School Room Shape Up

by Hope Sewell on August 25, 2011

in crafts, home schooling, kids, Organizing

Ok…not only do I enjoy crafting, art, blogging, and cooking, I also REALLY enjoy organizing!!!  And since we started school last week, I thought I’d show you how we do it.  Before we got started though, I wanted to do a bit of an organizing overhaul in our school room.  Things had just gotten out of hand.

Here is a “before” pic.  This black cabinet was terribly unorganized.  Art supplies and such are in there so it just gets messy when people try to get them out.  I feel the need to hide my face in shame.So I started by taking everything out.This was literally a several day project for me.
Once I had it emptied out I made a list and went to Wal-Mart to buy some storage containers.  Nothing I bought cost more than $2 (except these larger tubs which were more like $4….but I already had some of these).  I brought out the P-Touch and started labeling.  The after picture only shows the top half of the cabinet because that’s the only part that I’m using right now (other than a drawer or too)!!!  I bought another small shelf, threw away LOTS of trash, and found other places for things.

It looks so much better and I LOVE all the clear containers.  Now they can see what they are looking for.   

Next project: the book shelves.  We have TONS of books.  I’m very grateful that my children love to read and I wanted to provide the perfect environment for them to do so.  So I took every single book down ff the shelves and organized them.  Now this is where there are LOTS of options.  How do you organize your books??  For me, I group them by chapter books, paper back stories, hard back stories, art/activity, early readers, science/dinos/animals, math, history, Bible books and board books.I put them back on the shelves this way and that worked GREAT….except there was a problem.  After they’d finish a book, they would place it in this basket.  I’ll be honest and say that I straightened this basket before I took this picture….one shameful disorganized mess is enough!!  😉  This basket tends to get over run and messy and I feel like a librarian re-shelving books to keep them in my perfect order.However!!!  A sweet friend of mine had a BRILLIANT idea of color coding the books with electrical tape!!!I found this tape at my local electrical supply company for about $1 a roll.  PERFECT!!!!  I assigned each of my groups a color and started labeling!!Now we use our little book basket to hold our library books.  And they can very easily re-shelve the books they read by putting it back on the shelf beside books with the same color tab!!Here are a few other of my favorite things in our school room.

Upright filers to store construction paper.  I also put this up high to make it not so accessible to my 3….they gotta ask Mama now.  😉

LOVE these little buckets!!  Found them AND the wooden calendar in the dollar section at Target!  This blue bucket holds some of the cutest erasers!!!  They are scented too!!  Found’em at my favorite store…TJ Maxx!!  And you remember these star crayons!!  These helped us get rid of some old trashy crayons and turned into something too cute!

ADORE these pillows!!!  My grandmother found this numbers fabric at her fabric store for $1 a yard!!  We made the EASIEST appliques ever and pillow cases for these small pillows.  I’m also making some larger floor pillows out of this fabric.  I LOVE pillows on the floor!!  Just makes it feel so inviting!I don’t know why I never thought of this over the door hanger for our aprons….which we have quite a collection of.  It works GREAT!!I left the blank wall there above the shelf because that’s where we watch movies at least once a week.  Would love some sort of solution to have there for when the wall is NOT being used for movies….

I feel so blessed to not only be able to school my children at home but also have a fun and welcoming school room to do it in!!
Enough blogging….gotta get back to teaching!  😉

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer S August 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Very cute! Our school room has some of those same bright, fun colors (lime, purple.) It’s amazing how a little reorganization feels like a breath of fresh air!

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TheBargainBabe August 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Great redo! LOVE that black hutch. And the electrical tape….that IS genius!!!

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wannabegodly August 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I especially love the colored electrical tape (I’m a color junkie). How about a quilted wall-hanging that hangs on a dowel so it’s easily removeable in that blank wall space? We’ve discovered the fun of the children coloring a picture onto muslin fabric, ironing it (cover with scrap fabric first to protect iron) to melt the wax into the fabric and then sewing their individual blocks into a wall-hanging. Or you could use permanent markers. Or they could sew quilt blocks if they’re up to that.
I love the looks of your schoolroom. We’ve just reorganized our dining room to make room for more of our homeschool stuff.

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Hope Sewell August 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Thanks so much! I love that idea!! Gonna have to think on that. Thanks for stopping by!!

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Jennifer September 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Oh wow! I love the electrical tape idea..will be running down to Home Depot tomorrow to put into use! Thanks for a wonderful organizational tip :)

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Hope Sewell September 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

That tip has been a huge help in keeping our books off the floor!! :) Thanks for stopping by!!

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Jen October 10, 2011 at 4:52 am

Oh my goodness everything in this space is so stinkin’ cute! Congrats on a job incredibly well done! Love it all, especially those pillows!

xoxo,
Jen

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Melanie Grant May 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I love the chairs – you have done an awesome job!

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Michelle July 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm

What a bright and cheerful room for schooling! :) I’d love to have you link up this post at my linky party for homeschool havens/spots! :)
http://www.thenatureofgrace.blogspot.com/2012/07/reading-spot-and-homeschool-havens-link.html

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Andrea December 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I love the color coded electrical tape! Even my 2 year old could help with book clean up. What catagories/themes did you use to group the books?

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Hope Sewell January 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

I categorized our books VERY simply. I put them in groups of chapter books, hardback story books, paperback story, early readers, math, science, history, and art/drawing. I have our board books and “baby” books on a shelf together but I didn’t bother with putting the tape on them. Having them color coded helps greatly when it’s clean up time.

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