Reining in Rainy-Day Entertainment

Next to my coffee maker, my label maker is my most-used household gadget. For me, labeling is a method of discipline in both organizing and purging, all with the idea that everything in our home has a home…but with the caveat that not too much of any one category of thing is to take up residence at once.

My latest organizing project involved reining in the kids’ rainy-day arts and crafts supplies – items that (while neatly organized) were located in a number of locations around the house.

Challenge: Without a formal and centralized storage system, it had become difficult to monitor the volume (and growth) of the kids’ arts and crafts supplies…and challenging for the main users of these supplies to find/access what they want/need. Labels and simple storage were both key in creating a cost- and space-efficient solution that could allow for maximum visibility, together with the right balance of access.

Solution: For this project, I converted an extra linen closet into the kids’ arts and crafts closet. The same solution could work in a cabinet or equivalent space. To keep investments of time and money low, use what you have and supplement with new. For this space, I used existing wire shelves and drawer containers – and purchased extra lidded and open containers. In terms of access… I reserved the upper shelves for those items that carry the highest risk for swift, semi-permanent damage (i.e. markers and paint)…the shelf at medium height for items that still need to be out of reach for the under-five crowd…and the bottom shelf for low-risk, frequently-used items such as coloring books and paper.

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Result: Consolidated system for storing (and selectively controlling access to) arts and crafts supplies, while at the same time setting limitations on the maximum allowable amounts of these items via labeled containers and drawers.

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