This month I’m sharing ways I organize the stuff that tends to overflow the homeschooling household. It might not be as pretty as most of the “solutions” you’ll find on Pinterest, but it’s practical and real. Being organized means being prepared and giving your stuff a home; it doesn’t always have to be coordinated and labeled with chalkboard-styled printables.
Kitchen School Cart
So, I don’t really have any sort of office space on the main level, where we do most of our living and learning. Bedrooms are upstairs. Playroom and office and storage space is downstairs. Much as I would like to think that I could maintain a system of putting things away all the way downstairs when we were done, that’s just not going to happen. And, sometimes the hearth is not the best place for a row of file bins and stray papers. And, I am not a good housekeeper, but I’ve learned that keeping clear surfaces makes the house look better than it is, so I am loathe to give the school stuff space on my sprawling kitchen counter, though it attracts the stuff with a strong magnetic pull.
Years and years ago – probably 10 years and 3 moves ago – my mom gave me her old, inexpensive, beat-up kitchen cart. At the time, I was happy with whatever extra shelving I could get my hands on. Since moving into this house, the cart ended up tucked in a corder of my basement office space, lending inconvenient storage to an inconvenient space. I started keeping infrequently used school books and bins on it. Then I thought I should take advantage of its portable nature, and put Circle Time stuff on it, and tried to make myself move it to the more informal basement space. That didn’t work. But, I realized there was potential in this cart. So it came upstairs.
By the way, if you homeschool, you simply must be introduced to this concept of Circle or Morning Time. Cindy Rollins introduced the idea and inspired me to follow suit, for which I and my children shall ever be in her debt.
Now it is the portable homeschool cupboard. It can move to whatever part of the house is most convenient. On an average day, it can keep to itself in the corner of the dining room or next to the chore board. But, on a day when I want to pretend the house isn’t solely dedicated to homeschooling a gaggle of children, I can scooch it into the coat closet, close the curtain, and pretend to be normal. Except that the curtains covering the coat closet aren’t straight and don’t touch the floor. But that’s another personality issue altogether.
- Type of container: A hand-me-down kitchen cart
I like this set up because
- It is a convenient size.
- It is portable.
- I can have the pencil sharpener mounted on it rather than in the basement, my kitchen, or the garage.
- It can be hidden.
- I used what I had and didn’t buy anything to make a storage solution that fit our space.
Being organized isn’t about being impressive; it’s just about not being continually frustrated and annoyed at yourself and your stuff.
Also, check out my eBook Paperless Home Organization, which lays out step-by-step instructions for creating a home management organizer & planner digitally. Make that smartphone, tablet, or iPod touch a useful tool of your trade!
During the month of October, you can use the discount code organizing for $1.50 off the $3.99 retail price (pdf only).
Moms have a lot of details to keep track of. Here’s how to make your technology work for you, using only your mail program and 2 free apps.