For the craft station clean-up project, I called in professional help (those of you with tweens probably understand how difficult it is to get them to clean anything at all without intense eye rolling and a lot of procrastination). I figured that it would keep Rosie focused and motivated so we could get all of her stuff organized pain-free. Eliza Cantley of Simplicana was brave enough to take the task and I have to say she was the right gal for the job.
Rosie’s basement craft station was set up as storage as she’s always done projects in our kitchen. Usually, she’d grab what she needed and when finished dump everything back on the table downstairs. Over time, this caused a couple of problems. First, she couldn’t find anything in the piles. Second, she forgot about things she already had so we’d wind up buying more glitter, stickers or markers when we really didn’t need them. And, finally, it was starting to make Mama nuts (it’s right outside my office so I have to look at it every day). You can see the before picture here.
While Rosie did not want to tackle this project, once Eliza showed up with a big bag of tricks and a smile on her face, she got excited. It was important to come up with a system that worked for Rosie, so Eliza asked her lots of questions about where she liked to craft and how she liked to use her supplies. Once the two of them came up with a strategy (it needed to be a portable system so Rosie could craft wherever she liked and store everything downstairs)- it was time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and merge and purge.
We needed to make a few decisions. First, did we really need all this stuff? There were dried-out markers and paint (those we pitched) and a bunch of Winnie the Pooh stickers (these found a home next door with a three year-old). There was a ton of pages that were already colored (those got recycled) and a tub of crayons (they found their way to Safehome the next day). After an hour we figured out what was staying. Next we had to decide how to organize.
Eliza came armed with zip lock bags and very quickly separated everything out into it’s own clearly marked container (the bags were an easy but brilliant option to make everything portable). Next she divided it all up again into labeled drawers so everything is easy to find. Finally, all the craft sets were put into their own bags as well. Two and a half hours later, we had two large garbage bags of stuff that couldn’t be re-purposed, a full recycle bin, and one incredibly clean and organized craft station. Plus, Rosie was thrilled and Mama ecstatic.