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Paper Storage At Last!

Updated on January 20, 2014

As an architect, a theater scenic designer, and a collage artist I desperately needed to store papers safely, neatly, and, if possible... cheaply.

If you do scrapbooking, collage, small design projects, or any other art involving smaller pieces of paper You Have the Same Problem.

Sure there are such things as flat files. Lovely flat files designed expressly to safely house drawings. Sleek steel flat files and rich-looking oak flat files.

But for one thing, these files are usually huge, meant for large format drawings (and I tend to work on smaller scale 11" x 17" sheets). Besides, losing little drawings in big drawers, where in my modest sized house could I fit such a monster? And if I could find house room for one... how could I afford it? Even used and battered flat files cost hundreds of dollars. (Because they're so cool!)

I could, however, afford pizza boxes.

So for years and years my home office was lined with stacks of pizza boxes - labeled by project. It is, I discovered, very important that these be CLEAN pizza boxes. I got very strange looks from the guy behind the pizza store's counter each time I explained that, no, I wanted to buy the BOX from him - not the PIZZA!

For years this was my best solution to the drawing storage problem. It wasn't perfect, because pizzas are, you'll notice, sorta circular - requiring a square box - while my drawings were rectangular. So they slid from side to side in these boxes and one long paper edge had to curl up just the least bit to fit.

This cool box HERE is the idea answer.

A perfectly sized, sturdy, and acid-free! archival box designed to hold papers just like mine or yours. They're not crazy-cheap, but they're sure cheaper and easier to fit into your space than a flat file! I've switched my whole office over to boxes like these.

And love 'em!

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cheapest storage: the PIZZA BOX!My studio.  Spiffy 11" x 17" boxes are stored on shelves under that layout table to my left as I draw - and I still have knee space too.Don't we all love the cool-itude of labeled drawers?  Label your boxes clearly.
Cheapest storage: the PIZZA BOX!
Cheapest storage: the PIZZA BOX!
My studio.  Spiffy 11" x 17" boxes are stored on shelves under that layout table to my left as I draw - and I still have knee space too.
My studio. Spiffy 11" x 17" boxes are stored on shelves under that layout table to my left as I draw - and I still have knee space too.
Don't we all love the cool-itude of labeled drawers?  Label your boxes clearly.
Don't we all love the cool-itude of labeled drawers? Label your boxes clearly.
Figuring out what your studio needs...
Figuring out what your studio needs...

Figuring out not just your storage problems, but exactly what you need your workspace to DO is vital to making your work efficient and pleasant. Read a blog post of mine on Studio Organization to see better pictures of my boxes at work... plus a discussion of the whys and wherefors of planning a studio. Or read this Squidoo lens on Create a Dorm Room Studio for more on art studio planning in (very) small spaces.

How do you solve YOUR storage problems?

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    • cdevries profile imageAUTHOR

      cdevries 

      4 years ago

      @John Dyhouse: Fruit boxes would be cool! What a good idea. Thanks for visiting!

    • cdevries profile imageAUTHOR

      cdevries 

      4 years ago

      @favored: Trays work well... except that I have LOTS of paper. Often old, finished projects too, that I need to save and keep less dusty. Thanks for visiting!

    • cdevries profile imageAUTHOR

      cdevries 

      4 years ago

      @Craftymarie: The big advantage for me with these boxes is The Lid. Finally I can stack 'em! Thanks for visiting!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      What an innovative idea! Thanks for sharing.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Great review, and it looks like the perfect solution! I do love small drawer storage.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      4 years ago from UK

      I had the same problem and solved it with boxes (stacking) from the produce section of the local supermarket. And they were free. But I must admit a neat and efficient system with drawers would make my "studio" look much neater. thanks for the tip

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      Boxes and bins mostly. I use all types; it depends on the item. I like using stackable trays for my paper though.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Glad you found such a good solution to your storage issue. Thanks for sharing - I'm sure many will appreciate knowing these affordable boxes exist.

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 

      4 years ago

      I loved reading about your fun solution to your paper storage problem. I keep my paper in color coordinated box files but it is not perfect. I'd really love a custom set of paper drawers built to house it all.

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