Inside: You’ll find 50 ideas on how to organize art supplies in your homeschool so they don’t take over your space.
We have a small house and when you add homeschooling in, it seems to shrink even more.
It doesn’t help that I’m a sucker for school materials. The biggest issue is… art supplies!
I know this is a problem for other homeschoolers too. So how do you tame the beast?
I’ve put together 50 ideas on how to organize art supplies to help win the battle.
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Table of Contents
Tips for Organizing Art Supplies
1.Before you purchase fresh supplies for the year, pull out everything you own and take inventory. This keeps you from buying repeats, over purchasing, and helps figure out what you’ve run out of.
2. Keep similar items together- This just makes sense, unlike the grocery store that puts things in the most unlikely places so you have to wander around looking for them.
3. Use clear containers or put labels on ones you can’t see through so you know what’s inside.
4. Put small items into small containers and then store those inside a larger container.
5. Throw out old, broken, or dried up supplies. Why do we hang on to these? It’s like your husband and that favorite t-shirt that’s tattered and worn with holes in it. Get rid of them!
6. Have a paper scraps box. You won’t keep wasting a whole sheet of paper every time you need some, and it will save you the frustration of jagged pieces of paper sticking out from the front of the construction paper pad (where you tried to store them) every time you pull it off the shelf.
7. Choose rectangular or square containers instead of round one because they are easier to store and take up less space.
How to Organize Art Supplies that Are Small
8. Use a binder with page protectors to store sticker sheets and other thin items.
9. Take a muffin pan and line it with plastic cups to hold small items. Or use the pan by itself for tiny objects.
10. For tiny objects like sequins or googly eyes, you can use a pill organizer.
11. Use a binder with baseball card protector pages to separate small paper pieces.
12. Photo organizer cases are perfect for small objects.
Placing Art Supplies for Easy Access
13. Use a tool caddy as a craft caddy organizer. Fill it with containers or soup cans for pencils, markers, and colored pencils. In the large open area, throw all those crayons you have at the bottom of your purse from the kids’ meals at restaurants.
14. Desktop carousels work great for holding a lot of supplies in one spot and you can spin them to find what you need, which seems to add more fun for your kids.
15. A three-tier serving tray can serve as a storage caddy.
16. A metal rolling cart with drawers is a portable craft storage idea that holds lots of supplies.
17. This Arts and Supply Center is amazing! It comes with 20 drawers filled with arts and crafts materials.
18. Here’s a marker caddy you can make in a few minutes.
19. This 5-gallon bucket organizer is creative.
20. Spinning spice racks can hold little jars with glitter, paperclips, sequins, googly eyes, and even paint.
23. Assign a crate for each child and put all their materials in it. They can put them on the floor next to where they’re sitting and they serves as a craft storage bins with everything at their fingertips. See #31 for a cool idea to make this even better.
How to Hide Art Supplies Out of Site
24. Use a plastic drawer organizer as an art supply storage box. You can even stack two. Assign each drawer a specific category.
25. Buy a shelf with cubbies and put baskets in each one. Label them on the outside.
26. Use a shoe organizer that hangs on the back of a door. There are a lot of pockets, which makes it easy to separate and store art materials.
27. Organize desk drawers with small boxes or silverware dividers.
28. A china cabinet is fantastic for organizing craft supplies. It has shelves behind a closed door and at least one drawer. There’s lots of space to add organizing bins and baskets and it contains everything in one spot.
Ours is an old antique that was in my parent’s basement. It’s beat up and has some paint splotches on it, but I think that adds to the character.
29. The IKEA Trofast system can have several uses. I bought three of them and spaced them apart with a long piece of wood on top to create a computer/work station for us.
I turned the two end ones sideways so I could put a chair in between each one, creating two work areas.
We store supplies in some of the drawers underneath and we use the others as workboxes. You could also use filing cabinets for this idea too. I love this area and I’m so glad I did it!
30. If you have a spare closet, turn it into a homeschool supply area. It’s nice to have everything in one place and you can shut the door when company is coming!
31. Make crate seats. I love this idea! They have a dual purpose. Your child can use it as a seat anywhere in the house (like a reading corner) and it can also store stuff inside it. I feel a project coming on!
Here is a video showing you how to make your own.
How to Organize on the Wall
32. Use floating shelves on a wall as an art supply shelf. Line them with buckets or baskets labeled on the outside.
33. Screw peanut butter jar lids to the bottom of a shelf and then fill the jars with supplies and screw the jars onto the lids to hang below the shelf.
34. Use magazine holders lined up on a shelf.
35. Pegboards with hanging containers and pegs can hold a lot on a wall.
36. Hang a rod or use a shelf with a rod underneath to hang buckets or containers and it looks cute. You can also use a coat rack.
37. Chinese food takeout boxes can become art storage containers. Hot glue them to a board on the wall or hang them on a pegboard by the handle. Cut the flaps off to have the top open.
38. Hang scissors and other hand tools by attaching a strip of velcro (loop side) on a board on the wall. Then use another strip (hook side) that’s longer and starting from one side press it onto the bottom strip and over each item one at a time. When you remove an item, the loop will stay there and is the exact size needed to hold it in place.
40. Hang a magnetic white board and attach a small adhesive magnet to items such a scissors, dry erasers, dry erase markers, etc.
Other Creative Ideas
41. Separate pencils, markers, highlighters, colored pencils and wrap each bunch with a rubber band. Stand them upright in a drawer. It makes it easy to pull one from the bunch and return it when you’re done.
42. Use old soup or veggie cans to organize pencils, markers, pen, or colored pencils. Just take the label off and clean them up and they look shabby chic.
43. Use workboxes- Hands down one of the best homeschool room ideas I’ve ever used! Homeschool workboxes are a fantastic way to organize things. Put all the supplies your child will need for each subject into the boxes. This includes markers, pencils, glue, scissors, etc. Homeschool workboxes are a great way to keep your homeschool organized.
44. Candy jars with lids can hold crayons, glue sticks, arts and crafts materials, and much more.
45. Dish pans can hold supplies such as papers laying flat or other smaller containers for organization.
46. Here’s a great article on homeschool organization with duct tape. There are quite a few ideas for art supplies.
47. Clean and reuse takeout containers or coffee cans.
48. If you’re looking for craft storage ideas on a budget, Mason jars are wonderful because you can put anything in them and they look cute! You can save old spaghetti jars too. You can hang them on the wall with hose clamps. I did this in our bathroom for the kids’ toothbrushes, but it would work with art supplies.
49. Tape five Crystal Light containers together in a row with all open sides facing the same direction. Do this again to make a second set. Lay them down on their long side and stack the two rows on top of each other and tape the rows together. Fill the containers with pencils, pens, markers, or colored pencils.
50. Use plastic shoe boxes from the Dollar Tree. They’re stackable and have lids.
Homeschooling can be hard enough as it is some days, but when you can’t find what you need or you’re buried in stuff, it can cause unwanted stress and tempers to flare. Use these ideas to learn how to organize art supplies, tame the beast, and make your life easier.