It took a year, but I think I’ve finally found a kids’ art storage solution that actually functions. The older Owen’s gotten, the more art supplies he’s acquired, and if you don’t store things in a way that they’ll actually get used, they’re just taking up space.
Previously, we had construction paper and coloring books (and stickers, and some scrap paper, and probably an old Goldfish cracker) stored in a clear scrapbook paper box — which worked well, except it was bursting at the seams and was hard to keep organized once you pulled something out. Then, we had crayons, markers, and other writing utensils all mixed together in an old trick-or-treat bucket. Ever explain to a three-year-old the difference between Color Wonder markers, crayons and dry erase crayons? Yeah, it doesn’t work. And I was constantly trying to find where I put the glue sticks, kid scissors and paint, since I put them somewhere so safe my brain didn’t register it.
I first sorted everything by type so I could see how much space I needed. I separated painting supplies and dry erase/writing boards, and put them in collapsible fabric bins with labels to match the rest of the playroom storage.
For writing utensils and paper, I stole two small plastic drawers from our office and a large three-drawer unit from my craft room (it previously held scrapbook paper). I gave each color of crayon it’s own drawer and added paper to the front for both clarification and décor. Dry erase crayons and Color Wonder markers got their own drawers too, which has really helped Owen know which type to use with which paper.
The larger three-drawer unit holds paper, also separated by type (construction, Color Wonder, etc.) I used my label maker with clear tape to add labels to the front, along with some sunshine scrapbook paper. I stored glue sticks and scissors in a pencil case with the writing boards.
That’s it! The project took me one Saturday — most of it was deciding what should be considered art (paint) and what shouldn’t (playdough). I also like that these supplies are now stored high enough that Owen has to ask to reach them (read: no unsolicited haircuts), but they aren’t hard for even my 5’2” self to retrieve.
The best part? Owen’s done more art projects in the last week than he has in months. Having new art to hang on our gallery wall was worth the organizational wait.