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Organizational solutions for art supplies

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I would love to take a peek into all of your art supply areas!

I was very organized before kids and with a much smaller space, but right now our supplies are a mess! I have two kitchen cabinets overflowing with art supplies and other random items. I would like to find better homes for the other stuff (some of it seasonal decor, some of it mail supplies) and give these 2 upper cabinets a make over. Ideally, I'd like all the boys art supplies and my sewing supplies/notions to be in the cabinets. They get a bit high at the top, so I'll have to think more on what else to put in there if there is any space left. Eventually, I'd like to have at least some of their supplies on the boys' level, but at 10 months and 3 years, it may be a while yet.

I'm trying to get motivated and get a good inventory of what we have and a good organizational solution for it all before the holidays really hit!

Thanks!
post #2 of 10
I spent a small fortune at Ikea on baskets, but it was worth every penny. EVERYTHING is organized in baskets on shelves. And, more importantly, the baskets are labelled. I took photographs of something in each basket (my kids can't read yet), and added text so adults would know what goes where, and it's been a miracle. It's been a year or more, and it's actually worked. A place for everything, everything in it's place. And it's SO easy to clean up! No wondering where things go: everyone knows. My sewing stuff is in cardboard boxes from Ikea (they look nice, they're just made of cardboard). Cheaper but less durable, so they're fine for my stuff but I figured they wouldn't last long in toddler hands.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
That sounds awesome! I should know this stuff, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed with something that my brain just shuts down, lol. Would you mind sharing how the supplies are divvied up?
post #4 of 10
I have 4 of thesemini chest with drawers and used clear labels for them using my lovely label maker! I was never organized before having my son, but this set up completely got me on track with "a place for everything, and everything in it's place. If you don't have an ikea check out Michaels because they sell similar ones, and coupled with a coupon it could be a cheap solution.

They stack on top of eachother and I use them to store paper, crayons, markers, playdoh, cards, as well as random office supplies and household items like tea lights and chargers.
post #5 of 10
Sure! I'd take a picture but the big fiasco at my house tonight is that we can't find the camera (of course, the day before a major holiday involving lots of family and cute outfits).

Along the bottom shelf I have four big baskets. I have a whole big basket for coloring, and keep both the crayons and the coloring books in there. Another big basket for paints, including smocks. There's a basket for collage, which is kind of a catch-all for little things that we've picked up: pompoms, foam shapes, googly eyes, popsicle sticks. Not very Waldrofy it's true, but sometimes you just need some googly eyes! The fourth basket has play-dough, and it takes up a whole basket because we've managed to amass a lot of weird little tools and stuff.

Above that we have some smaller baskets. Also on that shelf is paper. I try to reuse paper whenever possible, including sometimes junk mail or old wrapping paper. That's stacked to the side, and yes it always looks messy, but since everything else is in baskets I don't mind so much. We have smaller baskets for: adhesives (glue and tape), markers, stamps, yarn and fiber, and fabric scraps.

For my stuff, I have a mix of big, medium, and small boxes from this line. As I said, they're just cardboard but they're fairly strong. I don't think strong enough to handle daily rough handling from my kids, but good enough for my purposes. The big ones are for quilting (mostly templates, some oversized patterns, a few larger tools), embroidery (lots of kits), and yarn kits. Medium sized ones hold patterns (I have 8 of those alone!), and one each for ribbon, lace, fasteners (my catch-all for buttons, snaps, extra zippers), and trim (braid, piping, elastic). Small ones hold either fabric scraps, or materials for specific crafts: I have one for beading, one for lace crochet. The Ikea ones have little metal slots in the front, so I just hand-wrote what was in each box.

I also have two little wooden chests similar to this, but with different sized drawers. In the two long drawers (they go the whole length of the chest) I have knitting needles and scissors. There are medium-sized drawers that go halfway, and then small ones that go 1/3. I can't remember what's in all of them, but I know I have separate drawers for pins, needles, marking pens/pencils, blades, quilting notions, bias tape makers, etc. Each drawer is labeled just with labeling tape.

Do you have an Ikea near you? They have tons and tons and tons of storage systems and options, and many of them are very nice wooden ones. I already had shelves, so what I basically did was measure the shelves I had and then I went to Ikea and figured out which baskets and boxes best fit the space available, with the least amount of leftover room. Then I went home and sorted things in ways that made sense from a labeling perspective. I had to be able to describe what was in each basket in two words or less!

Even if you don't have an Ikea, someplace like World Market where they sell a lot of different baskets might work.
post #6 of 10
I am right in the middle of this project (well, middle being 1 1/2 months into it, with an end in sight...baby steps, right?).

Something I saw at a friend's home which I thought was genius, is a clear plastic hanging shoe holder for craft supplies. We put one in our hall closet for all the little things like scissors, spare crayons, glue, pipe cleaners, glitter, paint brushes, etc. etc. We added a shelf and turned the "coat" closet into an art/craft closet. I've recently gotten to start working on my own craft room so I added a 2nd shoe holder to that room and am leaving the one in the closet for all of the craft/art items that the children are permitted to use freely and moving the glues and glitters out to mine.

The more clear the better. My first a friend gave me and it's crystal clear like this one:
http://images.bedbathandbeyond.com/a...810207649P.JPG
The second I was in a rush and picked up at Target. It's more of a frosted clear which isn't as great for seeing the contents at a glance.

So that's my big stolen organization secret. I can't wait to read more from the rest of you!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas and systems!

Luckily, I do have an Ikea near here. I'm going to go and check out the Agen and Branas baskets since I already have shelving. I can't wait to get this all under control. It's been driving me absolutely crazy! Hopefully, I'll have something photo worthy in a few days.
post #8 of 10
I did a big art supply stocking and makeover this summer. I agree, baskets are great! I also used tins (I think they're designed for planting in) of different sizes and clear Ikea glass jars to store things on our art shelf. The kids will grab the jar of beads and take it to the table. It's easy for them to take just what they want when they can see it all on the shelf and everything's got it's own place. I don't know how to paste a picture into this post, so here is a link to pictures.
post #9 of 10
I really want to thank you all for this thread! My son's art supplies had been crammed into 2 cluttered shelves. This motivated me to try and make a nice setting for him to do his art and have his supplies be accessible to him, but not to his littlest brother who likes to eat all things colorful...

I posted pics here
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloHoneySF View Post
I really want to thank you all for this thread! My son's art supplies had been crammed into 2 cluttered shelves. This motivated me to try and make a nice setting for him to do his art and have his supplies be accessible to him, but not to his littlest brother who likes to eat all things colorful...

I posted pics here
Wow! What an inspiration this is!
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