Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Function over Tradition: Kids Art Supply Storage

Baby X Prime (X') is kicking me out of my craft room and I'm moving it downstairs into what is now affectionately known as the Dog Room.  Which means everything currently being stored in the craft room either needs to find a new home (hello crafts I never started!) or a different storage space in our house.

BabyT has acquired quite the collection of art supplies because we love doing "Art Projects", as she calls them.  They didn't really have a home.  Some of them live on our kitchen counter for easy access (watercolor paint, crayons and coloring books), and the rest are scattered in drawers in my craft room wherever I had space. 

Not  a good solution for me to see *what* we have.  So I only ever used the crayons and watercolors because going through "the pile" was too hard.

Clearly this wasn't working, and now that T is in such a structured preschool, I want to spend lots of time doing art with her.  She definitely gets some at school, but not every day, and she loves it.  (I miss that about daycare!)

When we remodeled our kitchen in 2004, we took out all the old oak cabinets, but saved one of the glass-door ones to be mounted in the dining area for our glassware.  We got tons of wine and champagne glasses as wedding presents, and also inherited a bunch of glasses from TJ's grandmother.  The cabinet was quite full.

It occurred to me the other night that we don't need to have such easy access to *that many* wineglasses.  We don't drink that much wine and only have lots of people over on rare occasions, maybe a few times a year.  If that.

So we decided to move our glassware to a different high shelf in the kitchen, box up the extra ones and our fancy china which we use only once or twice a year.  TJ picked up some dishware boxes from UHaul and packed it all away one day when I was at work (*swoon*).

Which left this handy, spacious cabinet available for toddler art supply storage.  Hooray!

kitchen cabinet for kid art supplies

I know it's traditionally not what we're supposed to put in a glass-front cabinet in our dining area.  But it's *so* much more functional for us.  And I have a better idea of what we have, and what we need.  And what we most definitely don't need (no more paper or coloring books!).

It makes it so much easier to set up a project for T quickly on the dining table since it's right there.  When she's a little older, she'll be able to reach the cabinet and get things out for herself.

I'm considering putting some decorative paper inside the glass doors to hide the stuff inside from view, since it's not particularly pretty, but that may never happen.

This simple change makes me ridiculously happy (sort of like paring our kitchen knife collection down to just 7 that we use all the time).  Strange, I know.

Got any good storage hacks to share?  :)


  1. We totally need a better way to store all the art supplies around here. Right now most of the stuff is in several plastic storage bins. But they're overflowing, and the area where we keep them is always a mess. I like your solution (though it won't work for us); who cares if it's not traditional. =)

    1. What I love about this solution is that everything has one consolidated home. Whenever I store part of something in one room and the rest in another, it's a recipe for disaster.

      I also ended up purging a bunch of stuff I kept "just in case" T might use it - scrap paper,empty containers, cardboard from IKEA, etc. If I have a specific use in mind, then I can probably scrounge for what I need somewhere.

      I also designated one bin that was for "extras", stuff that was unopened that we have duplicates of, so that it stays out of the regular stash until we need it. That helped a lot.


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