The art room can feel like a crazy place, but that’s part of why you love it, right? Still, with the number of different kids you get to work with and the range of projects you get to teach them, it can be a lot to keep track of. Luckily, with a good system, you’ll have a much easier time. Here are some art room management tips to keep it clean long term.
5 Art Teacher Tips for a Cleaner Art Space
Keeping your room clean can be tough with so many artists using the space, but with a little help and organization your room can stay in great shape all year round.
Create a Color Coordinated System
Color helps provide a visual cue that helps both you and your kids stay organized. You can use it for different tubs and different areas of the room. You can also color coordinate art supplies (paint, markers, paper) to make it easier to find art materials and put them away afterward.
Put Up Supply Signage
Having good signage can really help you keep your room clean. Kids often give up if they can’t find something easily, so make large signs for scissors, glue, paint, brushes, water cups, aprons and so on. When you see supplies left out, point to the signs and explain your expectations.
Put Everything Away When You’re Finished
Never leave supplies out longer than you’re actually using them. If you have to use the same supplies for several classes in a row, have students help you tidy them before their class leaves so they’re easy to find and aren’t spilling. Save the actual clean up for the end of the day when you’re completely done.
Post the Rules of the Road
Somewhere on your wall, post the rules of your art room. This can include things like putting supplies away when done, only taking as many supplies as needed for one project, cleaning up after one activity before starting a new one, and keeping supplies organized.
Assign Cleanup Roles
Part of the challenge with a messy art room is that you end up spending so much precious prep time dealing with the chaos. Instead, assign cleanup roles to your students. Assign one person from each table group – for instance, the person in the southwest corner, or the person closest to the window – to put away supplies.
More Art Classroom Tips and Tricks
It may take a little while for these ideas to become habit, but students can do it. Don’t be afraid to tell your them about your new plan, and enlist them in the execution. Say something like, “Keeping this room clean is a group effort, so I want you guys to help me make it happen!” Often kids will surprise you when tasked with a request that’s for you, rather than because they “should.” Given the right reasons, they’ll care just as much as you about keeping the art room shiny clean!
Find more tips and tricks for keeping yours or any learning space organized and stress-free on the Teacher Life and Organization & Storage category pages.