How to Organize Markers, Pens, and Pencils: A Comprehensive Guide

7 minute read
Altenew Artist Markers with their alphanumeric designations

Trying to organize markers, pens, and colored pencils in your stash, but not sure where to start? Stay tuned; we’ll teach you how! 

Organizing markers, pens, and colored pencils may seem like a simple task, but an efficient and systematic approach can enhance your creativity, productivity, and overall workspace aesthetics. A well-organized stationery setup not only makes it easier to locate and use your tools but also contributes to a more conducive and inspiring creative environment. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the steps on how to organize markers, pens, and colored pencils. Let’s get started!

1. Evaluate and Sort Your Collection.

Best way to organize markers Tip #1: Evaluate and sort through your collection

Before diving into organization methods, take a moment to evaluate your collection of markers, pens, and colored pencils.

Sort through them, checking for duplicates, damaged items, or those that need replacement. Discard items that are no longer usable or donate them if they are in good condition. This initial step will help streamline your stationery collection.

2. Categorize and Organize Your Stash.

Often for large collections of markers, pens, and colored pencils, you’ll need a system of organization. It's kind of like how libraries have the Dewey Decimal System to organize books. It helps you get easier access to the supplies you need when you need them.

So, what organizational systems should you consider?

Type-Based Categorization

This is one of the easiest ways to categorize and organize your writing implements. Divide your markers, pens, and colored pencils into categories based on their type. Group similar items together, creating distinct categories for different colors, sizes, and functions. For example:

  • Organize markers into categories like fine-tip, brush-tip, and dual-tip markers. 
  • Categorize pens based on ink type – gel, ballpoint, etc. 
  • Sort colored pencils by brand or color intensity.
One of the best ways to organize markers is to keep them in the boxes and containers they came in!

Color-Coding System

Implement a color-coding system to enhance organization further. Assign specific colors to different categories or types of markers, pens, and colored pencils. This system not only aids quick identification but also adds a visually appealing aspect to your workspace. You can use colored containers, labels, or stickers to indicate the color code.

Alphabetical/Numerical Order

For larger collections, consider organizing markers, pens, and colored pencils alphabetically or numerically. Assign a unique identifier to each item and arrange them accordingly. This method is particularly useful for easily locating specific tools, especially if you have a diverse and extensive collection.

Pro tip: Some brands already have this system in place for their markers. For example, Altenew’s Alcohol Markers come with a designated alphanumeric system that categorizes colors based on their hue, saturation, and brightness. This system helps you easily identify and match colors with their families, taking the guesswork out of color combinations!

Organizing markers by color or labels greatly help with accessibility

Learn How to Organize Markers and Other Crafting Supplies!

3. Select Suitable Containers.

Invest in containers that suit the specific needs of each category. For markers, consider using containers with compartments or slots to store them horizontally and prevent tip damage. Pens may be organized in pen holders, and colored pencils can be stored in pencil cases or cups. Transparent containers are preferable to easily identify the contents.

How to organize markers and pens tip #3: Find eco-friendly containers

Eco-Friendly Containers to Organize Markers, Pens, and Pencils

You might think storing and organizing markers, pencils, and pens would require specialized organizers, but they don’t. You can easily find some suitable storage options from within your house! Here are various methods for storing your writing tools:

  1. Mason jars and mugs – You can store your pencils in jars or mugs. You can add fillers at the bottom of the jar (small marbles or beads) to keep your pencils separated and upright.
  2. Old wine rack – Most pens and markers need to be stored horizontally to avoid drying out. If you have an old used wine rack, that would be perfect for them.
  3. Their original cases – Sometimes, the markers and pens come with their own storage when you purchase them, so why not utilize those? Copic and Zig markers, for example, often have their own cases. Even Altenew’s 24-Color Acrylic Marker Set comes in a cool case!
  4. Empty paint cans – If you have empty paint cans lying around, you can clean them and modify them into storage containers.
Altenew Acrylic Markers come with their own organizer for markers - a sturdy translucent case

Pro tip: If you have smaller empty paint cans, try gluing them together and decorating them. Lay them on their side, and voila! You have your DIY pen and marker holder!

Other options include:

  • Pen holders or pen caddies
  • Tin pails or small tin buckets
  • Multi-drawer storage chests
  • Tackle boxes
  • Tool organizers
  • Shoe containers (preferably clear ones) 
  • Photo storage boxes
  • Revolving kitchen organizers
  • Silverware drawer organizers

You can use small containers for organizing pens and markers.

