Toddler Moms: Four ways to organize your craft supplies
Parenting young kids has its fair share of challenges, and one of the most satisfying yet overwhelming aspects is managing the never-ending stream of craft and activity supplies. Having been the director of activities (aka SAHM) in our household over the past six years, I’ve learned that a well-organized craft space is not just a luxury but a necessity.
In this blog post, I’ll share different ways I’ve organized craft supplies in various seasons of life. Including living in a small apartment and keeping supplies out of reach of little ones while making things accessible to encourage spontaneity. Throughout this article, I reference these supplies as “craft supplies.” They’re also items that I use for homeschooling preschool, educational opportunities, school projects, and other creative outlets. Keep reading to figure out how to best organize your craft supplies.
The Importance of Crafts for Kids
Before delving into the organizational strategies to minimize the overwhelm for us parents, let’s take a moment to appreciate why crafting is such a crucial aspect of a child’s development. Engaging in crafts taps into a child’s creativity and imagination, fostering cognitive growth and emotional expression. Moreover, the hands-on nature of crafting enhances fine motor skills, encourages problem-solving, and provides valuable sensory input. As parents, we want to promote these developmental milestones while keeping our sanity intact.
Organizing at the Introduction Level: Craft Caddy
The first level of craft organization I found most helpful was a craft caddy. It’s the quickest and easiest way to organize your first stash of craft supplies and the perfect size for crayons, scissors, markers, glue sticks, note pads, and other small pieces of paper. Its lightweight and convenient size make it easy to carry from room to room as needed. The pros and cons of using a craft caddy to remember:
- Cost-Effective: typically less than $10, and found at any craft store, a craft cady can be very affordable
- Convenience: a portable solution that allows you to carry your essential craft supplies from room to room, in an organized manner
- Compact and Space-Saving: neatly organizes your essentials without taking up much space, making it ideal for those with limited storage options.
- Limited Storage: have limited space and are not ideal for bulky items such as reams of paper and rolls of tape.
- Potential for Clutter if Not Maintained: if not consistently maintained, the caddy can become a catch-all for miscellaneous items, leading to potential clutter.
Organizing at the Basic Level: Storage Bins
The next level of craft organization for parents is often the humble storage bin. It’s a go-to solution for many of us as we begin to expand our collection of craft supplies, providing a designated space for various supplies. The pros and cons of using storage bins are important to consider:
- Accessibility: Storage bins are easy to access, making it convenient for both parents and children to grab what they need quickly.
- Portability: Need to move the crafting station to a different room? No problem! Most storage bins come with handles, making them easy to transport.
- Visibility: Transparent or labeled bins allow for easy identification of contents, helping you and your kids locate specific items without rummaging through.
- Limited Sorting: With just one large bin, sorting and categorizing supplies can be a bit challenging. It’s easy for everything to become a mishmash.
- Limited Space: As your collection of supplies grows, a single bin might not provide enough space, leading to overflow and disorganization.
Organizing at the Intermediate Level: Rolling Cart
For moms ready to level up their craft organization game, a rolling cart can be the perfect progression. It combines mobility with compartmentalization, offering a more structured approach to crafting supplies.
- Versatility: A rolling cart can be moved around the house with ease, allowing you to craft in different rooms or even outdoors.
- Multiple Tiers: With multiple tiers or shelves, it provides better organization, allowing you to categorize supplies by type or activity.
- Compact Design: Despite its increased organizational capacity, a rolling cart maintains a compact footprint, making it suitable for smaller spaces.
- Limited Storage: While more organized than a single storage bin, rolling carts may still have limited space for an extensive collection of supplies.
- Not Always Child-Friendly: Depending on the design, some rolling carts may not be easily accessible for younger children, requiring adult assistance.
Organizing at the Advanced Level: The Craft Closet
For the parents ready to invest in crafting sanity, the craft closet is the pinnacle of organization. I took this leap a few years ago because we had enough supplies between crafting, homeschooling, and other projects that I needed more space than just a cart. This dedicated space provides ample room for a growing assortment of supplies while maintaining a neat appearance.
- Ample Storage: A craft closet allows you to store a vast array of supplies, from paper and paints to glue and googly eyes, without feeling cramped.
- Customization: You can tailor the craft closet to your specific needs, incorporating shelves, hooks, and containers for a personalized organizational system.
- Hidden Chaos: Even if your creative chaos is in full swing, a craft closet lets you close the door and maintain a clean, clutter-free living space.
- Space Requirement: Not every home has the luxury of a spare closet for crafting. Allocating a dedicated space might be a challenge for those with limited square footage.
- Initial Investment: Creating a craft closet may require an initial investment in storage solutions and organizational tools, but the long-term benefits often outweigh the upfront costs.
Crafting with our little ones can be a fun experience. However, the potential chaos that comes with creative activities can be overwhelming. By strategically organizing craft supplies at different levels—a small caddy, a storage bin, a rolling cart, or a craft closet—you can create a system that suits your space, lifestyle, and evolving collection of creative materials. Perhaps you may follow a similar journey where you start small. Then, your collection continues to grow as your family’s interest in arts and crafts grows. As we learn to find the joy of crafting with our children, let’s celebrate peace from a well-organized crafting haven. Happy crafting, mamas!