Being laid up with a busted ankle means I don’t get to spend much time outside this summer, what the whole crutches-on-dangerous-terrain thing. So I’m tackling some of the really small projects I was saving for next Fall.
A major point of irritation in my daily life is the craft and art supply cabinet. Our dining room has a built in cabinet/shelf hutch. There are three cabinets on the bottoms half. This could be awesome. However, the stairs going to the basement run beneath the cabinets , so the far left and middle ones are kind of faux cabinets. The bottom part of each is taken up by a big built in box that allows the ceiling over the bottom couple of steps to appear normal. The two cabinets affected lose about 60 percent of their storage capacity due to this issue.
The far right cabinet is full size. It is also home to the plethora of sketchpads, sticker books, and coloring books we have accumulated. Plus, a muriad of paint, modeling clay, markers, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, mechanical crayons, stickers, chalk, and other random related items. With each child’s birthday, we receive more coloring books and a wheelbarrow of crayola. This cupboard is always a disaster. I am an organization junkie, so this shameful craft cave pains me. I can’t really blame the kids for the mess. The cupboard is low to the ground, dark, and deep. There is no good way to organize it for kid art supplies. When the kids forget to put their stuff away, and I heckle them to clean up, I dont even care that they just chuck everything in there. The only other way requires sitting on the floor with a flashlight.
I’ve been thinking of reorganizing it all into a cart for years. YEARS.
Way back when the Ikea Raskog cart came out, I wanted it so bad. It was turquoise and adorable! I wanted to set it up as a cute bar cart. I never did get one because we lived in a microscopic pre-war walk-up and it was already cramped with just my husband, myself, and our two cats. Then we added a baby and the place was just wall-to-wall with furniture. Our apartment was smaller than most people’s master bedrooms and we just had too many bodies living there. Purchasing any home goods fell by the wayside for many years and I’m just this past year getting into some proper nesting. I never got my cart and they discontinued the turquoise color. Now they only offer it in beige, black, or brown. Come on IKEA, yuck.
I happened upon the Recollections Lexington cart offered through Michael’s. It is almost identical to the IKEA Raskog cart. And it comes in a minty turqoise. AND WHITE. (Seriously, what is so hard about offering something in white IKEA?) It was on sale and I used a coupon, so I ended up getting a good deal. I ordered one in mint and two in white. The mint is for the kid art cart. I will use a white one in my office and the other white one might be for houseplants that are under quarantine. (Dang mealy bugs.)
The three tiers are perfect. I use one for sketchpads and coloring books. One tier for the pens, pencils, crayons, and markers. The remaining tier houses the miscellaneous paint, modeling clay, glitter, glue, and whatnot. We have a lot of mason jars from canning, so I just repurposed some for pencil and marker containment. For the rest of the containers, I shopped around the house for items to repurpose. I used screw boxes, vitamin bottles, food jars, and even the boxes from my underwear subscription. (Haha!)
The downside of reorganizing the cabinet contents into a cart, is the items are now out and visible at all times. There is something to be said about hiding things behind a door. Well organized visual clutter, is still visual clutter. However, it is worth it. Now the kids can easily see and retrieve what they want. It is easier and quicker to put the art supplies away. And of course……I have my full sized cabinet back! I can put actual serving ware in my hutch instead of the crayola museum. Plus, now the kids have no reason to open the cupboard door, which means I also don’t have to hear it slam 87 times. *Eye twitch*