Thursday, January 15, 2009

all the "stuff"

all the "stuff"

Okay - as part of my commitment to stay more motivated with our homeschool, a little organizing was required because everything and I mean every thing seems to stay in a state of chaos. Many times I have a "bright idea" that ends up being totally wrong, but lately, I've been having "no" ideas about what to do with all this stuff! You'd think that after 5 1/2 years, I may have it sort of figured out by now, lol!

This used to be in a drawer near our dining room table...yes...just one drawer. I have to wonder how I fit it all in there. It worked well so long as I had just organized it and no little hands had touched it yet ;)

This is now on the kitchen counter (luckily I do have lots of space) in baskets and looks neat....for the moment. But, this doesn't even scratch the surface of what's best to do with all the books and paper. I should have taken a photo of that side of the room, lol! I feel like I'm at a loss with what to do with it all.

What are your suggestions? What works in your house? What works for your kids? Please share any tips you have...I need all the help I can get.


Kate in NJ said...

LOL, If you have seen photos, you know
I have NO IDEA!
I only have one, and the "stuff"
is everywhere. I am on a mission to get
"organized" this
I do have two large "pantry" style cabinets in my kitchen from freecycle that keep most
of the mess "contained" there.
I use a lot of baskets, containers...but they are everywhere!!

Tonya said...

Your craft supplies look all nice and neat in their baskets, but I know what you mean about little hands. The minute they touch it, huge mess! LOL

I don't really have any good suggestions. I have two huge storage cabinets in our garage and the TV armoire and another cabinet in the house help to store (really hide) all the home schooling mess LOL One day I will be organized ( yeah, when they all are grown and out of the house!) Of course, then I will miss the mess and my babies : D

knitsational said...

I'm no help either. My little ones are too young to start homeschooling yet, but already their crayon, books, coloring books,etc are already out of control. So I would love to hear whatever suggestions you get.

Michele@Philoxenos said...

I have three littles, ages 5 and under, and the best thing I've learned is to use drawers or plastic boxes with lids (like plastic shoe boxes you can buy at the dollar store). This way they can be well marked and everything goes in that drawer. My kids know that this box is for crayon, this one for markers, etc. And with drawers you can buy those three or four drawer towers on wheels. So wheel it out when you want them to have it and then wheel it back (into a closet or something) when it's off limits. Even if the inside of the drawers aren't tidy, at least they're all out of sight.

Marcia said...

I love plastic totes aka empty wipe boxes :)
My closet under my stairs may be comeplete pit, but things are in plastic containers and I can simply grab what I want and quickly shut the door!
*I write on the outside of the box what is inside of it.

Jessica said...

Oh organization is not one of my strong points. Augh. I try very, very hard but I never quite get it right. It work with lots of little ones I stay organized by not having much out except for what belongs out for that day. Then I use photos or word labels (depending on the kids) to help them remember what goes where...perhaps I should do that for myself as well!

...they call me mommy... said...

LOVE YOUR BLOG! The photograhpy is stunning! I am a novice shutter bug...:)

God bless!

Stephanie E said...

I love your blog! I found you thru DRYASTOAST! I am an educator and honestly I want to homeschool too! :O)

...they call me mommy... said...

Oh, I use drawer bins for a lot of our craft stuff and each of my kiddos has a Sterilite Showoff (that's the name :P) bin that fits their current workbooks, a folder, a zipper case for crayons, pencils, scissors, glue, etc, colored paper, and flashcards etc. It is really nice, 'cause it's mobile so we can pick up our bins and go anywhere to "do" school! I have a binder that has a zipper case in it too so that I always have scissors, tape, pens, etc with me too! Hope that helps! I am always trying to find better ways to organize homeschool stuff! :)

Sam said...

Hello, well I don't homeschool my kids, but I have 4 and they have a lot of stuff. I do work with my little ones on basic skills such as coloring, writing, colors, shapes, etc. and they have a lot of books and flash cards to store along with the crayons and scissors and on and on.

I love your baskets and they look so well organized! But, I know that once little hands get a hold of them everything is a mess and that's okay. If it bothers you that much, then do small clean ups during breaks. Be sure to include the kids in the clean up process if you don't already.

It sounds like you don't like a lot of visual clutter and I don't either. The solution is to hide it behind closed storage such as kitchen cabinets, an armoire, a closet, etc. Just be sure to keep up with storing things in baskets like you already do. I also use baskets in addition to plastic shoe boxes with and without the lid just to keep everything organized and so we can easily find stuff.

I can't stand not being able to find things. It really drives me crazy, so to combat this I've basically created a place for everything and am slowly showing my little ones where everything goes. The big kids in my house "my husband and 12 year old" know by now where everything goes and put it there because they don't want to hear my complain.

So, after it's all said and done, just enjoy your kids and don't sweat this stuff as they grow so incredibly fast. Their needs will change and you'll have to change the way you organize too. The keys are to relax, remain flexible, and create a place for everything. Just remember that place may/will have to change every once in a while.

I wish you the best and I truly hope this helps. For more info on how to get organized, you can check out my site.
As an fyi, I'm planning a future content page for how to organize your homeschool too.

Nina said...

Contain and hide with easy access. It works for me. They can get to it but I don't have to see it. Also, I keep it all in one large container with the pencils in a large ziplock etc. I toss it all back into the large container and then back into the closet when I am clearing the visual clutter.

It is nice to have clear counters at night

Witchypoo said...

Hello Sandra, i work in a children's nursery, and im a neat freak, so im constantly at battle to try and tidy up! Only after the kids have gone of course, i feel mess is part of their creativity! But for your house, i like looking in little second hand shops and thrift stores for jars, cups and little buckets to hold pencils and things like that in. I always love it when i find a little bit of treasure for the house. Unfortunely, im a bit of a hoader and i need to find storage for all that as well! Haha! Hope you and your family are all well!