It’s been a while since I’ve done some organizing, what with the holidays, so this week I went with something small. Just to get myself back into the mindset, you know.

This is an art caddy that my parents bought for me many, many years ago. It’s still good, but there were some problems with my layout. I had trouble finding the coloring pencils I wanted when I went to color. (Some people use markers, and I know a guy that can do amazing things with crayons. However, if I’m not using the computer I find it easier for me to use coloring pencils, maybe markers for special effects.) On the bottom set of holes they’re rather large, which meant that the pens are flopping around unless they’re big like a regular marker.

The end result was me spinning the thing around all the time trying to find the right size pen or the particular shade of brown I wanted, and things may not necessarily end up where I had them because I didn’t want to try to remember which hole they came from. So a little reorganizing is in order.

There's a lot of extra junk in there, too. However, it's all needed for one thing or another.

See how everything is laid out (well, through the camera flash washout anyway)? There’s no organization to it. It’s just all over the place. So I took everything out and tried to find a new way to set it up. I’ve got three rows of pen/pencil holders, the spot on the top for putting things that don’t fit in there (long rulers, or a highlighter–why do I have three highlighters?), and some storage spots for white out, erasers, and the like.

I tried a few different layouts. I wanted the regular drawing stuff together, but I didn’t want to fight through the coloring pencils to get to them. One thing I noticed is that I could fit three pencils into one of the bottom holes and most of my colors are three different shades. Then I have the pencils that are double-sides, with different colors on each sides, and the ones with a silver streak that made decent colored metal when the silver doesn’t dominate too much. I just noticed little things until finally I had my new layout.

I’m not sure how much you can tell, but I think this works better. The coloring pencils are grouped in threes (although I have to go through again and get a better “color wheel” out of my layout) and it should be easier to find what I’m looking for. All the browns are in the same spot, all of the red, all of the blues, et cetera. The pens are on the second row, but a space left was big enough that I could get to them easier. The regular drawing pencils (a mix of normal and mechanical pencils, plus a mechanical eraser) are on the third level as well. Another advantage to having them in the lower holes will come when they start getting smaller from using them. They’d get lost inside the longer holes at the top eventually.

What about the first level? None of the pens fit in there. They’re little to no use now, but something may come up in the future if I start tweaking a bit more. It’s a small project, but hopefully it will get me back in the organizing and clutter clearing game. I’ve taken too long a break and it was starting to concern me.