I adore this room.
In my house's previous life it was someone's work room, fully equipped with serious power tools. I imagine the previous owner snuck down to the basement for alone time workroom, away from the fast pace of the family and created beautiful, well planned projects. Not having power tools of our own, we turned the benches and cabinets he'd utilized for his wood working into our art room.
It is about as unorganized as one can imagine. Every time I attempt to organize it someone comes along to do an art project and the creativity overtakes the room. Typically, by the time the project is complete, we are late to something and nothing gets put away in exactly the "right" spot.
That's OK. I'm making peace with the chaos.
I love this room. We store cardboard boxes, empty spools of ribbon, toilet paper rolls, sturdy cardboard pieces, and anything else that looks like it could become a project instead of trash. *Note: Only one of the storage bins is actually a store-bought bin. The others are just large cardboard boxes. Even the kids' art table is a large cardboard box covered in white paper. It was a playhouse for awhile and before it made it to recycling it somehow because an art table. Perfect for little hands to kneel and work.
The kids have free access to tape, glue, markers, paper, scissors, stamps, crayons, glitter glue, and tons of other materials. They need to request paints or free flowing glitter from an adult, but that is because one of them is two and a half and is an expert at testing limits. Even with adult supervision we end up with painted floors. Last weekend she stepped on her glitter-glue name that was drying and our floors ended up with a path of glittery 'er' that she stamped with every step.
This summer I dedicated space in the room to my new business. I spend a lot of time here, creating social stories and projects for the kids I work with. I store my book kits here too. This ridiculously messy room is where I become the most creative. Standing here, with a book in hand, I can see what needs to be pulled together so that a particular student can act out a book. I have my two paper cutters and my laminator here to help create all sorts of projects. In the slightly organized area of the room I also have a gift station, where I have easy access to my wrapping supplies.
I love this room.
On Saturday morning, when we'd planned to clean the house and get organized, somehow my girls and I ended up down there. While my oldest was making a jewelry box out of an egg carton I distracted the two year old with a shoe box. Somehow in our play the box transformed into a school bus. The three of us became consumed with listing the different parts of the bus and then determining how to create them with the supplies we had on hand. The five year old wrote 'stop' for us while the two year old wrote the first letters of their names all over the bus. Even after I'd stepped away to do laundry the two girls worked together peacefully on the project, solving "what if's" and accepting one another's ideas. This does not happen often, so when it does it feels like magic. There is magic in this room.
There is a lot we could do with this space other than covering it with glitter and scraps of construction paper. One day maybe we can turn it into a guest bedroom, or a bathroom, or just use the additional storage space so we can buy more at Costco. But for now, it's our art room.
A serious mess for serious creativity, problem solving, and learning the power of transforming an idea to reality.