UPDATE: Jaime and her daughter completed this challenge! See their success story and photos here!
“I have a lot of areas to improve organization but I thought I would start small with my 9 year old daughter’s desk. It is a family heirloom but we need to make it more functional for her. She loves art and drawing and does school work on it. I don’t know where to start to organize the drawers. I would feel so blessed to improve on this one tiny project.” – Jaime
Jaime, my nine-year-old daughter loves art, too! Plus she has a great art space so I’m thrilled to share some ideas:
Solution #1: Add Wall Storage
1) Consider putting cubbies on the wall above her desk to hold supplies or current projects. My husband and brother-in-law made Lily’s, but Pottery Barn has some as well.
2) If you don’t really need more storage, consider hanging a curtain rod or two on the wall above her desk instead, then hanging artwork from clothespins. My friend Teresa does this in her house and it’s adorable!
Solution #2: Revamp the Drawer System
First, you’ll want to get rid of anything that’s worn out or she no longer uses. Things like old, incomplete projects can probably be tossed.
Then, relocate all items that aren’t art supplies.
Next, you can group like items together. For example, keep all markers together, all crayons in another spot, and all scissors in yet another section. We use bags and baskets to keep our art supplies organized (I have more information about that in my Frugal Storage Solutions post).
After you have like-items grouped, you can see which supplies will fit in which drawer. Maybe you need one drawer of just markers, or maybe you can put markers, craft sticks, glue, and glitter in the same drawer. As long as each like-item is in its own bag or basket, it’ll be easy for your daughter to get her supplies out and put them away again.
BONUS TIP: Have your daughter do this project with you if possible because she may have great ideas that neither of us have thought of!
Also consider having one drawer for odds and ends. For example, Lily loves having one drawer free to put random craft supplies in – pine cones, toilet paper rolls, old cleaned-out medicine bottles, egg cartons… this gives her a place to keep project idea supplies without overtaking the rest of the room, and having the extra items in one drawer sets a natural limit. When she adds something new to the full drawer, something old needs to go!
Solution #3: Keep it Organized
After your initial organization project, help your daughter go through her art desk on occasion.
Even though Lily is very organized and loves her art spot, she doesn’t always think of getting rid of her old stuff. So, every few months we go through her desk together and purge items that she no longer wants. This helps keep the clutter down on a regular basis so her creativity can flow!
I hope this helps, Jaime! I can’t wait to share your success story after you finish!
PS Readers, don’t forget that if you submit your own mess, you’ll receive a free copy of Chaos to Clutter-Free, plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Details and submission information are here.