I hear those words often at my house, and I don't know about you, but kids' art supplies can get SO messy. Crayons never quite make it back into their box, marker lids are easily lost, and kids are often raiding my stash of pens and pencils so that just when I need one, I can't find it.
We solved some of these problems a couple years ago by introducing each child to their own "art bin." We keep them in the office closet for them to pull out and bring to the kitchen table when they want to color. Inside is a notebook, some paper, coloring books, and a pencil box to hold their own art supplies. Every six months or so, when the bin gets overflowing and the crayons and colored pencils are mixed in with the layers of papers, we go through and purge a lot of the extra papers, and organize again the crayons, markers, and other supplies.
On my "to do" list all summer has been to re-organize the kids' art bins. Yesterday, I was happy I'd put it off, because I found these great baskets at our local Buy Low for 88 cents (there were lots left if you live in my area, so head on over!)! I picked up seven of them and today some of the kids helped me set them up. And yes, I did make one for Harmony even though she's still too young to care. I figure that way, at least I will be able to find some supplies when I'm in quick need.
One of the problems with our old system is that the crayons and markers and such never ended up back in the pencil box. This will work better because there's no opening and closing or digging through to find things. Just a sweet little handle and everything's at their fingertips.
Everyone got crayons, kid scissors, colored pencils, a small pencil sharpener and watercolor paint in their bin. The older three kids also got glue and markers (I've found Sarah and Allison just will not put those lids back on, no matter how many reminders I give them).
Their old bins are still there, but they only have paper, stickers, and coloring books in them now.
How do you organize your coloring supplies?