At my house we call this the project closet. But I'm talking about organizing the place that you keep all of the stuff around your home related to projects, art supplies, games, puzzles and the like. Sometimes people like to store things like this in their kid's bedrooms to get it out of the way. And while I like that idea, keep this golden rule in mind: store it where you use it. I don't like having paints and art projects in my daughter's room because we do all of those types of projects at a designated table not too far from the kitchen (for easier clean up). Same goes for the basement. Unless you have a project table set up there, it might be best to reconsider where you are storing your project and activity related things.
Because we don't have a lot of storage in our house, we keep the art supplies, games and puzzles in one place. There are a lot of little things to keep track of and if everyone isn't helping put things away, it gets ugly really quickly. If you can designate a place to put things "away" it will be easier to ask for help and get things off the table, so you can use it for dinner tonight. Consider these tips as you clean out and organize your project space (closet).
This is the "after" of everything put back at the end. Sorry I don't have a before to show, like the bathroom closet, I didn't realize I was going to make this into a blog post (until I realized how messy and unorganized things were) and then started snapping pics half way through the process.
1 >> Take everything out of the closet. This is the easiest way to see what you have, what is a duplicate, how much you have and what can be thrown out or given away. I found old paint, tons of papers, old games and art projects we will never work on again. I also found a few puzzles I forgot we had that haven't been opened. Wipe down the shelves and clean the space. Keep like things together so it is easier for everyone to find.
2 >> Rethink the packaging. After getting rid of anything you know you no longer play with, or will never use again, assess the types of containers the games and art supplies are already in. Many times you'll find it is a giant box with a few things inside and a lot of wasted space. In some cases, you can get rid of the original box all together, fold down the game board and put the board pieces into a container.
3 >> Streamline. I like to keep things roughly the same shape for stacking purposes. I bought these blue containers at Target to keep everything separated but easy to stack and pull out. The small ones are $1 and the large ones are $4. I like that they are somewhat transparent, have a connected lid, and they latch so smaller pieces won't fall out. Because I bought the same color for everything, labels are important. Since this is our creative project closet, I thought handwritten labels would be more fun and quicker to make. They do have different colors of container tops, I just chose blue for mine. I cut out small pieces of paper, hand wrote everything that was in each bin and attached with scotch tape that covers the whole piece of paper. That way, the labels won't fall off or get wrinkled or tear.
Notice that all of the art supplies are at the top of the closet with pink labels. I used a highlighter to make them pink, so nothing fancy here. The existing shelves were too far apart, so I added these inexpensive shoe racks from Target for additional shelves for all of the little things that need to live here.
The middle section of the closet is for all of the games (yellow highlighter label). I kept some of the board game boxes that were the same size and easy to stack. Other board games (like Pictionary and Monopoly) were too large to fit in the space, so I just stacked the boards and put the pieces into the blue containers.
4 >> Decide what needs to go where based on how often you use it. I store my sewing things in the this closet, but rarely use it. So I have that on a bottom shelf. The puzzles usually only come out once in awhile, so those are also on the bottom. The art supplies and games are used year round, so those are at eye level. I try to keep all of the related things together so it is easier to pull out everything you need for one type of project at a time.
Paint is stored with the brushes, smaller plastic cups for sharing paint and a few easy-to-clean pie pans I use for holding and mixing paint. The glue sticks are stored with the glue gun and other types of glue and tape. The smaller the pieces, the more likely the container needs a lid to hold everything inside.
Keeping this table-top ping pong set all together in one container makes it easy to grab and set up when we want to play. Since it is a table top set, we can even take it with us and easily put it in one of our bags for travel.
The yarn and related projects needed a bigger bin. So I included the ribbon and hooks and scissors that would all be used with those projects together in one container.