Where do you put your kids art/school supplies?

smom40October 5, 2005

I have no idea what to do with it. It's been stacked in a corner. It's been on the counters. It's been on the kitchen table.

I finally broke down and bought some medium sized plastic bins and have three of them on a shelf in the laundry room because I have no idea where to put this stuff!!

Crayons, binder paper, boxes of pencils, markers, glue sticks, construction paper....Argh!

I know that there has to be a better way. One where it's easily accessible but not where I have to stare at it every day.

What do you guys do?

If it helps any, I have an 8 year old in school and a four year old at home...

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I have shelves next to the fridge in the kitchen with those clear plastic shoeboxes. One for markers, one for glues and tape, and so on.

It actually stays much neater than trying to keep it hidden away. Since it's in our face, I am more likely to straighten it up quickly.

My youngest is only five, then an 8 yo, and an 11 yo. I figure it's one of those things you have out during different phases of life. Just like you stepped around the baby swing and diaper stuff, caftsy stuff belongs in this phase.

Luckily, my 21 yo doesn't create these problems anymore. He just takes up space in the driveway.

Just remember that organized doesn't mean hidden away. Out in the open when something is frequently used is just fine. Kind of like all of those cooking utensils I keep in a crock next to the stove. Out in the open, right where I need them.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 11:29PM
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When my kids were around that age, we kept supplies in clear plastic rubbermaid totes in a bookcase. Coloring books went in a magazine basket. I also had a box for "projects" that included things like cardboard and paper towel tubes and yarn and paint and junk. Kids love making "projects" of their own, and it's a good activity for bad weather days. Give them a roll of masking tape and some glue and they're happy.

Now that my kids are older, I have a big rubbermaid bin full of extra school supplies in the basement. The boys know to go there when they need something.

One of our local schools suggested you provide each child with a clear plastic "homework box" that contains everything a kid would need to do homework (pens, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, tape, paper, etc.). The PTA even sold them for $25 one year.

Your current solution sounds OK to me. The kids will be using those things every day, and you might as well keep them where they're handy. I agree with Gloria, it's just a phase of life that you have to live with, just like when the baby swing was a permanent feature in the living room. ;) I hadn't thought of that swing in a long time! LOL

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 5:55AM
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We have a skinny closet in our kitchen where I stash the board games, puzzles and art supplies. I also have the clear plastic bins set up on the lowest shelves for crayons, markers, paint, tape, etc. As long as it's all contained and I can shut the door, life is good *g*.

The art supplies used to be an unholy mess, but now that the kids are a bit older (6 and 10) they do *try* to put things back where they belong. Now that I think of it, though, it might be time to do a little weeding out in that closet ...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 8:53AM
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I like drawers for this sort of stuff.

easier to get out, easier to sort, easier to store. Open draaer, stash stuff, close drawer.

Get those Sterilite 3-drawer sets (or an Iris-brand cart w/ the shallow drawers, if you want), and put in dividers.

iris makes a nice one for this that I use in my Sunday School classroom--it has two shallow drawers on top and a deeper on one the bottom; I got it at Office Depot.

I put the scissors, glue sticks, etc., in the upper drawers, and the paint and playdough in the bottom deep drawer.

I used those "score and snap" drawer dividers from the Container Store (actually got mine at Target, though) to divide the drawers so stuff doesn't slide around everywhere.

At home I have those little drawer organizing containers from Rubbermaid, which work almost as well, but not quite.

For markers, the secret is to have a drawer that's EXACTLY as wide (well, OK, an extra inch is OK, but NO MORE) as the marker is TALL. Then, the markers can't end up at an angle. I was lucky to find a little skinny 3-drawer set exactly wide enough, but I can't find them anymore.

Though maybe the small Sterilite ones would work.

And Rubbermaid makes a small one--not sure if it's skinny around side-to-side

If all else fails, put some sort of divider inside a larger drawer, to keep the markers from sliding end-to-end, and ending up tipped at an angle. I just cut cardboard into strips and taped in place w/ packing tape in one of my drawers.

I do find that I keep too much. Right now I've used drawers and other containers to fill a shelf intheir room, but most of it just never gets used. I need to weed out.

I have actually thrown away, in the past, and entire shoebox full of crayons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sterilite's three-drawer chests--other companies make similar ones

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 10:40AM
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Well with 5 homeschooled kids we have lots-o-papers.... and since I also have an ex husband who does not like that I homeschool the kids ( since he became a teacher).. I keep just about everything.. it's a REAL nuisance but I figure if he drags me back into court so that he can loose again I will once again be ready. Last time that was one of the things that really impressed the judge.. it was a freaking circus to put it all together but it proved that what I needed. SOOOOOOOOOOOO I keep a LARGE blue Sterilite box in my office and when we are done with stuff I chuck it in there. At the end of the year it gets labled/sealed and put in the basement. I have often thought that it might save on space to "space bag" the stuff but since we have a mongo sized basement it's never really been an issue.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 3:24PM
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Have a 50's looking "console" table in the livingroom in front of the big front window. There are six drawers in it and four of them are filled with puzzles, large drawing paper, books, etc. "Papaw" gets two drawers for his stuff! LOL The smaller crayons, markers, paints, etc. are stored in the kids' room in a large plastic container with a lid.

These supplies are for my grandkids and they all know where to find their "stuff".

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 10:06AM
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We bought my daughter a portfolio for her artwork at a craft store. It's vinyl, quite large and flat - so it slides easily behind her dresser or the couch. It's great for special artwork that she wants to keep.

I have a friend who made a cheaper alternative - she stapled together 2 poster boards, leaving one side open like an envelope.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 10:41PM
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along the lines of Janet's portfolio


I have the big one, but I find that it encourages me to keep TOO MANY of the papers. I know they won't want those when they're older.

I think I'd be better off to give each kid one, and then when it gets full, have them go through and weed it out.

That way, they'd actually LOOK at those drawings, etc., sort of like looking through a scrapbook.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 11:34AM
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