"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

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Closet and Desk Reorganization - Part 2

I'm finally posting pictures of my "completed" desk and closet re-organization. Like anything around here it never will really feel done, until I have all the things filed and books put away. But that will not happen anytime soon, since we're still doing school. Still I have a better idea of what needs to be done and I've got a much better work area than before.

Coloring Books / Activity books:
I had the kids really go through these and take out those that were mostly colored in, then they could chose five each from the ones left. We kept all the paint-with-water books, most of the religious coloring books, and most of the activity books. I've since moved the bins to a little table near the windows where the kids can easy get them. I'm trying this for now, but I may start a rotation so all the bins aren't out at once. It's working well so far though, and Joshua in particular is really getting into coloring now.

The Craft Closet:

The biggest thing that I did here was to remove some items to sell. I also moved things around a bit so all the paint supplies are near each other, etc. I wrote up an inventory of what's in here and I plan to type it up and put it in my planning binder. That way if I want to do a craft I'll know whether or not we have that item or if I need to run to the craft store (really, I can't imagine what I don't have in there). I'd like to do something else with the doors. We use the black magnet board on the right for spelling, but the letter are all scrunched up. I may have to purchase the larger board that is suggested, so that Maria can really see all the letters in two neat rows. Joshua uses the red board for his magnets, but I think I need to clean off the top part a bit.

 The School Closet:

I did the most work on the right side of this closet. Reorganizing the craft kits and puzzles on the bottom shelf and moving things around underneath the shelf. (Yes, there are more craft kits under there plus two sewing machines and a kid's pottery wheel. I will use them, someday!) The middle shelf has scrapbook paper, folders and plastic sleeves for binders, and all the kids workbooks. The close up shows all the workbooks in there bins - I just need to get out the label maker and label each bin by subject. I may also make an inventory of these, so that I don't forget what's in there and buy more. It'll probably take the kids a year or so to work through the ones we have. 

On the left side of the closet, the biggest change is the paper/sticker drawers on top of the filing cabinet. I'm hoping that the girls will now be able to get their own paper instead of waiting for me to get things out for them. Of course, they'll still have to ask for the fancier paper, but this is a good start.

The Desk:

I've only kept one file box on top the desk now. This one has a "To Do" folder up front with folders inside for laminate, copy, and type up. The next several are for worksheets and are extras or just loose, so I can easily grab them out to fill the girls' work folders each week. At the back is my planning folder, which holds brochures / flyers about places to visit and things to do. I plan to add various forms to the box, like a booklist sheet or other planning sheets.

Here I've hung a pocket organizer. Not sure exactly what will stay there, but for now it has my old copies of Mater et Magistra Magazine, so I can easily pull them out when I'm making plans. I highly recommend this magazine - it's always full of great articles and ideas for Catholic homeschoolers.

Underneath are my planning binders and ones for preschool activities. I'm still working on these, but there are laminated printouts like those found here, as well as other themed activities. And yes, I will be printing out the Star Wars themed pack, just as soon as I get more laminating sheets.

And here's the weird drawer. I'm thinking about storing my laptop in there, because it's the on drawer that no one ever opens. And it would be motivation for me to keep the desk clean enough to be able to open the drawers.  

Underneath you can just see the weird cabinet. I've decided to put my laminator and extra office supplies down there. Things that I don't use frequently, but won't forget about.

Now for the desk itself. "Inbox" to the right for the kids' work. Workspace in the middle, with three-hole punch in the middle. Old multi-flavor tea tin that holds binder clips, game pieces, rubber bands and other little things that would be lost in a drawer. I love re-using things, and even though I washed it out it still smells a little like tea, so it's like a little tea break to open it up. 

I still need to clear off the whiteboard and cork board but a least  I can reach it now. 

The other desktop still has some random books that need to find home, but now I can laminate things without throwing a bunch of stuff on the floor first.  I may even be able to use this desktop for my sewing machine.  Underneath are, uh, more craft supplies, lots of yarn and an extra file box. I plan to go through these basket and pull out more for the yard sale.

The only thing that I don't really have a picture of is my new desk chair, which will make it a much more comfortable workspace. Luckily, I didn't pay that much, just $12 at a yard sale. For that price I may splurge and buy a new cushion for it.