Organizing Your Inventive Kid – Movable Storage

Organizing Your Inventive Kid – Movable Storage

Organizing Your Inventive Kid - Movable Storage - Nikola Tesla
Mr. Tesla

Nikola Tesla lived in a hotel.

After a day in the lab, tinkering with wireless power and x-rays, he would retreat to a room, freshly cleaned and organized by housekeeping.

Strangely, we have no housekeeping staff. After a day of tinkering with K’Nex and colored pencils, our little one retreats to a room strewn with Big Hero 6 figurines and well-loved stuffed animals. She is happy with this. After all, Hiro and Tadashi have always wanted to fly on the back of a stuffed kitty cat. So the inventive thinking continues late into the eve.

Our children have the potential to be as creative as the world’s greatest scientists and artists. I have faith in this generation, and love seeing what they come up with. But how can I encourage this inventiveness without losing my serenity in the process? Do I want to spend 6 hours a day organizing? No, actually.

The first concept I have been toying with? Movable storage. Boxes that can go anywhere in the house. After all, sometimes one feels creative at the kitchen table. Sometimes one feels creative in the basement. Gathering a handful of crayons which eventually roll out of sight under the cabinets or the furnace is not a sustainable solution.

1. Tackle box coloring station

Organizing Your Inventive Kid - Movable Storage - art bin

Purchased at my beloved Pearl Paint on Canal St. (now out of business), the tackle box has been a fantastic solution for organizing coloring supplies. ArtBin carries similar items. Even a fishing tackle box would work, and would add some serious cool-factor to the art supplies.

I like that a tackle box sits flat on the table and opens to reveal everything. The three layers work for displaying a variety of materials. Best of all, there is no dumping out in order to scoop up later. Just lock – n’ – go.

2. See-through scrapbook box for colored pencils

Organizing Your Inventive Kid - Movable Storage - pencil box
Yes that is a hundred dollar set of Prismacolor pencils. They are mine from college. The little lucky duck inherited them, as long as she promised to keep them neat.


This box, being see through, offers instant recognition of the contents. The tabs easily slide open even for littler fingers. Again, it lays flat on the table and the top fully opens so there is no dump-and-reload required. Best of all, the top is hinged on so it cannot get misplaced.

3. On-the-road box

Organizing Your Inventive Kid - Movable Storage - on the go box

This is an ex-pencil box from school. Now it contains a handful of crayons and a few sharpened pencils. It can easily be thrown in a carry on bag for flying or train trips as well.

Anything will work as far as movable storage goes. Even freezer bags work in a pinch. But I love these longer-term solutions that really emphasize the importance of the child’s work. Next up? How to store the thousands of creations and inventions. Now that is a work in progress.

Photo credit, top: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: LC-DIG-ggbain-04851

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