Operation Organization–Art Cart from Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home

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Operation Organization Back to School Edition Series at 11 Magnolia Lane

Today we are welcoming a new contributor to our Operation:Organization Series–Rachel from Useful Beautiful Home. We met Rachel at the Haven Conference last month and loved hanging out with her, and since she has mad organizational skills we quickly invited her to join us in our back to school series. We know you’ll love her as much as we do!


My big {little} girl is starting her first year of school.  Entering Kindergarten means I don’t anticipate she’ll bring home algebra equations in her backpack anytime soon. So you can imagine, we don’t need a homework station… yet.  However, we do need an Art Cart designed to keep all her favorite crafting & art supplies organized throughout the school year.


Back-to-School Art Cart 2

I created our original Art Cart a couple years ago because my daughter has always been interested in crafting and coloring (read about it HERE). Recently, I upgraded it to a more inclusive cart for her growing skills and growing collections of supplies.


Art Cart Organization 101


Not only does she love to create art on a daily basis, but I will also be “hybrid homeschooling” her this year. That means she attends a “traditional” school setting for part of the week and the other days she’ll stay home to learn with me. Learning – especially at her age – should be fun, creative, and colorful. So, it’s important to have all our early learning art supplies in one easily accessible location to enhance our homeschool days. The best Art Cart for little children's art supplies


I did a very thorough review of several carts and finally landed on THIS one.  Experience tells me we need a cart with wheels so it could travel from storage to the desk or kitchen table and back again with ease.  The wheels on this cart swivel every direction VERY EASILY, which is helpful considering the way children “drive” rolling devices. 😉  Even better, I can lock the front two wheels in place if I want to keep it stationary.



Swivel wheels make this art cart user friendly for small children


Aside from the obvious aspect of organizing all the glue, paper, & crayons; we also needed a place to stash unfinished art projects. The top of this cart has plenty of room to use for that purpose. Often times she likes to make masterpieces at the kitchen table while I’m cooking a meal. Undoubtedly, she’ll have to stop the project so we can clear the table to eat. This designated “holding space” keeps my little Picasso satisfied knowing she can come back later to finish.



Use the top for keep unfinished art projects for later


One last thing about the exterior of this cart, I reused an old gift bag to act as a mini garbage receptacle. Throwing away scraps and trash pieces along the way helps to shorten clean-up time afterwards.


Washitape a trash container on the side for easy clean-up during art projects


Other than a few containers I purchased from a dollar store, I used what I had around the house if items within the drawers needed to be separated. For example, a small muffin tin keeps all those tiny embellishment pieces from scattering whenever the wind blows. Of course, if the tin gets removed from the drawer and dropped… well, you know how that goes. 😉


A $1 muffin tin organizes kids craft embellishments inside the art cart


Speaking of things inside the drawers, here’s how I organize our art supplies… The first drawer contains crayons, crayons, and only crayons – which is very intentional. If we don’t want to use the whole ‘kit and caboodle’, it’s easy for me to pull out one single drawer and put it wherever little hands are coloring.


Removable drawers are perfect for organizing young kids' art supplies


The second drawer holds other coloring utensils like markers, colored pencils, etc. I separated those items with plastic bins from a dollar store.


Drawer 2a

The third drawer contains stamps and stickers, excellent means for building dexterity.


Drawer 3


The fourth drawer confines glue, embellishments, and tape. Art isn’t art in our household without sticky goo and tiny flecks of sparkle. Glue and scissors get their own dedicated bins and all those itty-bitty embellishments find their way into the previously mentioned muffin tin.


Drawer 4


Fifth in line, a drawer full of paper, all shapes and sizes. From colorful construction paper to paper plates, we keep it together in this drawer.


Drawer 7


The sixth drawer keeps coloring books together, because nothing passes time better than a good ol’ fashion coloring book!


Drawer 6


The seventh drawer holds activity books (the kind that are more focused on education and learning).


Drawer 8

In the last drawer, I keep Do-a-Dot art. We love this form of painting and skill building!


Drawer 9


As for the finished artwork that she considers “keepers”, I wrote about how I organize them HERE and offer a free printable too! It’s my relief system when I’m overrun by colored pages and glittery glue drawings.


Create an Art Book to organize your child's take-home papers


Finally, I labeled each drawer with a small piece of washitape. My daughter can’t read yet; in fact, she has the drawer contents memorized by now anyways. So the labels aren’t for her, more for friends and babysitters with whom we share our art supplies. The way I see it, a good label never hurts when trying to keeping things tidy. 🙂



Washitape labels are quick, easy, and able to be rearranged as necessary


That’s the way we “roll” (hee hee) when it comes to organizing our arts & crafts. I hope all of you with budding artists find this useful!


Organize your children's art supplies in this cheerful Art Cart!


Thanks Rachel, yes this is so “Useful!” My daughter is also starting Kindergarten {said with a mixture of elation and sorrow!} next week and this would be great for all of her crafting, I love it!

The entire Operation: Organization {Back to School Edition} series is here:

Wednesday, August 6th–Sam at Simply Organized

Thursday, August 7th–Emily at Eleven Gables

Friday, August 8th–Amanda at Dixie Delights

Monday, August 11th–Julie at Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

Tuesday, August 12th–Megan at Honey We’re Home

Wednesday, August 13th–Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home

Thursday, August 14th–Paige at The Pink Clutch Blog

Friday, August 15th–Terry at 11 Magnolia Lane

 All of the participating bloggers will be pinning their favorite projects to the Operation: Organization Pinterest board, and you can follow that {here}. You can keep up with all the fun by following us on Instagram {#operationorganization} too!

Thanks for stopping by–

Amy New Headshot 2014 Small

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  1. Always great to have all of your art supplies in one spot. She is quite the budding artist. Love the use of the muffins tins to hold smaller items.

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