Blogs     Healthy Kids     Family Fun    

What Would Marie Kondo Say About Our Art Cart?

How to declutter your kids art supplies

How to declutter your kids art supplies

So, have you been hit by the KonMari bug yet? Marie Kondo is the lady behind the Netflix special that has everyone tossing out their possessions right now. Between her organizing methods and the minimalism movement you may feel like there will be nothing left in your home to enjoy. But less can be more. 

The Kondo method encourages homeowners to only keep what sparks joy in them and serves a higher human purpose, like clothing, food and shelter. Our art cart doesn’t exactly fit in those categories, but art does serve a significant purpose in our lives. It does make sense to me that when we have less things to take up space or to use, we tend to enjoy them more and take care of them. The bonus is I am free from maintaining extra stuff. With this in mind… I dumped out our art cart. After looking over our arts and craft supplies it appears, we have some work to do. Instead of tossing it all I have decided to pare down our items to a minimal, yet useful amount. I don’t know how much joy this will bring my kiddos, but I will certainly feel joy.

I found several half-used paper journals and sketchbooks along with bins full of broken crayons, markers and colored pencils. Tossing the broken bits is easy. But my kids receive a lot of art supplies as gifts. I don’t want to toss those, so finding a way to store them until we can enjoy them is the challenge.

It is tempting to keep every piece of string, ribbon or box that comes into our home for a future creative project, but if we don’t use it right away it just becomes clutter. If I do not have an intended use for an item, it gets tossed. So, what happens if I need it in the future? I can ask friends, or community groups, if they have extra. Or I can purchase as needed.

Here is our minimal, yet joyful, list of must have art supplies:

1 pallet of water colors – it can be a large pallet with lots of colors to satisfy your little artist. You can also let the kids experiment with color mixing.

1 box of each colored pencils, markers, crayons – each one has a unique effect when coloring. Limiting the number of each set you have will take up less space and only replacing once all are used keeps the supplies manageable.

1 sketch book per child – once the book is complete you can decide to keep or toss before buying another one. Using a bound book keeps all the drawings in one tidy book that can be put away. Otherwise you end up with a drawer full of random piles of paper. If you purchase a water color sketch book your child can sketch and paint in the same book.

2 coloring books – it might feel strange to limit the amount of coloring books, but too many choices can become overwhelming to little ones. They will abandon a book after coloring only three pages. You can hold any extras you get as gifts to bring out as each book is used up.

1 storage bin – this can be a take along bin that contains all your art supplies, or it can be one central storage cart with drawers. It will depend on the amount of supplies you need to keep for you and your family.

If space is truly at a premium in your house, try these tips:

Craft kits – you can buy a kit that has all the supplies you need for one project. This will waste less art supplies and will not require additional storage. Just extra shelf space to display your craft.

Go to the library – many local libraries offer an art hour or creative crafting session in their regular programming.   

Craft times at local stores - Michael’s Craft Store, Joanne’s Fabric Store and Lowe’s and Home Depot offer time in-store to craft and create. No supplies to store, and no mess at home.

It can be very difficult to edit art supplies especially if you have super creative kids. But hanging on to a ton of supplies can feel like a chore to take care of. Keep it simple by decluttering your art supplies. You will be surprised by just how freely your creativity flows.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

Other articles by The Whatever Mom