31 Days of Organizing Homeschool Stuff: Teacher Tote

Organizing Homeschool Stuff

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.

My Desk-Drawer Tote Bag

containing homeschool clutter

I am not quite sure how this use of this craft tote evolved, but it did slowly over the course of last year, and now I am sold. This black craft tote caught my eye multiple times at WalMart, and one day, with birthday cash in my pocket, I sprung for it. I put in my craft stuff, but I only used 1/5 of it for my small cross stitch project (going on its 6th year in progress), and none of the sections really seemed to work well for yarn and crochet projects. So, I started putting my “currently reading” books in it, along with some post it notes and a pencil and a reading light. That was ok until I started reading a book that didn’t fit. And it was kinda heavy.

I think it was one day we were heading out for a play day, but the boys still had to finish their math. I had some small things to return to people and a few baby supplies, so I loaded up this craft tote with the things instead of taking a purse and diaper bag and extra bag. Then, I ended up sticking my container of my favorite pens and pencils in one of the partitions. And then I didn’t unpack it after that. And, after a few weeks, I realized that this tote was now my “teacher supply bag.”

I didn’t realize how handy it would be to have a little portable “office drawer” that can move with us wherever we end up doing Circle Time or lessons or reading. I love having everything on hand, and all corralled and ready-for-action. I don’t have a desk or office-type space on our mail level, so this tote acts as my portable desk drawer.

organizing homeschool stufforganizing homeschool stuff

Details

organizing homeschool stuff

I like this set up because

  • Everything in it is visible and accessible, and it’s quick to pull out what I need and quick to put it back.
  • Sometimes my husband writes notes on the board or corrects math pages, and now he knows the home for any sort of supply he might need for those tasks is in this bag, visible and ready.
  • It’s quickly and easily portable, since school might happen anywhere around the house or even outside or at the park.

organizing homeschool stuff

Giving your stuff a convenient home to live in is critical to being organized, because you need to know where your stuff is when you need it. Find unconventional uses for the containers you already have!

Digital Home Organizer and Planner

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.

9 Responses

  1. Messy Mom
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    I like it. At the end of my series I am doing a post about Homeschooling in a small space so I think a lot of your ideas will pertain. Let me know if you have any advice you think I should include.

  2. Anna
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    This is a great idea, Mystie! I need a home for my current reads, iPad, mp3 player, etc. other than on the arm of the futon where they get knocked off. :/

    • Mystie Winckler
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      Yes! It’s handy for all those little things that easily get set out of the way or bumped around.

  3. Rebekah L.
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    Brilliant! We just started homeschooling (well, other than a very laid-back kindergarten last year) so I’m overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have to drag out every day. I’m going to have to get me one of these totes. Please tell me Walmart still sells them…

    • Mystie Winckler
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      I know I’ve seen them in the craft aisle recently. :)

  4. Kristy
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    I’m a newcomer to your sight and also have five little ones (three of school age). I love this, and so many of your tips. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas! I love your sense of humor.

  5. Amanda
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    Thanks Mystie! I’m looking back at this post nd realizing that this could really help me, especially on outside activity days or taking advantage of fall weather for outside work! About what size would you say your tote is? Dimensions, I mean. Your link goes to one that is marketed as use for baby things but I also found this one: http://www.amazon.com/Mackinac-Moon-Craft-Tote-Floral/dp/B00BSRBG6G/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_8

    Which looks like the one you added a pic of, but not exactly like yours. To me, 13×9 ” sounds really small though, to hold all you mentioned.

    • Mystie Winckler
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      Yes, my bag is 9×13. It does fit what I listed, with more room to spare. All the little pockets help. Most of the things really don’t take up hardly any room. Oh, and many of them also stick up vertically, too.