Saturday, February 20, 2010


Keeping the house clean with 4 small children is a job in and of itself. I've had to make peace with the fact that, in this season of life, my house will never be as clean as I would like it to be. But, one thing I have been struggling with lately is how to keep our art supplies picked up. My children love to color, cut, glue,etc. The problem is when all of them want to do it at the same's a mess. Crayons, colored pencils, scissors, glue bottles, markers, Oh my. And, of course, we can't forget paper. Paper everywhere! Things wind up getting broken or lost so when we do need them for school we can't find them. Grr.... So, I'm calling upon the wisdom of those of you out there who have any suggestions.

Any tips on how to organize the supplies? Should I keep them put up out of their reach or let them get into them when they want? Should I watch them at all times while they create (I cringe as I write that....)? Or should I enforce some good old fashioned discipline until they get into the habit of not making the mess in the first place??

So let me break it down for you:

4 children
+ lots of art supplies




Anonymous said...

We keep our school supplies in a box. 1 box for each child. I have canvas crates from Target that holds all their school. They have pencil boxes for their sharpener, eraser, pencils, crayons ect. It's just a small tackle box we found in the fishing department at walmart. This too goes into their school box. Then you can have the art supplies. Seams a waste to have 2 of everything but when school time comes around they bring their box to the table and put it on the floor next to them and everything is right there. No hunting and searching. As for the mess, well just have then help clean up.... They will eventually learn:) (I hope!)

EdiLee said...

I think a simple school supply box for each of them may help cut down on the amount that is being used...
Or you can designate bins for each item and have pictures of what goes in the bin and tape it to the exterior so when they are done with their projects they can sort the items based on the pictures. Obviously the older will be able to do this better than the younger but eventually everyone will catch on. Also i have used a special clean up song in my classrooms before (not the typical one) or we have said the poem or rhyme that learned that morning. It kinda puts a time limit to what the kids are doing and its disguises it as a game :)
Happy organizing!

jen christians said...

WE have four kiddos too... I use plastic wash bins for everything. They are cheap, stackable and washable... I used to use them in my first grade classroom with pictures of what went inside taped to the outside. Not onyl do I use them for art supplies, but i use them for toys and keeping one of my daughters' clothing organized. She has 7 of them in her closet labeled with the days of the week. On Sun night we put EVERYTHING she wil wear for the entire week in them, socks, undies, bracelets... then there is no hassle in the morn. We stack them up as we go and start fresh every week. We have been doing this for two years now and it works so well. Good luck with whatever choice you make!