We have a very specific clutter problem at our house. The blame for it can be pinned squarely on our collective creativity.
As kids, both Ed and I subjected our parent's homes to paints, glue, clay and creations out of Kleenex boxes. Our parents' are likely tickled to see our children doing the same stuff today. (The kids' crafts are sweet, but the revenge may be sweetest.)
Our table is generally covered with markers, scraps of paper and random treasures awaiting craftification (did I spell that right?). I've had my eye out for something that could, at the very least, corral their crafting tools.
Something that could be moved off the table at meal time, without having to pick up 132 individual markers, pencil crayons, or scissors. Everything I saw was a bit more than I wanted to pay or not easy enough for the kids to use without excessive coaching.
Then, in the aftermath of our dishwasher's untimely death, a Craft Caddy came into our lives:
Do you recognize it? It's the utensil bin from our old dead dishwasher! It's the silver lining to our cloudy days of researching and buying our new dishwasher. It works perfectly for the job and cost us nothing.
By giving the kids a central place for their supplies we are cutting way down on the times we hear: "MOMMY! Where's my scissors? DADDY! Where's the tape?" (Which always sounds more like a command than a question to our ears.)
The kids are hearing less of, "Well, honey, I haven't used your scissors, where did you leave them last?" I am sure not having to hear that little lecture (thinly disguised as a question) is a relief to the kids.
There may be a Craft Caddy out there for you.
After Ed dropped the old dishwasher off at a scrap yard (and saved us disposal fees), we got to thinking that many of the other dead dishwashers left behind would have potential Craft Caddy's left behind inside. If this idea appeals to you, your local scrap yard may have just the thing for you!
This idea tames the craft supply portion of our craft-clutter-beast, but there's still the paper and the creations to deal with. How do you deal with yours?
(PS - for a frugal toy storage idea that also works for us, click here)