...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


getting organized - kids art room

Recuperating from the holidays and Ava's birthday took me longer than I had anticipated. And that's only because I'm keeping myself busy with other things - like getting ready for 2011 (and even that's taking way too long!). Which makes me realize going through this process that the entire month of January should be dedicated to this effort, instead of also trying to do a hundred and one things at the same time too. Still - it's been nice seeing changes around the house, especially in the art room - where it is incessantly messy everyday.

The hardest part was putting away their masterpieces from last year. I usually decorate the room with all their fun art - but it was time to de-clutter and make room for new ones right? I purchased this large container box last year where we started to drop in the children's paintings and 3-dimensional art. And thank goodness - both Noah and Ava's favorite pieces of 2010 all fit inside.

Saved Projects

These dollar baskets do more than sit pretty on the shelf. Each contain different types of paint bottles we've acquired (finger paint, acrylic, tempura, etc)...

Paint Baskets

I tried to reuse what we have at home already without rushing to The Container Store and starting over. Stack-able office trays helps divide paper... and tupperware helps contain all those wriggly and fuzzy pipe-cleaners. 

And the see-through containers (from IKEA) helped save my insanity. They come with removable dividers - which helped organize stickers, old game pieces, googly-eyes, and colorful gems, the kids use in their crafts.

Art Supplies

This is actually a kitchen utensil organizer I found at IKEA - perfect for art supplies aren't they?

Art Supplies

We started embroidery a few years ago - and I'm ashamed to say we didn't do any in 2010. So now I have these out - in a large basket (yarn gets its own) and the embroidery hoops and plastic sheets can all be found here on the shelf.

Embroidery Basket

By the art room's entry, Ava and Noah each have their own baskets to hold their activity workbooks and journals. This is probably my most favorite section - because here, the kids can pull out their books when ever they feel like doing a maze, or scribbling.

Workbook Baskets

The room has cleaned up well - now it's up to the planning of activities that we will do in here. From online resources, to stacks of preschool curriculum books - it makes me dizzy thinking about lesson plans for the year. Part of the problem is that I have too many resources to sort through. And the other problem, is that I'm trying to coordinate seasons, science experiments, math, reading and writing all within a general theme each month - of activities I know my kids will respond the most to (aka - not easy). It's one thing to see a great idea in a book, but its another to think through it and realize, Ava doesn't care about animals with letters on them - she may respond better to bugs. 

So while this task is daunting - I've decided to not try to do a 12-month plan all right now - but rather on a weekly basis. Because if my life's a testament - I should know better... things change constantly. New ideas pop up, and there's gotta be room penciled in for spontaneity. That's the best way we know how...

Tomorrow I'll share some resources (for home and around town)...and also a big update about the blog! 


  1. One thing Zarlacht and I noticed about Ava and Noah is that if there is an item (toy, art supply, or otherwise) that the kids have not used in a long time, all we have to do is move it to a new spot and it becomes 'new'. Instant success.

    De-cluttering and organizing the art room is essentially the same. By keeping the look if the room 'fresh', we can ensure that the kids will want to keep coming back to that room and continue to create their little masterpieces.

    I don't know about everyone else, but i'm curious about the update tomorrow. Can you believe I am married to this woman and she hasn't even told me? Any guesses?

    I'm thinking she takes down all the content and instead dedicates TheArtOfFamily to writing love poems to me.


  2. I loved Aaron's final remark!

    We are in the process of changing up a multi-use room. Half of it will be office and the other half will be my craft area/children's art area. We will use one of those really large Expedit bookshelves from Ikea (or build something like it). I like the dollar baskets you mentioned. Where did you find them? They are PERFECT for paints and yarn.

    Looking forward to the update!

  3. Ohh you have everything ok in their place :)
    I need to be so organizated as you ;)

  4. Thanks Ladies and Aaron of course - love poems huh? I'm thinking no on that one... but its close ;)

    Bianca - that's awesome about dividing your multi-use room! Our art room use to be my home office, until their supplies took over. Now my office is limited to a closet space in my bedroom. :)

    The dollar baskets are from Wal-Mart of all places. It was one of those purchases where I didn't have a purpose for them at the time, but couldn't pass up the price tag. And lo and behold - they have a purpose now!

    The children have also amassed a collection of baskets over the years - like Easter baskets, containers from birthday favors, even plastic tubs from cotton candy (too cute to throw away) - I've saved them all and re-purposed them here. It gives the room a quirky look and feel - which I love! The IKEA shelving systems are awesome! I didn't show a picture of it, but we have 3 sets against the walls of the room - one is a closet-type with drawers - for dress up clothes and their matching accesories, another for all things loose (crayons, markers, water colors, glue, glitter) and the other set has 12 cubbies where each is home to different "themed" sets of toys for motor skills (large legos, wooden blocks, Mr. Potato head and accessories, lacing blocks, small animal toys, small space toys, and one even for magnifying glasses and magnetic wands). Can't wait to see what your new room will look like!

    Giozi - it just takes small steps. My philosophy has always been - everything has to have a place of its own. And if it doesn't, then I shouldn't have it. So this gave me a chance to get rid of unused items, and rework what we do use so that its more accessible to the children (and will be used more often). Good luck!

  5. all i can say is could you please come over to my house? ive struggled with organization since... well probably forever and whatever i organize just won't stay that way.

  6. I find myself reorganizing our craft room often. But like you, I like to have all the things on hand for them to be creative when ever they choose to.

    BTW- I also have those dollar tree baskets. They have served us well for several years now. Currently they hold, toy animals, hotwheel cars and wooden trains.

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