With each project comes a nice little mess as well. Up until recently I kept the majority of the kid’s supplies in my craft box. When they went inside to grab markers, etc. they often helped themselves to other things like glitter. Oh, the joys of glitter. And there are so many other items that kids need storage for like legos, beads, loom bands, the list goes on. Lot of tiny little things that can easily be spread throughout the entire house.
I have NO problem with a messy craft room. A clean craft room means that crafting isn’t going on, am I wrong? We just needed a separation of crafting supplies. They needed their own space instead of sharing mine. And not just a table with a basket stuffed with an unorganized mess of art supplies like I had been using, but an organized space where they could find everything they needed without rummaging through my things. Their art supplies took up so much space on the table that they didn’t have room to actually work on it as well.
My room was an absolute disaster. This is what 3 months of being too busy and just stacking things and not putting them away does. What started out as a “straighten up” in my craft room turned into a purge, 4 trash bags of donations and trash, and an even bigger mess. But after several hours of purging and sorting, it all began coming together. It felt so good to get rid of things I had been holding on to for far too long. If I hadn’t used it since we moved into this house 2 years ago, it went into a donation bag. I was able to clear out space in the office closet and move things around to make room for their art easel and a new art table.
These pictures below were taken to showcase the new area. I straightened it up to avoid distraction in the pictures. I do not expect it to always look this way. If it did, it would mean that they never used it and that would defeat the whole purpose of having it!
Here are 5 things I’ve learned about organizing kids’ craft areas:
1. Kids need a safe place to create. Having their supplies within an arm’s reach is ideal. Much more so than climbing up on a chair to get them out of a closet or my craft box.
2. Keep clutter and items on work space to a minimum. I love their little Jack and Jill desk from The Original Scrapbox because everything is within view, but not stored up on top. There are other ways to achieve this such as these duck tape art caddies that we made for our homework supplies. Using tin cans or plastic containers is another great way to store things at the end of the table while still allowing for plenty of space to work.
3. Keep some things tucked away for a rainy day. My kids don’t have access to every art supply we own anymore. I keep some things like play doh, extra stickers, stacks of paper and craft kits up in the closet and use them on rotation. This keeps things fresh and holds their interest. If everything is out then they quickly get bored and move on from one thing to the next, creating a disaster of mess of dried play doh and art supplies. Their desk is filled with supplies and coloring books to keep them entertained for a long time. In a month or so I will rotate things out and it will feel like Christmas morning!
4. Kids WILL want to display their work. The refrigerator just isn’t big enough to showcase everything my girls want displayed. I’ve strung ribbon on the walls in their rooms with thumb tacks. Then they choose what they want to add to the ribbons with clothes pins. It is an easy and free way to showcase their work. And of course, when that gets full, they resort to taping things directly to the living room walls! They worked hard on it and want to show it off. I do sort and prioritize, but always after they are in bed and not watching. Some things we keep forever, some things are displayed for a couple of weeks and others don’t last more than a day before getting tossed.
5. Even the most organized spaces will get messed up. New spaces always start out nice and pretty, until they get used. And that is a good thing. It means that it was successfully set up for them to create!