Top Tips to Conquer Coloring Supply Overload

Getting started with adult coloring is relatively simple. First, you need to stock up on the right coloring tools that will help you free your creativity, a room or space where you can practice your art, and of course, lots of motivation.

As with any hobby, part of the fun is acquiring the supplies. From coloring books and journals to colored pencils, pens, and markers, there is a wide array of coloring supplies to choose from (and hoard). While having an endless rainbow of color options is exciting, amassing tons of art supplies can also bring organization and storage challenges–which can quickly turn adult coloring from magical to messy.

So what is the best way to deal with your coloring supply overload? How do you avoid that all-too-common dilemma of having to search your entire house to find your favorite blue marker?

Here, we share four easy ways to help you get more organized and keep your coloring books, pens, pencils, and markers in tip-top shape.

First, sort through your supplies

art supplies

One of the first things you need to do is unload everything from your arts and crafts room. Literally everything. Gather all your coloring books, coloring pens, pencils, gel pens, markers, and all other tools, and go KonMaRi on them.

For those who are unfamiliar, the KonMari Method is a radical approach to decluttering a home or office. It was popularized by Japanese organizing consultant and author Marie Kondo and has become a cultural phenomenon since. The approach is all about being mindful of the things you own and getting rid of stuff that does not “spark joy.” You can try this approach with your coloring supplies.

Start with your coloring books. Pick up all your books and thumb through each page. Ask yourself how often you have actually colored in it. Do you know someone who would not only love it but would actually color in it? Are 50% of the pages colored? Are any of the pages or covers ripped?

Next, go through all your colored pencils, markers, gels pens, etc. Make sure to weed out things like broken pens or pencils, gel pens or markers that have dried out, and other coloring supplies that you’re not really into anymore.

Find out if the things you’re discarding can still be donated

Just because you no longer have use for your old coloring books and supplies doesn’t mean they should all go to trash. Check your pile to see whether some things can still be gifted or donated. You can drop off some of your stuff at your local Goodwill, in secondhand shops, your local library, or nearby nursing homes. Coloring can bring so much joy and calm to anyone, so there’s no doubt that you will make someone’s day by donating your old but usable supplies.

Take inventory of what’s left

If you’ve reached this point, then congratulations! Decluttering is often difficult and can be an emotionally draining and anxiety-inducing exercise. It takes self-awareness–and a whole lot of debate with oneself–to finally learn to part with things that bring (or has brought) us joy, in this case, our arsenal of coloring supplies. And now that you have finally gotten rid of unnecessary coloring clutter, you can now focus on organizing and caring for your supplies.

Separate the remaining items into piles. By grouping similar items, you’ll have an easier time figuring out what kind of storage you need for each category.

Prepare for storage wars

Once you know which items you will be keeping, you can now start looking for containers that work well with the coloring materials that you have. A trip to IKEA usually solves everything, but you can also find tons of DIY inspiration online. (Because frankly, nobody really goes to IKEA to buy just one thing, right?)

Here are some ideas:

For coloring books

    • Repurposed shutter book rack – This DIY tutorial is all about repurposing shutters to create a magazine holder. But it’s such a beauty–your coloring books would no doubt hang on these slats just as well as those magazines!
    • DIY Homework Caddy – Made using recycled boxes, this Homework Caddy is easily customizable to suit your supplies. Not only will it house your books, you can also add some sections to store your pens and markers.
    • DIY Bookends – You can never go wrong with these DIY Bookends to organize your coloring books. You can sort your books into categories, such as patterns, mandalas, floral designs, or animal designs.

For coloring tools

  • The original case – High quality pens or pencils usually come well-packaged in sturdy cases or bags. ColorIt’s pencils, gel pens, and markers, for instance, come in premium travel cases so you can keep them organized and transportable without fuss.
  • DIY Wall-mounted pencil display – This DIY wall-mounted pencil display hits two birds with one stone. Aside from keeping your pens, pencils, and markers organized, it also helps you show your love for coloring, loud and proud!

handmade wall-mounted pencil holder by

  • Happy Dance Color Cart – If you need something mobile, this Happy Dance Color Cart is a great solution. Made from an IKEA rolling utility cart, this funky cart can easily accommodate all your supplies–from your coloring pages and books to your pens and pencils. You can also wheel it from room to room and take your art with you.
  • DIY Rotating Craft Caddy – Another way to keep your craft space organized is by using this DIY Rotating Craft Caddy. This is a stylish addition to your coloring table and keeps everything within reach.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your coloring materials and supplies organized is a key part of having an enjoyable coloring experience. When inspiration strikes, you’d want to know where exactly to go for the tool you’re looking for–not spend hours searching the house for that one shade of Creamy Yellow. So make sure to keep your arsenal in order to bring back the magic, and not the mess, in coloring.

As always, let your creativity flow and happy coloring!

  1. I love the idea of having the utility cart.It is a great idea for all the supplies. Also I like the caddy for all pencils & pens also glitter pens and keeping them all in order.

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