Organize crayons and markers by color family


Melissa's art supply organization tip seems magical to me. I'm not sure why this hack works, but it sure is pretty.

Trying to keep the art supplies from devolving into chaos seems like a constant struggle around here.  We recently reorganized our kids' art supplies, and I discovered that once I sorted all the markers and crayons by color family, the kids instinctively maintain the system without any prompting from me.  (It's been a month, now, and though the markers have been used daily, not a single one is out of place!) 

I used various boxes with dividers (Ikea has some nice plastic ones with removable dividers) and sorted the markers into blue/green, pink/purple, red/yellow/orange and black/brown/gray.  

I also notice a lot less arguing over the markers now that they can easily see that their neighbor doesn't have the only blue/pink/favorite-color-of-the-moment marker.  My 3-year-old loves to sort things by color, so he spends more time making sure the crayons are in order than actually coloring!

Good use for an old silverware drawer organizer, which you could pick up second-hand for almost nothing.

Any more crayon/marker organizing brainstorms?

Related: Never lose a marker cap again

AndTakeout containers as small bits organizers


  1. says

    We have lots and lots of plastic cups, and lots of need for certain colors of cup at any given time. So we sort our cups just like this. Really helps when you NEED the yellow cup, they can go to the yellow/orange pile and get what they need without cups flying off the shelf in a mad frenzy. They can also see that clean yellow cups are “out of stock” and can make a choice easily in the same color family or get over it and go to a different family.

    Ridiculous, but it’s a battle I can’t win so we roll with the colored cups! Funny, though, nobody cares about markers and crayons mixed up in a baby wipe tub.

  2. says

    What I want to know is how are all the crayons in the picture still whole?? My enthusiastic artists break a few each time they come out..

  3. anichka says

    what I am confused about is why kids really need SO many crayons and crayon colors?? We have a set of maybe 20 give or take a few and that is PLENTY! all neatly contained in a plastic Tupperware container and all providing hours of entertainment :) Great idea still …

  4. renee says

    One of the greatest moments of my parenting life was when I realized that it doesn’t matter which cap goes on which marker.

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