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
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.
- Type of container: Small craft tote or caddy
- My pens and pencils
- My dry-erase markers and Sharpie pens in a pencil case
- A small dry-erase board and stand
- The kids’ 1-gen iPod shuffles and headphones in a zippered pouch and a USB wall charger (loaded with an audio book, memory verses, and catechism recordings)
- Our current Circle Time book
- A sunglasses case with nail clippers, nail file, and nail polish. (Ok, I admit it: I got that idea from Pinterest.)
- Post-it notes, Post-it flags, 3-hole protector stickers
- Small dispenser of heavy-duty packing tape for emergency book repairs
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.
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!
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.