Every year after Christmas I get a major urge to organize the house. When the hullabaloo settles down, and life becomes routine and mundane again, I get that feeling . . . . I need to re-arrange something, change something up, organize something! Thankfully, the urge comes at a good time. There’s no garden or yard work, the farm schedule is more laid back this time of year, and my home school routine is humming along again after being all topsy-turvy during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
This year my sights were set on my school room closet, home to many, many items that may or may not have anything to do with school. It’s really my craft/sewing/school supplies and activities closet. I’ve tried at other times to bring some order to this spot, but the order slowly oozed away, mostly because there was not a specific place for everything. I would generally tidy up the stuff on the shelves, thinking surely things would get put back in the right place, but alas! So I went on a boxing rampage. I found some great boxes I had stashed away in our summer kitchen, I asked my family for shoe boxes they didn’t need or want, I even asked at a couple of grocery stores for boxes that might work for my plan. The plan was: to put every single thing in either a box or a jar. Closed, contained, labeled.
I wanted the closet to be aesthetically pleasing as well as neat and functional. So I got some leftover yellow paint from my mother-in-law, and a few cans of forgotten or unloved colors of spray paint in Anthony’s shop, and “went to town” on all those boxes. I studied over how to do the labels for a while and finally settled on an idea I found on Pinterest. I would print on to fabric in a neato font, then cut out the appropriate sized label for each box. (That’s right, you can use your laser printer to print right on to fabric, check it out here. It says to use ink-jet, but I did use my laser printer and got along just fine.)
After everything was finally put in a box, labeled, and stacked in just the right place, I hung two rainbow-striped, twin, flat sheets from Wal-Mart over a curtain rod. I also wanted to hide the stuff on the floor that couldn’t be put in a box, like my sewing machine, laminator, etc. so I bought a cheap table-cloth, cut strips into it with a pinking shears and attached it to the bottom shelf. And there it was: my beautifully organized, peaceful closet!
With such a neat and tidy closet, I needed to find a pretty way to store our art supplies. I decided to sort the markers and crayons and colored pencils by color, put them into pretty jars or cans, set them on a cookie sheet or tray, and display them on a shelf.
Markers are in plastic juice concentrate cans covered with scrapbook paper, stickers and Mod-Podge. A velcro dot holds them in place.
Crayons are in baby food jars set into a little wooden box that once held a Melissa & Doug puzzle.
Colored Pencils are in spray painted tin cans with a magnet button on the bottom to keep them from sliding around the cookie sheet.
Paint brushes are in Frappuccino jars.
Beautiful order! And the kids really like using them this way. When they want a certain color, it’s so easy to find it.
As is usually the case, this whole project took a bit longer than I had anticipated, but now that I am on the other side of all that time and effort, I’m telling you it was certainly worth it. (When I was stuck in the schoolroom day after day with heaps and piles and bits and pieces all around me, I wasn’t sure it was worth it.)
Next up . . . . organizing and filing all that paper!