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homeschool room organization overhaul time

Posted on Jan 1, 2014 by in CREATE, HEALTH | 0 comments

I n our house, there is NEVER such a thing as a “little re-organization.”

My husband is the King of do-overs.  I can’t even count the number of times that he has re-organized our house (multiply that by the 6 homes we’ve had together from Maui to Washington State back to  Maui and lastly to Arizona.)   I can tell when he has something brewing in his head because he’ll be sitting there and all of a sudden he will start looking around at the cabinets, drawers, wall units…. a plain wall …… always ends up as a project.  While it makes me a bit nervous… it ALWAYS always always is for the best.

Our school room has some major problems – at it’s best, yes, it can look clean and beautiful … until you open up the doors.  On a really atrocious day… there’s no room on any single horizontal surface and I find the doors open with papers falling out and they are working on art projects on the floor !

there are too many things and not enough homes
Pebbles

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This is our cupboard of shame. The place where whatever doesn’t have a home (like saved bits, moon dough, butterfly home, extra paper etc.) gets quickly shoved into and hidden – because it’s behind a door ! However, every time we need something it’s an avalanche of frustration. Time to go. (and…. the beech veneer doesn’t match with anything in this room was IKEA circa 1996 or something.)

These are the issues:

  • it’s a small room (a dining room) and every single space counts
  • we have wonderful Ikea Effectiv cabinetry – and yet we keep filling it all up and then some
  • the art and craft materials fit strangely and we have SO MUCH OF IT
  • so many books and binders that don’t like living together on the same shelf – everything gets hidden behind the angled binders
  • book flop+fall over is a MAJOR peeve of mine… enough to put me in a sanitarium
  • nowhere for the everyday tools to go – like ruler, calculator, stapler, 3-hole puncher etc.
  • math manipulatives are crammed with the books
  • no central place for archived finished curriculum to live (waiting for BamBam to get older and Pebbles is through with it) Currently in different places in the house ! I’ve forgotten where everything is … literally.
  • tried keeping Pebbles and BamBam’s stuff on their own shelf… but it’s crammed and hard to find what I need to pull out
  • paper supplies are getting destroyed and are hard to pull out
  • we have a billion coloring books falling over each other – many too young for Pebbles and not interesting for BamBam (Hello Kitty, My Little Pony? :D)
  • we have lots of craft project gifts but they don’t live anywhere
  • there are bulky tools like laminators and my sewing box that don’t fit in well
  • don’t have an organized way to set aside or store keepsakes or favorite assignment
  • we have an old keyboard and stand that we’re not using (we upgraded and the new one is up in Pebbles’ room) and it’s created an unusable space as there is a shelf Dad put in to hold music at one time
Trouble: mixing too many different types of contents (rocks, beads, craft kit, IEW discs, saved schoolwork, baby journals, old curriculum, family tree binder, pop-it beads, games.... SERIOUSLY this gives my hubby hives - which is why he normally stays out of this room.

Trouble: mixing too many different types of contents (rocks, beads, craft kit, IEW discs, saved schoolwork, baby journals, old curriculum, family tree binder, pop-it beads, games…. SERIOUSLY this gives my hubby hives – which is why he normally stays out of this room.

The idea behind the skinny shelf was to use the vertical space better BUT what it did was it was too deep and items like staples, rulers, hole puncher would stack in front of each other making it a pain to grab anything quickly.  The Math U See box sure fit nice there, but again, had nothing to do with everyday 'essential tools.'

The idea behind the skinny shelf was to use the vertical space better BUT what it did was it was too deep and items like staples, rulers, tape, hole puncher would stack in front of each other making it a pain to grab anything quickly. The Math U See box sure fit nice there, but again, had nothing to do with everyday ‘essential tools.’  More odd objects started being added, like bells, magnifying glass…. sigh.

Initially we were going to do a simple Ikea Expedit 5×5 unit and just add some bins and put books out organized by subject and move our old Ikea Beech wood Effectiv tall cabinet into the office to hold some tall things. However, until hub’s brain started churning….. it is now going to change our dining ‘hutch,’ our photo & memory cabinet, office AND school room — oh, and in the short term – BamBam’s closet.

My quick fix has turned into a mega overhaul and it does make me start to hyperventilate considering we were going to start school on Monday with my angelic vision of tidiness sparkling in my dreams.

(* note, this “Monday” was our first day of the school year back in August 2013 when I wrote this post and saved it as a draft  …. and now…. it’s New Year’s Eve 2013  😉 So …. yeah. A little belated.  Hubby pulled it off as I knew he would as you’ll see in the AFTER post. 4 months later yes, our table and sideboard were full of drawings and projects AGAIN …. but was all put away properly and is ready to start school in the new year thankfully.)

We've got a volcano, glitter, laminator, ink, fountain pens, sewing box, fabric and bubbles living in one place. Not very organized - big mish mash which results in checking many cupboards for ....  ?!

We’ve got a volcano, glitter, laminator, ink, fountain pens, sewing box, fabric and bubbles living in one place. Not very organized – big mish mash which results in checking many cupboards for …. ?!

mess5

There is a table under these piles. If we’re not careful, we get mountains of stuff from projects, reading, crafts, pencils, stuffed animals, tools… whatever piling up until we either A) have to put it away ASAP or B) we move to the kitchen table or C) go to the sofa or floor !! Totally serious. Daily diligence as the day moves on is mandatory here.

mess6

The ‘ongoing projects tray’ seemed like an awesome idea a few years ago buuuut …. it’s just a magnet for clutter.  Procrastinated projects + whatever isn’t in the mood to be put away properly on top of the projects that really truly are in progress + convention purchases that don’t have a home yet ! ;D Open horizontal surfaces can be dangerous for ‘stackers’ like us !! :)

mess7

These are our best two cupboards in our sideboard and they still need improvement.
LEFT: we have divided sections for books, coloring books, craft books, papers, big sketchbooks, misc craft kits etc. but everything is falling out all over the place, getting crumpled. Books are mixed up and getting pushed behind one another. The book ends are not working either.
RIGHT: The paints, doughs, brushes, chalk, rock tumbling stuff, ceramic tools, clay and messy craft supplies are in bins that are touch to get out and need to be stacked on each other to ‘fit’ the tight space. Isn’t nice to use.

mess8

This wall is an odd waste of space now that the keyboard is no longer being used by Pebbles as she has a larger one in her room. There is a music shelf that Dad installed stuck on the wall that is of course, a holding spot for magnetic clutter. ;)

So you’ve seen our homeschool room at it’s most sorry state and it feels great to know that improvement is always available with patience and creativity!

Check out the ‘AFTER’ results !

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