A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: Art Room Design DIY ::: Chalkboard Tags Organizing

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18 May 2015

Art Room Design DIY ::: Chalkboard Tags Organizing

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Before we leave for Puerto Rico, I wanted to share one of my favorite spaces here in Pennsylvania.  In fact, I have spent the large majority of my time during the day in this room since we moved here.  It could be called a multi-purpose room and we have called it the "red room", the "art room" and the "work room" interchangeably.  I think we have settled on the "art room" as that is our very favorite thing to do here!  Over the course of the week, I will show you how this space looked when we moved in, the surprise flooring that made me dance giddily around the house, how I made the room fit our family activities and how I used this room specifically for writing my first book.  Today, I am going to start with a little corner of the space that the kids use for art and we all use to keep our life (somewhat) organized.

How to Organize a Family Art Room with Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
I previously published this post on Crafts Unleashed -- all links are to Consumer Crafts and are not affiliate links
Labels and tagging can range from very, very simple and utilitarian (labelmaker!!) to very ornamental (clay tags for plants!) to quite crafty and custom (Create your own stamps!).  Currently, I use all of the above, but tend to land somewhere in the middle for my everyday organizing.  My favorite label?  The humble chalkboard tag.

Chalkboard Tag

I have created my own chalkboard "stickers" out of Silhouette chalkboard vinyl, and was prepared to make more when I stumbled upon this great deal.  50 chalkboard labels...precut with holes for$1.97.  For less than $2.00 I can organize ALL of our cubbies and I do not have to break out the Silhouette!


Let's start with organization tips for the "little stuff," shall we?  The cute little tins are front and center because they are adorable AND because they hold the "little bits" I was always looking for and could NEVER find.  The chalkboard tags were written on with fine tip chalk markers (I love these from David Tutera) and attached with copper wire.

A. Envelopes.   You might think these are for letter writing, but think again.  We need envelopes for SO much more in our family.  Sending last minute money for a teacher present, corralling cut pieces of paper "money," stashing pictures to send to Grandma later...the list goes on and on and on.  I was always looking for envelopes, so now they have a dedicated spot.  I pick up various sizes in varying amounts at the thrift store or on clearance for pennies and they get stashed in a tin for the kids.

B. Combs.  Oh my goodness, boys.  They hate doing their hair and I was always running back from the driveway (waiting for the bus) to the bathroom, grabbing a comb and fixing their hair.  I finally wizened up and bought them in bulk from the dollar store.  I keep this tin full right by the door and my trip is shortened significantly.  Also -- they can never say they "can't find" a comb.

C. Pencils.  See them in the back?  Talk about driving me banana-pants!  Everytime it was time for homework, nobody could ever find a pencil.  Red pen?  SURE!  Markers?  Of course!  Pencils?  NOPE.   Now, this bucket stays full of pencils no matter how many they lose.  I pick up a 100 pack everytime it starts to get at all low.

D. Change.  Coins and Dollars, nothing big.  We have several of these "change depositories" throughout the house, but this one is specifically for the kids.  When I find money on the floor (no matter who it belongs to), it goes in the tin and the boys can earn money from the tin by doing chores.  It is a lot easier to tell them they can go get X amount of money from the jar than to constantly be pulling out my purse.

How to Organize a Family Art Room with Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

E. Hooks.  We never have enough hooks.  I always buy them on clearance and keep a tin of them.  We are still new to this house, so before  hanging hooks, I gauge where we need them the most.  The best indicator?  Where do piles of sweatshirts, coats and towels accumulate?  Once there is a pattern, I add a hook.  This process has not yet found an end.  I am hoping someday we will reach our "hook capacity" as a family.

Underneath the tins is a set of cubbies that is turned horizontally.  From Left to Right on the top:

A. Mama's Cubby -- random stuff of mine that I need to put away.  The kid's are never allowed in this cubby.

B. Listen bucket -- CD's, Tapes and the like.  This is our art room and also our wrestling and dancing room -- all require good music.

C. Batteries.  WARNING: Store batteries in their original packaging or cover ends with electrical tape for safety.  We do the latter and keep a little planter with various batteries so that the kids can reload batteries when needed without a giant search and rescue mission.  Little Haeger planters <<< affiliate link to Amazon where they have a ton...but I like to find mine for less than a buck at garage sales and auctions) are my favorite quirky storage containers.

How to Organize a Family Art Room with Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
Haeger Planter - 50 Cents at auction
D.  Extra throw rugs to replace dirty ones at various doors.  I found out early in motherhood that those little rugs are worth their weight in gold catching dirt.  Whenever I would go to wash one, inevitably the little guys would track mud in the house.  Now no rug goes in the wash without a replacement picking up the slack.  I buy them on clearance at Target for $2-3.

Bottom Row: My favorite row!  The chalkboard tags label the initials for each child and the cubby boxes are empty.  Why?  For half-completed projects.  I was finding that the biggest source of "stuff" in this room was art projects and craft projects that were not quite finished yet.  They weren't ready to be thrown away and they were not ready to hang up.  They were just there in mid-stage driving me crazy.  I finally made the simple realization that we needed a place for these projects.  Each kid gets a bin and when the bin is full they have to clean out the projects, finish them or throw something away.  Why did I wait so long to do this?

How to Organize a Family Art Room with Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
Moving on to the next organization tips...(you didn't think we were finished YET did you?)

Adjacent to the horizontal cubby are two vertical cubbies and a small "art cart."  The art cart holds art supplies for the kids only and they are allowed to use them at almost anytime without help from adults.  One supply that is not on the art cart?  Glue.  Also...glitter.

How to Organize a Family Art Room with Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons
That lamp base is a Haeger too!   $6 at a thrift store and it WORKS!
I need a new shade however...
The quick run-down of time tested cubby organization tips musts -- my favorites are bolded.

Gym: Shoes, socks, weights, etc.

Sport: Soccer jerseys, baseballs hats-- whatever season we are in.

Photos: One box full of random prints -- all sizes that need to be organized further.

How to Organize a Family Art Room with Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

Star Prizes: The kids earn stars for good behavior and chores.  The dollar store prizes are in a cubby and they choose their own.

Art and Craft: Stuff for the kids that they aren't allowed to get themselves.

Stamping and Such: Additional craft supplies.

Boxes include jewelry making, pens and pencils and craft paints.

Ribbon and String: For presents and crafting.  The kids get really creative with string!

Library Books: This box is empty unless library books are coming in or need to be returned.

Fix It Kit: Bandaids, Vaseline, tweezers and other injury related must haves.

How to Organize a Family Art Room with Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

Use It Or Lose It: The first of the month, everything in this box gets thrown away or donated.  It houses all the little junk you don't know what to do with.  
If you don't use it or put it in its place within a month -- we don't need it anymore.

How to Organize a Family Art Room with Amy Renea of A Nest for All Seasons

...annnnnnnnnd that is the end of my organization tips folks...of the arts and craft area.


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