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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Organizing Trouble Spots: Craft Cupboard

Yesterday I posted about paper clutter.  Today it's all about the craft cupboard!  This was another area I wanted to tackle for I Heart Organizing's Wait-No-More Challenge.

Let's start with the before and after shot:
It's still crowded, but more things are contained, and pretty much everything has a spot of its own, which is super important for kids ages 5, 4, and 2 to be putting things away.
So before.  Big problems were the bottom two shelves.  That third shelf is actually not a true "before" picture, since I added the boxes before I took the photo.  Just picture a really messy pile there instead...
One thing that works is that the top shelf is "Mom's shelf" and they know they can't have anything up there without asking.  It's still a cluttered mess, unfortunately, but I wanted to post anyways.  I need some sort of bins for holding the different art supplies up there, and I haven't gotten them yet.
The second shelf now has a white baby wipes bin on the left for smaller notepads that were getting lost with all the bigger ones.  The glue is all in one green container now, the crayons and markers each have a bin, and the pens are all back in the pen cup.
I had several of these Bob's Red Mill flour boxes from my big box of baking supplies I got a few months ago, so I used those to corral notebooks/drawing pads, coloring books, and sticker books.  This way the kids can grab what they want and put it back.
They weren't the prettiest things to look at though, so I covered them with pretty blue floral shelf liner.  That also brings some uniformity to the bins, and even though it's a busy pattern, it makes the whole thing look less busy to me because it's more streamlined.
And then the bottom shelf.  It's supposed to be paper on the right, projects on the left.  The "projects" were really just everything they didn't want to put away or recycle.  Most of that went into the recycling bin, although they each picked a few things they forgot were in there to save.
Here's after:
(Sorry for the terrible lighting - this is in a corner of the living room without much natural light).  More boxes covered in shelf liner!  Again with the uniformity...Now the box on the right has all the construction paper organized by color, so they can grab what they want instead of telling me we're out of something when we actually aren't.  And the box on the left has scraps for when they don't need a whole piece of paper.  We're going to find a different spot for any projects they want to save, and really limit them.
I also condensed the stickers to one green baby wipes container.  I went through and cut down the big sheets into smaller pieces (and got rid of the ones where all but one sticker were gone).
This is probably my favorite shot of the whole project.  These two shelves just look so awesome now!

This is a project I've been meaning to do for awhile, so I'm glad this challenge motivated me to get it done!  We keep tweaking this corner to find what works, and I think with this we might finally have a system that works.


  1. Wow! You did two spaces in one week... awesome! (So I guess you can disregard my previous comment on your paper clutter since you already did your craft cupboard.) We must think a lot alike. Just as you and I both discovered the paper tray, I organized our out-of-control art cupboard not that long ago... so much better now! Great job!

    1. Technically, I started both spaces the week before, and finished both in one week. Great minds think alike!