Thursday, July 10, 2008

Keepin' It Real: Homeschool Organization

Welcome! Today we are sharing our homeschool storage solutions (or need for solutions in my case). Last year, before I began homeschooling, I could only imagine what things I would need and what I might then do with them. I had this cute little idea...ha! I just remembered buy boxes with handles for the girls. All their school work for that day could just go in the box and they would carry it to the dining room table each day and then carry it back to our home office when school was over.

I think we all know THAT would have happened!

But in the end it really bugged me to store my stuff in one room and work in the other. They weren't even adjacent rooms. We would have been walking through the front entryway, the living room, the kitchen, and into the dining room each day with our little plastic boxes and then in reverse order afterwards. It just bugged me, OK? So I converted our home office into a classroom.
Which we used for 2 weeks before we found out we hated being in there. It felt so secluded from the rest of the house. So we moved into the dining room where there was a window. And we hung a bird feeder outside and enjoyed the view. Here's our dining room right now. It's usually the best looking room in the house. But wait. What's that on the kitchen cabinet to the right?Oh, it's my fruit bowl. Shall we examine the contents of the fruit bowl together? (This is a Keepin' It Real post). OK, we have: 2 red potatoes, one orange, a harmonica, a stapler, a small container of Play-Doh, an orange marker, bananas, an orange pencil, and a spring. I think it's time to move on.

So here is where we usually sit. We are like little old ladies in church who have our pews marked out. It really throws us off to switch seats. I don't know why. And where we sit for school has nothing to do with where we sit for eating.
Here is where I HAD a three tiered cart. It was old and I may have overloaded it and it cracked and I threw it away. The end.And that is why I need your help! I need a storage solution for next year. Where is all the stuff from last year you say? The stuff that used to be on that cart?

Remember my new sewing room/home office?
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Literally.There's a pretty tall stack that hasn't fallen over yet.
And what about that lovely classroom? Well, we still have the shelves. Boy, did we need shelves!

They aren't too bad. They just need a little straightening.

Wait. What are you doing? Don't do that! Don't look down! Nooooooooooooooo...

I warned you.

People, we need storage solutions around here!

My friend Katherine, who doesn't have a blog (get a blog!) shared her storage with me in an e-mail this week. She said, "This is a huge, monstrous cabinet we bought during the first year of marriage. I have no idea why we thought we needed this big thing in our apartment! Anyway, after it spent years taking up almost the entire bedroom, we moved it out to the living room. Yes that is a weird place for it I know! But anyway, we have 2 living rooms so this sits by the back door (hence all the jackets). Now why these boys need so many jackets, I couldn’t tell you, especially since it’s SO HOT NOW that I cannot even imagine wearing a jacket at any time in my life! I digress…So this is my attempt at organization, which kind of falls apart in the upper middle there, as you can tell. It would help if there was another shelf up there. And, how did all that stuff creep up on top of the cabinet? What can I say…I did not clean up first, as directed! And, my curriculum is even in there somewhere, in a white (unopened) cardboard box…just waiting for me to get prepared!! At least the jackets are mostly hung up!

Thank you, Katherine. Even though you do not have a blog (get a blog), you were our first contributor.
Now it's YOUR turn. Share your storage with us. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Oh, and lots of tips from you all who have learned a thing or two about what works for you would be nice.
Thank you for stopping by and Keepin' It Real!!!


  1. What fun! I love to see other's organization techniques!

  2. Ahhh, I am so behind, we have had a crazy ministry week, I haven't finished my post yet!!! Hopefully I can find time later today, man that week went by fast!
    :) Carisa

  3. You made me laugh outloud with the most recent picture of your sewing room Ha ha!

  4. Brenda, great post! I so love the fact that there are more people like me. :)

  5. I know, why do we think everyone else has it all together?

    Your welcome, Katherine. Glad to make your day. :(

    Carisa, we will wait. I can't wait to see your post!

    Erin, I am loving this too!!!!
    And I am loving being able to picture my bloggy friends in their homeschool spaces!

