photoIt’s art season in our house. The kids have all kinds of projects that require paint, paste, poster boards, and panicked trips to the store.

Frankly, I both love and hate this time of year. I love any excuse to go to the arts & crafts stores, but I hate trying to keep all the supplies organized. And I hate buying duplicates of items we already have but which no one can find.

“Mom, where’s the tape, scissors(I swear we have fourteen pairs), paper cutter, tracing paper?” It’s a constant refrain these days. And when the girls blow in the door, waving pages of instructions at me, it’s always a CRISIS.

I don’t like operating that way, but have yet to come up with a clever solution for getting and keeping art supplies organized and in one spot.

We have art supplies in the kitchen (the girl’s favorite place to work and spread out) underneath the television, in the nearby mudroom cupboards, in my office(shhh, that’s the secret stash only I know about!), strewn about in a hall linen closet and hidden away in an armoire in the basement.  Ugh!photo

One of the principles of organizing is to put things at the point of use. I think my daughters have misconstrued this to mean just leave them where you used them last. But since all the supplies won’t fit in any one of the place listed above, for once getting the children to put things away properly isn’t the real problem.

Mmm. . .

What are your secrets for organizing and keeping track of supplies? Do you make lists of where things are stored? Do you recommend specific styles of storage bins or containers? Trays?

I’m interested in how other people contain their chaos—whether it’s art supplies or gardening tags. How do you handle the problem of “stuff”? I really need a fresh perspective on this one.

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