Thursday, September 12, 2013

Making up for Lost Time, Part Two: A Place for Everything & Everything in Its Place

After much prayer and searching, Dan & I decided to give our school a complete overhaul. As much as we loved what we were using, it just didn't work out for the kids. So, we made the switch. Just about all of our curriculum is completely new to us, and a totally different method. You'd think it wouldn't really matter when it comes to logistics, right? But, when you combine it with overwhelming urge to either move, or re-do the living room, you've got a recipe for a huge project...mess...headache...oh boy...what did I get myself into?!

When the shipments from and elsewhere came, I was so enamored by the pile of new books and Walmart bags spilling over with new school supplies, I completely overlooked one major problem: space. PACE's are easy! A filling cabinet drawer or a couple of crates (or all of the above when you have multiple students), a bookshelf for Literature books & supplies, and bam! School is neatly stored and out of the way. 

But, with textbook teaching, you need much more space to store it all. I found myself standing in stacks of textbooks/notebooks/workbooks for Dan, textbooks/notebooks/workbooks for Ben, textbooks/notebooks/workbooks for Jo, teacher books galore for Me, books for readers/literature/read-a-louds AND a year's worth of school supplies for everyone!


I have this teeny-tiny duplex, that's already bustin' at the seams...where was I supposed to put all of these new things?!?! Then a light bulb went off in my head. We had already planned a trip out to Pacifica, so I figured we'd stop at IKEA on the way home. Mostly to kill time & escape the horrendous traffic through the East Bay (okay, I really just wanted meatballs) but also to see if they had some awesome blue box that was bigger on the inside (if you get it, then we are obviously best friends) so I could hide away the whole lot.

After an hour or so of searching, there wasn't much in the way of blue boxes, but we did find these awesome bins. They aren't exactly a subtle color, but for $1.49ea., I was convinced I could make them work, so I grabbed a stack for me & some for my girlfriend. You know...if they work for

Boy, am I glad I did!!! They are EXACTLY what I needed!! So, after supervising doing a major furniture swap in the living room, I went to work.

I started by pulling out all the school supplies, textbooks & such.

Then, created a huge mess.

I didn't take a picture of that. You're welcome.

But, I got to work on getting everything into its proper bin. 

I had just about finished with the sorting when I realized I hadn't taken any photos! Ah well. You get the idea.

I gave each student 2 bins. One for all their textbooks, workbooks & notebooks, and then another for all of their school supplies.

Above is what's inside of Dan Jr.'s school supply bin. This will easily last him the year. Praise Holy God for Walmart's annual school supply bonanza. I purchased an entire year's worth of supplies for 20 bucks per kid. And, that included the "fun" things. If I would have purchased boring folders and generic crayons/markers/pencils, I'm sure I could have done it for way less.But, seriously, who likes a plain folder? Especially when you can get Lego ones!! And, is there anything better than coloring with Crayola? I think not.

Also: Ticonderoga pencils are worth every blessed penny. Get them whether they're on sale or not. I promise, you'll thank me.

I also gave myself 2 bins & a cute little crate I picked up for $1 at said Walmart bonanza. One bin for my teacher books & than another one for those miscellaneous things that never have a place to go. The mini crate will hold my pens, pencils & such.

After a couple days of keeping the books on their spine, they were already starting to get a warp, so I decided to lay them flat in the bins. It works so much better, and keeps the books in better condition.

After all the sorting was done, I now had to get it all to fit on ONE bookshelf. Boy, was that a task! after 7 years of homeschooling, we've acquired quite a lot of books! I wasn't sure it was going to work, but here is the result!

I think it turned out perfect!

On the very bottom shelf, I have Jo's bins.

The next shelf up, is for Ben.

The shelf in the middle has this year's readers & read-a-louds.

Above that, is Dan Jr.'s shelf.

The top 2 shelves are misc. books that we've collected over the last few years. Some are school related, some are not.

The 2 bins on the floor are books that I wanted to keep out, but that wouldn't fit on the bookshelf. The top one has all of our look & find type books, and the bottom one has random books the boys didn't want put away or donated.

Although not pictured, I added a bin for Genevieve's toys & one for library books. They go on the other side of the bookshelf and help with my inherent need for everything to be symmetrical. lol!

Here's a photo of the boys actually grabbing their school stuffs. I promise this was not staged! I was taking a photo of Gen & turned around to see how perfectly it works for us. I just had to grab a pic, so I shouted "FREEZE!" They immediately froze like statues & I was able to capture this moment.

*sigh* I love my job.

 I cannot tell you how awesome I slept the night I finished this project!

A place for everything, and everything in its place.


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