The art of organization

Published by Lori Pickert on September 2, 2007 at 03:55 PM


Don't worry, I'm not going to pretend I can cover the topic of organization in just one post.

After all, "Real Simple" talks about it in pretty much every issue.

However, we're getting ready to gear up for the school year, we need to organize our classrooms, and parents have many of the same concerns at home. (In fact, more and more bedrooms and play rooms are drawing inspiration from classrooms.)

I am not one of those people who keep only the things which I feel to be beautiful or know to be useful (paraphrasing William Morris). My closets and drawers are crowded with the less attractive, the downright ugly, the obscure, and the "maybe some day".

At home (see above), we had a major organizing shift this year in the play room. I purchased a couple dozen of the clear bins shown, which have permanently attached lids that, when open, hang neatly at the bin's sides like a hinged open door. These were purchased at Wal-Mart when they were on clearance, and I made a second trip to get more. Bless the person who thought of the permanently attached lid.


Clear bins and containers are so nice for showcasing their contents. If a child can't see into it (e.g., open baskets and trays on a low shelf), clear containers allow them to see what materials are available.

With limited storage, it always helps to go up ... clear containers on high shelves mean materials that aren't needed everyday are still in sight, so children don't forget what you have. High shelves are also a nice way to display completed projects.

paintcan.jpgOne of my favorite finds for organizing pens, pencils, markers, paintbrushes, etc, is paint cans. The paint store sells them (new, unused) in different sizes, about 88 cents for the quart size. These are a natural material, sturdy, and .. bonus .. magnetic -- so you use magnets or magnetic labels on them.

Martha Stewart uses paint cans turned on their sides to make excellent cubbies. It's not hard to imagine these repurposed as student mailboxes in the classroom (drawings can be rolled!).

More organizational inspiration for today:

Colanders instead of baskets

Pegboard desk (Martha Stewart Kids)

Baskets, chalkboards, and cork boards (Pottery Barn Kids)

Slat shelves


Comment by Auntie Jo Jo on March 19, 2009 at 09:15 PM

Love these ideas and room!!! Great job. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Lori Pickert on March 20, 2009 at 02:34 PM

thank you! :^)

Comment by Ruby on February 4, 2013 at 01:17 PM

Just FYI, the link in this sentence isn't working anymore: "Martha Stewart uses paint cans turned on their sides to make excellent cubbies."

Comment by Lori Pickert on February 4, 2013 at 01:53 PM

thank you! i fixed it! :)

Comment by Lisa Uotinen on April 29, 2013 at 03:21 PM

Thank you for these great ideas. I love browsing your blog, I always find new stuff to enjoy.

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 29, 2013 at 04:18 PM

thank you, lisa! :)

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