organizing the studio closet

by | Jan 6, 2020 | All Things Home, Decorating, Home Studio, My House, Organizing | 23 comments

This was looooooooong overdue.  Jeff and I built this closet in my studio in the spring of 2019 and I just threw everything in.  It was a busy season and when things are behind closed doors, I can let them slide for a while.  It was getting out of control, though.  There was an avalanche of frames and photography gear just about every time I opened the doors.  I would growl, get what I needed, and close the doors as quickly as possible.  It’s not how I envisioned using this closet.  This was supposed to give me thoughtful, organized storage for the bulky gear needed for certain aspects of my business.  Instead, it was something I would give the stinkeye when I viewed it from my desk.

When a storage solution turns into that, it’s really time to address it and I knew it wouldn’t take much time or effort.  It wasn’t a stuff issue.  I didn’t have to sort for hours and agonize over what to keep or what to let go.  I just needed better, smarter, more functional organization for what was there.

I took everything out of the closet, so I could start fresh.  I knew I needed to get some things up off the floor, so I purchased a few oversized garage hooks to mount on the back wall.  This would give me a place to hang frames, bags, and even tripods and light stands.  Since the wall is wood planking, I was able to insert the screws directly into the wall.  If you’re mounting something like this on drywall, I would suggest using anchors or mounting the hooks into a stud.

Getting the frames off the floor was huge.  No more avalanche and the frames would be better protected from dings and dents.

I organized my “watercolor & sketching cart” that I can roll out when I’m working on my drafting table as well…

And tidied up everything else.  A huge portion of the middle shelf is completely empty, so there is room to expand if and when I need to.

I just love empty space in closets and drawers!  Anyone else?  A packed closet stresses me out.  I like having some room for things to breathe and for me to see it all easily.


I also took some time to reorganize my oil painting cart.  It was a jumble of resource books, bottles of oils and solvents, sketchbooks, etc.  Adding an antique locker basket helped to contain the sketchbooks, color charts, and resource photos, and I thinned out the supplies I wasn’t using regularly enough to keep them on the cart.

It’s a little thing, but I did some painting last week and it made a huge difference.  I could easily find and access everything, making painting even more enjoyable, because I wasn’t fighting with my workspace.

These areas in the studio have been on the top of my organizing to-do list for a while, so it feels good to get them done.  I have a lot more organizing to do through January, so I’m going to try to set aside some time each week to tackle different areas.

Are you using doing some organizing this winter, too?


  1. Rachel

    I am organizing my kids closets today. I have 5 kids and one on the way. We have girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, so I’ve had to save everything along the way. I am paring it all down to what I love and what is necessary. I saw that you had a blog up about organizing, so I read it to further inspire me to keep at it. 🙂 Enjoy your organizing!

  2. Cathy

    I’m still working on my art space as well. 6 months into the mission it about to evolve again. It’s a semi-public part of the house (an Arizona room) so I want it to be organized chaos, not the garden variety. I like your carts so I’m going to take that idea and make it work for me. I love your oils. I want to do the same thing with some petite watercolors.

  3. Jill

    You have some wonderful frames there! I collect old frames from thrift stores and have found some beauties for pennies, practically. Now when I paint I pick the frame first!

  4. Kim

    I like that this is what a REAL storage closet in most people’s houses would look like, not a super stylized makeover of uniformity!

  5. Joy in Alabama

    I listened to and then bought Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. I’m going to do the projects this year. This is not an organization book but she does have you think through things in your home. We moved recently and the storage room is a frustrating jungle so I want to start there. We are planning to retire with the next move and I want to not only pare down but give things to the kids, such as their christening dresses and photos. and I have finally admitted to myself I will never get them in albums but I might can get them into photo boxes. I cannot rest in a cluttered house but closets and storage rooms tend to get away from me.

  6. Suzi

    Just started a new company – Vintage Rentals by Suzi. Organization is at the top of my list. Need to have all the Milk Glass, China, Crystal, Silver, Decor items and so much more arranged for easy access. Thanks for sharing your cabinet ideas.

  7. Lisa Bivona

    Looked ok to me, but I know what you mean. It gets out of hand.

