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Organized craft/school supplies

I’ve been organizing.  I’ve been organizing SCHOOL SUPPLIES!  Probably one of my single most favorite things to do.  I’ve been in a mad dash before the kids start school to get my office/kids’ homework room/craft room/scrapbook room/blogging station in order.  Yes – I’m talking about one space. :)  I haven’t shared my office on the blog yet because it has been in such disarray since we moved in.  It really is the busiest room in our house and most of the day you can find me or one of the kids (or all four of us) in it making a great big mess.  But slowly I am making progress!  One cupboard at at time.

Some of you might remember the craft cupboard we had in our previous house.  This was a bottom cabinet in my kitchen that I turned into a space for all of the kids’ craft/school supplies.  It truly was one of the smartest organizing projects I did that year because it worked so well for us.  The kids used it every day and were able to easily keep it organized.  Bins were easy to pull out and use at the table and clean up was a breeze because everything had a place.  So when I designed my office for the new house, I knew I wanted a similar space to use for all of the kid’s supplies.

When you walk in my office and immediately look to the right there are some tall cabinets up against the wall.  After hours of purging, sorting, organizing, and labeling (my favorite part!) here is what the inside of these cabinets look like now…

Ahhhh.  The kids’ supplies are organized.  My supplies are organized.  Peace is restored in my office.
At least on the right side of the room.  :)
I wish I had taken a before shot.  When we moved in I just set random things in random cupboards.
It was such a mess to sort through.

I know it doesn’t look like much, but the top of this cupboard is what took me the longest.  This is everything from the two years we spent building our new house.  I had SO much stuff to go through and a lot of it I tossed (such a good feeling!), but these are the things I wanted to keep.  Like the binder on the far left that is labeled “new house plans and designs” with all of our cabinet/built-in/room layouts and all of our design sketches.

These white file folders (Martha Stewart Collection) hold additional house sketches/plans and all of our paint selections.

Above those I used two buckets from the dollar store (you might remember them from my mom’s laundry room makeover!) to hold all of our paint books and additional design odds and ends like fabric swatches, etc.  So happy to have all of this consolidated in one place!  Now when you ask me where I got a certain light fixture or what color of paint is in a certain room I can find it in two seconds!  If I don’t have the information somewhere in this top cupboard you are out of luck because my brain just isn’t big enough to hold all of those details and even if it could, it secretly wants to block them all out.  ;)

Moving on to the bottom section!  I designed this cupboard for the kids.  All of my cabinets have adjustable shelves so I can move them around in a way that works best for us.  Everything is low so the kids can reach – all of their “supplies” are in one place.  Paper is on top (divided by plain white, lined, and colored card stock).

The bottom holds all of their coloring/work books.  I’ve had these cheap cardboard file folders for years!  They are from my teaching days.  I debated covering them in some stylish wrapping paper but decided the bright colors were fun for the kids.  Maybe I’ll still cover them someday if I get really ambitious but that is a low priority at this point.  :)  I gave Ellie and Addison two each because they have so many books.  Kole has one and then one extra for miscellaneous notepads, workbooks etc. that they all use.

Putting them in file folders keeps this area nice and neat and makes it easy for my kids to locate their own things.  I originally had everything just lined up and I knew it would be a mess in no time.  Organizing projects are only successful if they are easy to keep that way! 
Next I went to town labeling craft/school supplies!  (#everythingisbetterwithalabel)

The top two boxes are mine – labels and clothespins.

When you are labeling a box of labels you recognize you may have a problem.  This is the part of my post when my mom usually calls and tells me there is medicine out there for people like me.
{Time out to share my all time favorite quote}
As. They. Should. Be.
Regardless of my mental state, my labels are happy in their home and easy for me to access when I tackle my next project.  {Mom, I know you love me, but at this point I think we can both agree it’s a lost cause.}

 The rest of the bins are all things the kids use when they get their creative messes juices going.  Which for my two girls is a daily occurrence.
I didn’t photograph everything but here is a peek inside a few of the bins.
So nice to have everything in one easy to find spot!

Just like with our original craft cupboard, the kids can take their bins to the table, make a big old mess, and then easily put everything back where it belongs.

  If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.  
So happy to have our old system set up in the new house.  


xoxo, Erin
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33 thoughts on “Organized craft/school supplies

  1. This post comes at such a great time! I was just on Pinterest last night trying to figure out how I want to organized our craft/art supplies in our new house. Love it! Thanks Erin! :)


  2. Hi Erin,

    This whole post just made me happy! This is what I will return to when I need to calm my brain. What a lovely space you have made. The magazine holders for the kids colouring books etc is a brilliant idea. I have 3 kiddos and all of their books are just in one big pile. Whenever one of them is looking for a specific book, all of the books get messed up. Will be redoing this first thing in the morning! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Oh, Erin, I needed this post! My daughter’s coloring books, crayons, markers, stickers, are impossible to keep in order in our current cabinet. I love the file folders for the coloring books idea, and I think I’m going to invest in a bunch of those plastic shoeboxes and take the same approach. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration.

