"For thus says the Lord: Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you..." Isaiah 66:12-13

Monday, April 30, 2012

Closet and desk re-organization.

I've spent the last several days trying to find my desk and school closet. It's that time of year when I'm busily poring through catalogs and perusing websites in order to plan out what we'll be doing next school year. And this year, I'm especially busy, since we're expecting baby #4 in September. The start of the school year. Hmmm... this will be interesting.

Aside from planning for some summer schooling, I'm trying to re-organize and declutter in preparation, so when the little one arrives we can take the time off to enjoy the baby-moon. Luckily, I've hit the second trimester energy spike and the nesting spring cleaning urge has hit. So far, I've tackled my bedroom and my son's bedroom and sorted through tons of clothes. And I have an ever growing pile of stuff to sell at the yard-sale (whenever that will be).

The schoolroom however is one place that always needs to be organized and never ever stays that way for long.  Especially my desk, since I don't usually sit there for long and the closet(s) which are easy to chuck things into and forget about them. Or not forget about them and want them, but I can't for the life of me find them! So frustrating.

I'm hoping that my new organization will fix this. I'm not done yet, but I thought I'd post some pictures of the process for your amusement and edification. "At lease I've never let my desk look like that."  Go ahead, it's ok. But maybe you'll find some ideas to help you organize too.

The Desk.

I try to keep this clear so I can work and plan here. But it's not a desk of my choosing - it came with the house. It has a weird storage area underneath, which is pretty much an oubliette - highly inaccessible and often forgotten. I had all these great preschool/kindergarten workbooks in there, and am just now bringing them out. Hopefully my workbook loving preschooler will still do them, or I'll have to wait for Josh to grow into them.

Another weird feature is the drawer that can't be opened. Or at least it can't be if there's anything on the lower desktop in the way. So another place to put stuff and lose it. And I'm pretty sure that the desktop actually has some kind of clutter magnet imbedded in it - because as soon as I clear it - poof!, it's buried again. That's my theory anyhow.

Closet #1 - School and Craft Supplies

Actually it doesn't look to bad in this photo, because I neglected to get a shot of the floor and all the random stuff making it nearly impossible to enter the closet. I'd done work on this area at the beginning of the school year and purchased shoe organizers (bottom shelf) to act as shelving for all the puzzles, games and craft kits. 

You can see our paper organizers on the right, all my yarn books to the back and my mostly unused filing cabinet on the lower left.  I opened it up to discover the past two years of the girls work, filed by name and school year, but not culled. So there's a whole drawer full. Next project will be to make "portfolios." for them and get rid of the extra stuff.  The top drawer has their work from the beginning of this year - so I at least started to file it, before I forgot that I'd started a file. The rest is on the desk.

 This is the other side of closet #1. Mostly ok with this side. I like my little baskets, but there are a few that just have random stuff, so it would be helpful to re-categorize a bit. I've used old plastic formula containers and wipes containers to house crafty things, like foam shapes, craft sticks, pom-poms, felt sticky letters. Now I just need a list of all I've got so I actually start to use some of these things.

Closet #2

Well, I forgot to take a before of closet #2, because I didn't think that I'd be getting in there much to move anything around. But I should have known better, since I always end up expanding any project and closet #2 has mostly preschool stuff, but also lots of craft supplies - some of which had migrated into closet #1 and had to be returned. Once closet #2 was opened, well... I had to do something with it. I started by making the kiddos narrow down their coloring books. So they got to keep 5 each, plus all the mostly uncolored religious ones, most of the "activity" books and all the ones I deemed "educational - art coloring books, sealife, states, etc. So really a lot of coloring books, but at least they all fit into the bins I have for them. Except the activity books, but I'll find somewhere for those. 

Day 2

Some progress on the desk. Lots of thing thrown out, recycled or put in the sell/donate pile. You can see the oubliette cabinet underneath the desk, with just the box from my Kindle in it. On top you can also see the bins of workbooks / idea books. Yes, I have alot. But now there are organized by subject - Science/Nature, Geography, Language Arts, Preschool, Critical Thinking, Math, Art.

The brown box on the right is my inbox for the kids work. It's usually overflowing with things to be filed. But I've removed all those things to the filing cabinet. Still unsorted, but not on the desk anymore. Yay! All the other papers are on the floor here:
This is how I work. Spread out all over the place. Luckily, my hubbie was able to keep the kiddos occupied while I worked. These were all the things that just needed to go "home" or have a "home" made for them. Used worksheets that can be used next time around, ideas for field trips, booklists, maps, things for the preschool binders. I had to break out the file folders and label maker.

End of day 2 - Close-up of puzzle and craft kit shelf.

 I'll still need to do an inventory here, so that I don't forget what I have, but I'm happier with the placement of the items. When the kids put things back, things are jammed in weird and sometimes just dropped onto the floor. I was able to select a few things from here to put in the sale pile, and I'm hoping to actually do a lot of the craft kits this summer. The kids were pretty excited watching me, because there are things in here that they had forgotten about and now are eager to use. So far so good.  I'll have to take more pictures and update tomorrow on days 3 & 4.


annmarie said...

Jen, I LOVE your closets! SO fun with the happy colored boxes... i dream of closets like this! Great job!

Jen said...

Thanks! One of the big reasons we got this house was this room and the closets in it. Keeping them organized is tough, but I do love them.