4. Prioritize Accessibility.

Arrange your containers in a way that prioritizes accessibility. Frequently used markers, pens, or colored pencils should be within arm's reach, while those used less frequently can be placed in a slightly less accessible location. This arrangement ensures a smooth workflow and minimizes the time spent searching for the right tool.

5. Utilize Desk Organizers.

Desk organizers are versatile tools for decluttering your workspace. Consider getting organizers with various compartments to accommodate markers, pens, and colored pencils separately. Some organizers also feature additional compartments for paper clips, sticky notes, and other stationery items, contributing to an overall tidy workspace.

To give you some organization inspiration, here’s a quick tour of Nicole’s crafting space!

6. Find Portable Storage Solutions.

If you often work in different locations or are always taking your crafting and projects on the go, consider portable storage solutions. 

Use pencil cases, zipper pouches, or other travel-sized containers to keep a selection of essential markers, pens, and colored pencils that you can easily carry with you. You can also use marker bags or old purses and handbags to store markers. This ensures that you have your favorite tools wherever creativity strikes.

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7. Maintain and Regularly Clean Your Supplies.

Maintain the organization by establishing a routine for cleaning and tidying up your stationery supplies. Regularly check for misplaced items and return them to their designated places. This habit prevents clutter from accumulating and ensures that your organization system remains effective over time.

How to organize your markers tip #7: regularly maintain and clean your supplies.

8. Remember to Store Them Away from Extreme Temperatures.

Sunlight may be a life-giving form of energy to most living things, but for markers and pens, it’s their mortal enemy. On the other hand, cold environments can harm markers, too.

Altenew's transparent pouches make good markers storage organizer.

Keep your markers and pens out of direct sunlight and store them at room temperature — avoid exposing them to extremes. Very cold or hot temperatures can harm the quality of your coloring supplies. 

9. Add Personalization and Aesthetics to Your Space.

Enhance your workspace by incorporating personal touches and aesthetics into your organization. Decorative containers, custom labels, or themed arrangements can make your stationery setup not only functional but also visually appealing.

Let’s take a look at Jen’s crafting space and how she’s turned it into a comfy corner to craft in!

Why is this important?

A well-designed workspace can contribute to a positive and inspiring creative atmosphere. It’s more than just about looks and aesthetics; it plays a crucial role in enriching your creative process.

Altenew markers and crafting supplies including stamps, stencils, and dies

When you remove clutter and keep your workspace tidy, you'll find it easier to locate your supplies, work with greater precision, and maintain a smooth workflow. These advantages allow you to fully engage in paper crafting, whether you're creating beautiful greeting cards or capturing precious memories in your scrapbook designs.

A tidy workspace is a catalyst for creativity, so embrace the benefits of a tidy environment to enhance your paper crafting creativity to the fullest. 

Experience the Benefits of Organizing Markers, Pens, and Pencils Today!

Organizing markers in a big bucket or container also helps with accessibility.

Organizing markers, pens, and colored pencils involves a thoughtful approach to categorization, container selection, accessibility, and maintenance. Tailor your organization system to suit your workflow and personal preferences. 

By implementing these strategies, you can create a well-organized and visually pleasing workspace that enhances your creativity and productivity.

Discover Tips and Tricks to Organize Markers and Crafting Tools!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best way to store and organize markers?

Your should store your markers in an upright or horizontal position, especially single-ended markers such as Sharpies, highlighters, gel pens, fine liner pens, and others. Others may consider storing them upside down to ensure that the ink remains in contact with the felt tip fibers and does not dry out. However, this also increases the risk of ink leakage, which could potentially cause spillage and damage to your crafting area and other supplies stored nearby.

Where can I buy markers, pens, and pencils for crafting?

You can purchase paper crafting supplies from crafts stores near you or online retailers such as Altenew. These days, it's easier to shop for paper craft supplies online and have them conveniently delivered to your doorstep. Altenew provides a diverse selection of crafting items, which includes markers, pens, and pencils!

Does Altenew sell products that help with organizing markers, pens, and pencils?

Definitely! Altenew has a great selection of crafting supply organizers, like the Craft Your Life Tote Bag, storage pouches in various sizes, the Dreaming in Watercolor Pocket Zipper Pouch, the Zip ‘n’ Stash Zipper Mesh pouches, and the Zip ‘n’ Keep pouches.


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