  6. Since you already figured out closets are fair game, I guess my work is done. :0)

    Your sewing room will get back to rights eventually. Just pretend like you're moving to another country and toss a bunch of stuff out.

    Hey, it worked for me. :0)

  7. Thanks for posting this! I'm having fun seeing all the school spaces!

  8. Eeek! I totally missed this because my blogging life is taking a back seat this month.

    Ironically, I'm using this month to lay better tracks (habits) and especially to organize (shuffle) my books and supplies.

    This was a funny post though! And we don't need more storage space, we just need less stuff. Unfortunately, we'll be learning that one over and over until the kids are graduated. :(

  9. Hey, Brenda! Well, I don't homeschool and I'm not organized, so I don't really have much to offer on this post:)

    However, I couldn't help but comment on how funny your pictures were. I love keepin' it real!

  10. This is great, I have my link up. I love your pic of the fruit basket...I honestly just thought that happened at my house lol!

  11. Well, I never even got it together enough to take pictures!

    I'm badly in need of organization ideas as well...

  12. I wanted to thank you so much for hosting this keepin it real gathering.
    I am getting some organizational tips and ideas.....

    Thanks again.


  13. My post is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Hope you don't mind me posting it now. We'll celebrate Sabbath beginning tonight.

  14. I don't have any solutions, but wanted to say I just love your yellow walls!

  15. Oh I loved reading your post, you told a great story!

    Finally got mine up, am I too late?



  16. Not at all Valerie! I left it up over the weekend on purpose. :)

  17. I'm badly in need of organizational tips. I'm off to read everyones ideas.

  18. Thank you so much, everyone!!!! You have inspired me SO MUCH!!!

    I had fun! :)

  19. Love the "real" posts... I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who doesn't always have it perfect. I love your ideas though.. THanks for sharing.

  20. Dear Brenda,

    Thanks for taking the time to do this---it is always great to get new ideas before the new school year begins.

    My husband made a homeschool room in our basement. I can't wait to use it this year even though we do all of our schooling upstairs in the kitchen where I can monitor everyone. I am painting it a light peach/apricot color and they will get to paint and craft to their hearts content!

    Many blessings...

  21. HI Brenda,
    I was wondering if you might be thinking of hosting/posting a part 2 of Keepin it Real Organized with ladies showing how they organized their homeschool stuff? What they use or did to bring things into more order or order? A Post update of what they changed.


  22. This was a lot of fun! I'm starting to not feel so isolated down here. Thanks!

  23. Shelia--I actually had thought about that b/c so many women said they would post pictures when they were "all done."

    We just might--but it can't be a Keepin' it Real!

  24. I just found your blog and really like it! I have just started a blog myself. I am trying to learn how to do things. But I am posting pictures today of our school room.

  25. Hey Brenda! I did it!!! We'll see how it all works out next week.

    I don't know if it's much help, but it's been fun to play along! I've learned so much from everyone else's!!

    I'm so glad you thought of this!!

  26. Aweosme blog! I love it! Organization is not only an addiction of mine, but also an aspiration! I posted my link to my school room, but please know I have already changed a few things... the boys have out grown the felt board and the cats were knocking over some stuff..... will post more picks once the summer fun has died down (summers are too short here in Canada..... I am taking advantage while I can!)

  27. Okay I did it! Thanks for the second chance. I will re post after we "REDO stuff"!!! I love things like this!

  28. I purchased metal shelving
    (like this only put together. lol)

    I use clear rubbermaid totes to store everything. That way when I dont get around to labeling, I can still see whats inside.

    I love the shelves. It works well with my constant need to rearrange things and make them better! I just roll the entire shelf around!

  29. I had to laugh when I saw your fruit bowl, because mine looks like that too, just without the fruit at the moment. I can't put any pretty basket or anything out because it gets stuffed with junk. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I am a former homeschooling mama, and miss it so much! Thanks for the memory.

  30. use a hanging shoe organizer on a door to store crayons, pencils, sissors, glue or really anything that can fit in the pockets. Makes room on the desks or maybe outof box on the shelf so you can use the box for something else.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)