a long way. Each unit on these shelves is 13x15x13 inches. I dedicate one unit to pencils and one to markers.

Pencil Storage

Pencils can be stored vertically, so I bought a wicker wine caddy. I insert a cup into each wine bottle spot and fill it with a different pencil type. I can pull the entire wine basket off the shelf easily and put it back just as quickly. I can also remove one cup of pencils from it if I want to decrease the footprint of supplies on my workspace. Here’s how I have them sorted:

I got my wine caddy at Joss and Main. They don’t currently have the same one, but just looking at what IS available is inspiring. Check out their current wine caddy options.

Pen/Marker Storage

For my pens, I knew I needed to store them horizontally so the ink stays evenly distributed and has consistent flow. (Some people say Gel pens are exceptions and should be stored vertically with tips pointing down.) I know there are products that you can slide each pen into, but for me that’s not practical. Not only do they take up a lot of space, but I have a lot of different types of pens and I don’t want to spend time figuring out which hole each marker needs to go into after I’m done creating. Also, as with my pencils, I wanted a modular storage solution meaning I could grab one kind of pen and take it to my desk. I found these “X cubes” on Amazon that suited me perfectly. I bought 4 and stacked them up 2×2 in a Kallax shelf unit. I then use the X dividers to separate types of markers and cool/warm colors. I can grab whichever small cube has the pen type I need and move it to my desk, then quickly put it away. Here’s how I have my pens/markers sorted:

There you have it. Some easy storage solutions that might help you in your workspace. I’ll do a full studio tour someday when it’s all clean (ha!).

Tags: organization, storage

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