I’ve accumulated quite a few pens, sticky notes, happy planner inserts, stickers etc. over the years. I have very limited space to store them (I live in an apartment) so here are some tips if you’re looking for better ways to store planner supplies. You might be able to fit more into a small space than you think!
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Tips for storing planner supplies
1. Store pens horizontally
I don’t know if it actually does make the ink lasts longer if it’s level like I’ve read, but the ink seems to flow out better than when stored vertically. I like these clear acrylic drawers – they not only keep the pens horizontal but the drawers are narrow (just under 1.5″ high / 3.5cm high) so I can compartmentalise by brand and by type. Since I took this photo I’ve switched to storing fineliners together in one drawer, ballpoint pens together in another drawer etc..
You could store by color but I prefer to use all the same pen brand for a spread so it’s easier for me to store them by brand.
I do have plenty of pen cups which I used to store upright as intended, but to keep the ink from drying out I now lay the pen cups down on their side.
Some of my favorites I keep on my desk. The rest are in 2 of the clear acrylic drawers (refer photo above, I found them on eBay), and in my IKEA Raskog cart.
The clear acrylic pen cups are from Kikki K.
For a while I was storing my pens by color, but as I usually do multi-colored spreads and like to use the same brand for all pens in the spread, it was taking too long to find the pens I needed.
2. Use clear containers
Especially for washi tape, that way you can see exactly what you have.
3. Washi tape should be in a container with a lid
Not left out in the open where dust can collect on the edges of the stickiness, plus you can store more. I’ve seen some people store washi tape stacked on a paper towel holder but they hardly hold any and there’s no cover to stop dust. Same with sticky notes. I’ve had some on my desk and after a while dust can collect on the sticky part so I store these in containers with a lid too.
If you have a large collection (like my sister does for her shop, Carefully Crafted), we like the IKEA Alex drawers on casters.
4. Store like Items together
I store all my mini washi tape in this nifty little container I found at the Reject shop for only $2! I originally had washi tape stored in the same clear drawers I now store pens (see above) but every time I would slide the drawers open, unless they are jam packed together, the washi tape goes sliding. Plus those drawers aren’t quite high enough for the washi tape to sit upright to see what you easily have.
I like to keep brands together so my Happy Planners are clustered together, followed by the other discbound brands I own. I have all of my planners on one bookcase and all of my bullet journal notebooks in a separate bookcase. I usually store all of them by paper thickness, size and color.
Don’t store like this.. the rainbow colors look good but it’ll take forever to find the washi tape you’re looking for
Since you’re reading my blog I’m going to assume you like washi as much as me and won’t mind some washi photo spam 🙂
5. Use a cart
You probably all know the cart I’m talking about (or have one already) – the IKEA Raskog cart or the Recollections cart. Those carts can hold a lot of stuff and it’s convenient being able to move the supplies around with you. We R Memory Keepers has plenty of compartments you can use to divide up your cart, attach to the cart for even more storage as well as hooks.
I have clear pencil cases like these stacked in containers with all the highlighters and pens I don’t use as often, along with pens that come in cases e.g. the Staedtler Triplus fineliner on my IKEA cart. I was storing them upright which looks good and is easier to find what you’re looking for, but I don’t want the ink drying out.
6. Store sticker books vertically
I store MAMBI sticker books vertically in a plastic basket on my IKEA cart so I can quickly flip through and find what I’m looking for.
I use plastic sleeves for my own printable stickers that I haven’t cut yet.
If there’s any loose stickers, I typically use plastic sleeves in an A5 size binder or…
Related post: How to organize planner stickers
I use these wallets and store them upright on a shelf so I can slide out just the corner, see the label and then slide it back in if it’s not the one I’m looking for.
You can download a copy of these stickers in this post: How to organize planner stickers using folders (plus free printable labels)
I store my Happy Planner inserts on a bookcase in a plastic container with a pull handle in order of size and type (e.g. checklists grouped together) so I can easily find what I need.
7. More tips for storing planner supplies
- I do not use large containers. I need small drawers or a small container with compartments so I can see what I have, plus once you fill a large container it’s going to be heavy and depending what you’re putting in it, potentially too heavy to stack multiple boxes on top of one another
- I like small containers but I don’t want too many compartments. Using something like a tackle box is fine for clips, small post it notes etc. but ends up being annoying for larger items like washi tape – you can’t fit as much in
- I keep all the pens that come in packaging e.g. plastic cases and clear hardcases (like the Staedtler Triplus fineliner) in their original packaging
- I make sure none of my sticker books are bent. The Happy Planner sticker books in particular need to be kept exactly vertical / firmly upright or they start to bend. I do not use the Happy Planner sticker storage boxes. I don’t like cardboard boxes (not sturdy enough)
- I rotate my pens around so that I don’t keep using the same ones and let the ones I’m not using dry out
- If you print printables ahead of time e.g. multiple meal planning pages, I store these in plastic sleeves in 3 ring binders
- I keep my supplies out of direct sunlight so they don’t fade
- I keep all stencils in their original packaging (plastic sleeves with cardstock to keep them flat) and then in a plastic document wallet. I organize similar stencils together e.g. all alphabet stencils, all checklist stencils
- If you’re not using clear containers or drawers, I would label using either the Dymo label maker or the Poooliprint label maker
- I do not leave sticky notes out on my desk. I store sticky notes in a covered container – like with washi tape – to avoid dust collecting on the sticky part. I like to store them upright and by size so I can easily see all of the colors
- I have a pen case with the individual elastic loops for each pen, but quickly found they don’t hold many pens. I don’t recommend them.
- Make sure you check the dimensions before purchasing a storage item. Slanted pen storage like this looks good but is actually very small and won’t hold many pens
More planning tips
- 10 ways to save money when buying planner supplies
- Where to find discs to make a discbound planner or notebook (downloadable comparison)
- Ultimate planner page size guide (with printable reference cheat sheet)
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