  8. beverlee lyons

    You are the only other person I have heard say that they loved empty drawers and shelves. That makes me so happy to know I have ‘room’. You are more apt to put things away when everything is not full to the brim, when there is room. That is the BEST feeling.

    • Terry

      Agreed, so much easier to be tidy when not fighting to put things away!

  9. Missy

    I completely changed out all the decor that occupies the tops of my cabinets today and replaced it with new items that feel more like this “new” home. We moved in about a year and a half ago but our pantry was still very much in need of a good overhaul. It was sort of a mess. So I moved things out of it that weren’t often used and put them in the huge deep cabinet over my refrigerator. So much better. I have space now that is bare on some shelves! I am 65 years old and it’s difficult to get on the ladder anymore. But I did it today! There’s something in the air I guess-everyone seems to be getting their “stuff” organized!

  10. Traci

    Yes! Its so therapeutic finishing projects that have been lingering.

    Looks perfect!

  11. FIL

    Somewhere she needs a picture of a llama.

    • Kim

      🤫 don’t tell her that Mike. It will never fit

  12. Cindy Coghill

    Since I broke my hand and can’t make my maps, I decided to clean out the garage where I do my work. That led to an even more thorough purging so I could get my van in the garage. I’m so excited that I won’t have to clean my car for the rest of the winter. Cleaning and purging are so good for the soul.

  13. Karen K from Buffalo

    I am going to tackle my pantry which hasn’t been cleaned out in several years. It’s gotten to the point that I can only get to the stuff in the front. (Sad) Tomorrow Amazon is delivering some bins that will help to contain items & I will be able to slide them out. Wish me luck!!

  14. Irene Kelly

    Thank You for the inspiration and all your tips. The biggest lead you gave me this past Christmas were the sleigh bells from Target you told us about. I got right on it and ordered four boxes and so glad I did I love them. Every year I tie bells onto most of my gifts and buy them all year long to stock up. People have told me their kitty cats love them so I tied one of my home made pompoms on the bells. Thank You !

  15. MaryLisa

    Looks amazing! Something about January that makes us want to purge and organize. I too love the empty spaces!

  16. Laurie

    Yes, my sewing room became a disaster and I am slowly digging out and making some improvements at the same time

    A tip on frame storage from an artist who worked in a gallery… frames “front to front and back to back.” It will protect the fronts better.

  17. Kim

    Love that you use vintage locker baskets. I have one for my onions and potatoes in my pantry and one corrals my cookbooks. Makes me happy to open the cabinet and see them! In process of Christmas UNdecorating-purging as I go. So much stuff!

  18. Marilla

    Yes, I have several organization projects that I need to tackle–my laundry room being the first priority. Things that we didn’t know what to do with when we moved landed on the shelves, and I haven’t taken time to go through everything yet. Also, I have four of those antique locker baskets left by the previous owner of our home in the garage! My husband wanted to through them away, but I protested because sure that I could find a use for them even though I had no idea what they were. Now, I know!

  19. susan

    oh, this picture. I was immensely happy to see that you had a messy space. I often times was secretly jealous of your home, it is so tidy and organized and homey. And then they thoughts came pouring in…. why can’t I live like that? This post was exactly what I needed today, thanks for being honest and sharing this space. You have incentivized me! (ist that a word?)

  20. Melissa

    Love the organization! I was wondering if you have a post on how you made the frame with what looks like a green chalkboard interior…is it a chalkboard inside? I have a frame and love how your index cards look hanging, I want to try something similar!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

Let's Connect


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!

decorating, projects, and recipes for winter

  • parker house rolls
    Have you tried the “Parker House Rolls” recipe by Half Baked Harvest?  You can find the printable recipe and all of the details HERE.  I made them last year for […]
  • mini advent stocking tutorial | Christmas crafts
    Disclosure: This mini advent stocking tutorial is sponsored by Walmart.  As always, all words and opinions shared are honest and my own. When I shared my mini advent stockings just […]
  • polymer clay ornaments & tags | christmas crafts
    Are you ready for another Christmas craft?  I have just a couple more to share this week leading up to Christmas.  I have been wanting to play with polymer clay […]
  • custom cut gift tags | Christmas crafts
    Disclosure: This post on custom cut gift tags is sponsored by Walmart.  As always, all words and opinions are honest and my own. I’m squeezing in as much Christmas crafting […]


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This