Keeping track of your supplies is an important part of managing your art room and it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Below are three ways to manage your inventory – without losing your mind.
No matter the tracking system you choose, you’ll need to start with an accurate inventory, so the first step is take all of your supplies OUT of their cupboards, closets, and drawers, and sort them by category and manufacturer. Next, yes, you guessed it – count them! Once you’ve got an accurate tally, choose the solution below that works best for you:
Simple Solution – Stickies!
Purchase large-sized Sticky Notes or tape notebook pages onto your supply cupboard doors. You’re going to need one note or page per type of material. For example, you will likely need a note or page for acrylic paints, another for tempera, one for paper, another for inks, etc. On each note or page, tally each supply you have, including:
- Manufacturer & Product Name
- Quantity of Each Color
- Optional – color swatch or dab
- Website Where Purchased
Each time you use a unit, you’ll need to update the quantity on your Sticky Note or page and take a good look at the new total – is it time to reorder?
Digital Solution – Spreadsheet!
Perhaps a cleaner way to keep track of your inventory is to create a spreadsheet to track your usage, but you’ve got to remember to update it! If you’re an “out of sight, out of mind” type of person, a visual reminder on your supply doors might work best for you. The digital solution is great, though, because you can sort by supplier to easily see everything that needs to be ordered at once. Just set up your spreadsheet like this:
Creative Solution – Inventory Notebook
Use a spiral notebook to keep tabs on your supplies! Design your cover (that’s the fun part!), then use a page for each item in your inventory. Taping or gluing the catalog page onto your page is a quick visual with all the info you need to reorder – otherwise, be sure to note all of the information listed on the sample sheet above on each product’s page, along with a swatch or color dab.
Whatever your method of tracking your art supply inventory, the key is to keep a close tab on your materials. Taking a quick walk through the room at the end of each day to note what’s been used up or is close to empty is a great way to stay one step ahead of your supplies.
And there you have it! Three easy ways to track your supplies so you’re never caught without what you need. Which way will you try? Or do you use another tracking system? Let us know in the comments below.