    And I love that CDO pic – I LOL’d.

  4. Hi, everything looks great! I think your kids will really appreciate having all their school supplies so neatly organized. I know I would! I wanted to share a site you may like called She has printables for organizing a notebook that are colored in aqua. I thought of you because of that color.

  5. Yea! So glad it helped you Amy! And congrats on the new home! xx

    Thank you Samantha! Yes – the file folders are a huge help with the coloring books! Happy organizing! :)

    Thanks Mary Beth! The plastic shoe boxes are great – and cheap!

    Thanks Missi! I will have to check her out!

  6. Hi Erin! Love your blog and am having a great time with ideas for my upcoming house.

    Where do you store basics like paper, crayons, markers, glue, etc? Do you still have the original craft supply cabinet in the new home in a different room? Thanks!

    Ps- I couldn’t find on your blog but I’m looking for a post about decor for your son’s room? Did you make one yet? Thanks

  7. You are so sweet Hannah. Thank you! xx

    Anonymous – Thank you! So glad you are getting some ideas from my blog! The original craft cupboard was a kitchen cupboard so it stayed at the old house. :) Paper is at the top of the cupboard in this post. Glue is in one of the clear bins with a blue lid (it’s with our paint). The supplies we use every day – pencils, crayons, markers, etc. are in containers on our work desk (I’ll have to share them at some point). And no – I haven’t shared decor for my son’s room yet. We haven’t even started decorating his room! But I’ll share it when I do. :) Hope that helps! xx

    Thanks Raquel! They are just clear bins I got at Target. 2 bucks each! :)

    Seriously Megan! I know. My all time favorite. :)

  8. Erin- I love, love, love it! I am definitely going to have to get some of those magazine files to store my kids’ coloring books. And I love your labeled bin of “Labels”…I must make one now :)

    I am a longtime follower, but don’t comment often. Like you, I am a former teacher turned stay at home mom, my husband is an attorney, my littlest guy is receiving speech therapy…so many things similar to you. However, we are still living in a townhouse in LA waiting to buy our dream home ;) Love your blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. I seriously ADORE your organizing posts! (along with everything else you write about :). I especially loved/resonated with your OCD quote. Thank you for making my day!

  10. What I would give to have cabinets or closets in my house. You organize how I did pre-kids when I had a place with storage. Yes, we moved backwards in the storage department, blahhh. Love it and I bet it is so functional. JC

  11. Hi Leslie! Oh my word – we DO have a lot in common! Thanks for your sweet comment! And for reading. So nice to “meet” you! xx

    Ximena – Ha! It’s a good one, right!? Thank you! So glad it made you smile. :)

    JC – Time to get creative, right? I had to get pretty creative in some of our past homes/apartments that had no storage so I know exactly how hard that can be!

    Shari – one can never have too many scissors. :)

  12. Have been a reader for a few years, but don’t think I have ever commented :) I had to laugh at your labeled box of labels, because until you said something, I saw nothing out of the ordinary!!! LOL!! I am bit of a label-lover like you, I just forget not everyone else is :) Love this post!!!

  13. Your new office is so pretty! Love the paint color on the wall. I’d love to have all of that space!

    Your OCD quote is perfect…I think it’s my new favorite quote!

    I am a new reader to your blog….your new home is just lovely. I love to organize too so it will be fun following along. I moved into a townhome last year that was all redone so I totally understand about just getting around to all of the paper files. I have been putting together some new notebooks and going through some paper files myself:)

  14. oh my gosh erin i just love you. the quote cracks me up. i can’t wait to get to my pantry-i’ve gotten so many ideas from your last few posts! Thank you!

  15. Hi Erin! What do you do with your kids’ artwork? Usually I just pile it up for a while and when I’m pretty sure they’ve forgotten about it, I’ll toss it (I keep some things). But i want my kids to be independent with putting it away. We’ve tried folders but the little ones don’t do very well with that. I love this post! The original post motivated me to clean up our art supplies area but it definitely needs to be reorganized again!

    1. Susan I’m actually re-thinking my system for artwork! I’ve been doing the same thing. Hanging onto it for a while in a drawer and then tossing most and keeping a few things for their albums. If I had my kids do it they’d save EVERYTHING so that really isn’t an option for me. Ha! But I do need to figure out a better way to organize what I’m keeping! I’ll do a post about it as soon as I get a system down. Sorry! I know that wasn’t much help!

  16. I will be starting to re-organize my kids craft supplies and love your organized area! I was super thrilled to see a storage box for labels! I am a label hoarder and it didn’t occur to me to give them their own bin! :) I’ll be able to find them all now! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you so much Kristen! I’ve shared other cabinets in random posts before but I’m working on one of the whole organized office for this Fall! So stay tuned. ;)

  17. I really need someone like you to come help me organize my house and my homeschool stuff. I am just not good at it.

  18. Hi!!
    I would love to know where you got your craft room/office cabinets. Were they made custom? I would love to get something like that with pull out draws and shelves for paper and project storage!!
    Any recommendations on where to get cabinets like that would be greatly appreciated!!
    Thank you!

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