Anyone else drowning with the intake of all the new holiday gifts for the kids? I know I can’t be alone in this situation! It’s a never-ending struggle with kiddos but the holidays add an extra intense wave with all the new toys. I’m constantly rearranging and re-working ideas and options for storing all of Evie and Harvey’s playthings. Add in the learning from home element this past year, and it’s been a constant project…but I’m determined to get a hold of it all eventually! And I’ll be taking you along on my journey of conquering these spaces…starting with all the learning supplies, and kids’ arts and crafts. This is definitely an area with the most “stuff” for us, and it has only increased as Evie has gotten older and more and more into art projects, so I’m bracing myself to deal with this for years to come.
For the most part, our family is a “less is more” kind of household. We always have a donation box ready to fill throughout the month which often includes any toys that the kids don’t use, or we store them away if we’re not using them. Right now for remote learning, we have Evie set-up on our main level where she has a nightstand for school supply storage and an IKEA paper organizer for school work (we divide it into sections for this week/next week/construction paper/white paper/completed work), and a little spot for books and a pin-up board for recent artwork.
This setup is working well for us at the moment, but looking at the whole situation in general, these are my favorite tips and tricks for keeping the peace with all the pieces…
ORGANIZING KIDS’ ARTS + CRAFTS
- To get started, go through everything and group all like items together, giving youngsters an easy way to sense order and find whatever is needed (all glitter goes together, construction paper together, glue sticks together, crayons, etc, etc)
- Decide on a designated area for EVERY SINGLE THING. Everything has a “home” for it to be returned to at the end of play/at the end of the day. I find it helpful when similar items are grouped together and labeled.
- Easy access is key for kids. If they can’t find something easily, then they don’t end up ever using it.
- Baskets and bins are SAVIORS. Tops to these baskets and bins are NOT always needed (smaller art and craft supplies being an exception).
- When it comes to specific containers, I love these IKEA bins for paints and paint supplies, and a lazy Susan is perfect for crayons, markers, colored pencils.
- Our newest addition to the arts and crafts domain? Our art cart! It’s a rolling cart that we keep crafts that align with The Magic Playbook. The Magic Playbook is a monthly subscription to activities for kids to do throughout the month. We LOVE it! The rolling cart allows both Evie and Harvey to access it easily, move it around whatever space they are working in, and keep everything together nicely in one place. I can’t recommend this item enough and feel it also works nicely for school and any other kids’ items.
- There’s no need to save broken crayons and items that are missing pieces. Find a way to donate or dispose of them responsibly.
- We have a couple of Gathre mats to put down if the kids are going to paint or use markers on a surface that I’m worried about getting spills on. Remember, easy access is key: when Evie wants to paint and we aren’t in the playroom right away to help her get set up, she can do this herself with these mats!
- Initially organizing the space is key but it’s not a once and done project; quarterly purges and reorganizing everything is essential to keeping the order long term.
- Get the little ones involved! Evie actually likes to help me clean up when I make it a game, and it’s a great way to get their eyes on some kids’ arts and crafts supplies that they might not have played with in awhile.
- At the moment, as I mentioned, we are using a nightstand for school supplies right by Evie’s little desk set-up; it will go into Evie and Harvey’s room after at-home learning ends, but for now, it’s working! So be creative and flexible if needed!
Stay tuned: upcoming “Organizing Kids’ Spaces” posts include:
Organizing Kids’ Toys
Organizing Kids’ Clothing + Shoes
Organizing Kids’ Dining Ware