Our CRAFT CUPBOARD CLEAROUT+ Six Crafty Ways to Use Up Old Art Supplies!

Welcome to our Spring-Cleaning Series! If you are just joining us, here’s what you’ve missed so far:

Hi! Thanks for dropping by! In Friday’s post, I shared my 12-Step Spring Clear-Out Action-Plan which combines/adapts the methods of tidying/minimalism experts Francine Jay, Karen Kingston, and Marie Kondo. My clear-out routine can be applied to each and every area of the home . . . one drawer, one shelf, one cupboard, one closet, one room at a time. Friday, I revealed how I used this plan to bring a breath of fresh air to our Homeschool Hutch, and today I’m using it to clear out our craft cupboard, including extra crafty cleaning tips specifically for the art stash! Enjoy!

~CRAFT CUPBOARD CLEAROUT~ with my 12-Step Spring Clean Routine!

~inspired by the methods of Francine Jay, Karen Kingston, & Marie Kondo~

Step 1: Make a list of the areas of your home that you’d like to spring-clean/declutter.

*All three experts say to start with this. How’s that for clarity?

Step 2: Mark two or three areas on the list that are causing the most daily distress.

*This idea is championed by both Karen Kingston and Francine Jay.

Step 3: Choose one of the “distress” areas to start on and stick with it until completion.

Step 4: Label two large boxes/bins (three if you are tackling a homeschool space) and one large trash bag as follows:

*These labels I have adapted and streamlined from Karen Kingston’s “Box Method”

  • TRASH: items that will be going straight to the dumpster
  • TREASURE: items you will definitely be keeping and returning to the current location
  • TRANSFER: items that need to be removed to various locations, such as items you will be donating, giving to a friend, or simply moving to another location in your home
  • HOMESCHOOL HOARD (if applicable): materials/supplies for homeschooling that you plan to use in the future but do not require immediately

+ one more bag specifically for the Craft Cupboard:

  • *USE-UP BAG: for craft supplies that are old or nearly used up. Rather than just tossing or allowing old art supplies to continue cluttering your craft cupboard . . . consider a third option: placing them in an eye-catching “Use-Up Bag.” Have an arts and crafts day specifically to use up all the contents of the bag, throw a “Use-Up Party” with your kids’ friends/cousins, or simply tell your kids that no arts and crafts supplies may be used until the contents of the bag have been entirely used up.


Step 5: Take that before picture.

YIKES! The kids have free access to this cupboard, what can I say?

Step 6: Remove EVERYTHING and place on a large surface (preferably not the floor for both your back’s and sanity’s sake)

*All three experts recommend removing everything area by area, but NOT an entire room . . . cuz yikes.

Step 7: Give whatever surface is now exposed a lovely vacuum / wipe down/ scrub.

Step 8: Pick up items one by one and DO NOT put them back down until you have made a decision about what box/bag to place it in.

Step 9: When a box/bag fills, address its needs.

*Examples: reorganize the items from the “TREASURE box” back to their home. Take out the “TRASH.” Pick up the “TRANSFER” box and make deliveries around your home.

Step 10: Work until every item has been sorted through the box system filter and you are left with empty boxes/bags to take to the next area on your list.

*Pay special attention to where you place each item using Francine Jay’s “inner circle/outer circle” method.

Step 11: Make it lovely with my favorite tips from Marie Kondo!

*Check out these tips to make any space truly lovely to look at: Ditch the plastic baggies! + Boxed, Bowled, and Basketed!

Step 12: Take that after picture and brew yourself a cup of tea!

PLEASE NOTE: If you need a break during this process . . . take it! I recommend working in a select area until every item has been boxed if at all possible so you are not left with items strewn on the kitchen table overnight. But a few boxes full of pre-sorted items can be placed on a desk or tucked in a closet overnight (or over a weekend) and no harm done. At this very moment I still have a “transfer” box of loose ends waiting for me to tend to them.


Before you toss out those old art supplies, give a few of these ideas a go with your kiddos! Need an idea for using up a specific art material that you don’t see below? Please leave me a comment naming what you have that you need to use up and I will happily brainstorm with you for a crafty way to finish it off!

1.) WATERCOLORS: give your kids salt to sprinkle on watercolor paintings to use up an old palette or two.

*Salt and watercolors are pure magic together, no matter your age!

*I gave our kids a small dish of sea salt and another of rock salt for them to experiment with.

2.) PAPER SCRAPS: give your kids a collection of child scissors and various hole-punchers to use up a stack of paper scraps.

*Let your kids snip and punch to their hearts content!

*If your kiddos aren’t strong enough to punch paper using their fingers, consider letting them try it with their feet! That’s what we do 🙂 !

3.) TEMPERA or FINGER PAINTS: mix with shaving cream to make “puffy paint”!

*Shaving cream is sure to entice your kids to use up the last remnants of those paint tubes.

*Works great with paint brushes or large foam stamps!

4.) CRAYONS: use old or broken crayons on “Hot Rocks”!

*Coloring isn’t our kids’ favorite art activity. In fact, it may be their LEAST favorite. But this art project has taken crayons from the bottom of the art cupboard to the very top!

5.)TEMPERA or ACRYLIC PAINTS: use remnants on Homemade Veggie/Fruit Stamps!

6.) FINGER or TEMPERA PAINTS: use up all the paint remnants you have on hand in one go with our “Happy Feet Art Project“!

Thanks for joining us!

Tune in Wednesday for Our SCHOOL DESK DECLUTTER!

Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~

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