Thursday, February 17, 2011

Organizing: The Craft Cabinet

Back in September, I opened up my craft cabinet, which is part of our mudroom set-up, to take out some markers for Morgan. Ugh, what a mess. Organizing this beast was something I really needed to take the time to do.
Expect now it's 5 months later and it looks worse.
It's become my catch-all for our craft supplies, from my inkpads and ribbon, to Morgan's playdoh and paint that I don't want her to have easy access to (currently, this is the only cabinet in the house that has childproof latches on it). After digging around (for longer that I thought I should) for red paper on Monday for Morgan's Love activity, I told myself that cleaning out this cabinet had to become a priority this week.

I know why I've been putting it off. I have this list of craft materials that I want to buy and/or put together to store in this cabinet but I haven't made the time to go out and get them. I wanted to have everything here and ready to store before I organized it. But, from the looks of it, this cabinet is already full of supplies. Plus I have two boxes in a nearby closet whose contents belong in here. Time to purge and get organized.

While Morgan and Parker were playing nearby, I emptied the cabinet completely and sorted the contents by like items. I intended for this to be a quick project - one hour, tops - so I moved quickly and tossed what I knew was junk. But also, I didn't spend the time (yet) on opening every marker or bottle of paint to make sure it was still good and not dried out. I'll do that part during phase two.

I had plenty of empty storage containers and bins to use and help give the supplies a home. After lots of moving and shifting, this is what I'm left with now:
Now, the often-used supplies are right up front and the rarely-used is tucked in the back. Like I said, this was just phase one. Once I gather the craft supplies I really want to have on hand for projects with Morgan and Parker, I'll have to make space in this cabinet. Actually, most of what is on the lower shelf is clean and empty food storage containers - egg cartons, oatmeal canisters, soap dispensers, yogurt cups - things I wanted to keep for future activities. We are very lucky that we have lots of room to move this stuff over into the next cabinet and I can dedicate this locked cabinet to supplies like watercolors and finger paints, playdoh and clay, beads, yarn and string, paper and stickers, and more. For now, this cabinet is much easier to use and I don't moan and groan when I open it.

Phase two coming soon:
  • purchase craft supplies
  • remove recycled food containers and place in another cabinet
  • go through paints, markers and the like and toss anything that is unusable
  • organize craft supplies by like items and contain
  • put everything back in place
  • photograph and share

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