"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Homeschool Supply Organization and Sewing Room Setup

It's been an insane week.  Nothing like trying to organize the whole house in one week.  After going to Colorado and visiting my family, I came home very motivated to get things in order here.  I have too much stuff, and nothing was where I could find it.  I've been wanting to organize for awhile now, and one little project just lead to another and another and another, so before I knew it, I was completely re-doing three rooms.

 We'll start with the homeschool supplies.  I had stuff everywhere, and could never find what I needed because it wasn't organized.  I have a nice big walk-in closet connected to the homeschool room, but before I started cleaning it, there wasn't much space to walk into it.

These are the before pictures.  The top shelf of the closet was filled with games and books.  I moved a cabinet up to the dining room to hold those, and sorted to make sure all the pieces were there.  I posted about that last week, but here's a picture if you missed it...

I put the games in the top section and the puzzles below.

 Back to the closet.  The bottom of the closet was an absolute disaster.  Two dressers, two big cabinets and a six-foot pile of crates.  The boxes are from a project I did for the preschoolers.  I made a box for each letter of the alphabet and several other themes, with the idea of filling them with items related to that letter or theme.  I hadn't gotten very far on that project though.

I had the boxes stored above the bookshelves in the school room, but they were a tight fit, and there wasn't enough room for all of them to be stored neatly in a row.

Here is what the closet looks like now.  I moved everything out except for the long dresser.  I brought in the shelf for the ABC folders and filled them with as many goodies as I had handy at that time.  It was eating up all my time to fill the boxes as I cleaned, so I started just putting supplies for the boxes into a pile on the first shelf to be added later.

 Here are some of the things I put in the boxes.  I sorted through all the stickers and labeled the back according to which box I wanted them in.

I have several packets of cards I've picked up at the thrift store for about a dime a pack - many of them are incomplete, but I'm separating them anyway, so it doesn't matter.

 Here are some of the cards.

 The foam puzzle is from the dollar store.  I punched out each letter and put it in it's corresponding box.

 I took some of the puzzles apart and labeled the back and put the pieces in the ABC boxes.

 I was doing great until my helper came in and mixed everything together. :)

 I have some packets of die cut letters I added to the boxes.

 I found it easiest to make piles and then add it to the boxes once everything was sorted out.

This is what I have in the D box so far - a dinosaur dominoes game, a puzzle of dinosaurs, dino stickers, several coloring and activity pages I've printed out, foam letters, cards, and a "dog" piece from an old puzzle. And I have a lot more to add to the boxes now.

I used the dresser to store all of our preschool supplies.  I was just labeling them with post-it notes so I could switch things around if needed, but I might leave it that way.  I have a fancy labeler, but I like how big these labels are and how well they show up.  The big drawers are for ABC's and Numbers, Patterns, Lacing, and Board Puzzles.  The small drawers across the top hold Puzzles, Stickers, Sorting, Colors and Shapes, Emotions, and Same and Different.

I sorted through all the kids' puzzles and counted to make sure all the pieces were there.

I put the pieces in a quart sized ziplock bag, and cut the top of the box off and put the picture in the bag as well.  They take much less space this way.  I put 24 and 48 piece puzzles in one drawer and 100 piece puzzles in the other drawer.

 As I cleaned and sorted, I put anything related to preschool into the drawers.  This is the Alphabet drawer.

This is the numbers drawer.

 I bought some clear plastic tubs for the top shelf to store all the things I didn't want accessible to the little people.

Things like Moon Sand and chalk and all the different cutting tools are stored up there, as well as extra supplies I've purchased at back to school sales - crayons, pencils, etc.

My laminator and paper slicers, paints, clay and plaster of Paris, are up on the shelves.

And there are boxes for science supplies, craft supplies, notebooks and notebook paper, and all the assorted things like laminating sheets, transparency paper, extra folders, manilla envelopes and sheet protectors.  Now I know what I have and can quit buying extras of things I know I have "somewhere."

 I didn't think to take a close-up picture of the white drawers to the right, but the bottom, skinnier section holds all my different papers - notebook paper, graph paper, scrapbook papers, card stock, colored copy paper, construction paper, and scrap white paper.  The top section hasn't been fully organized yet.

 The main room of the basement is now set up as my sewing room.  I had the machines in there before but the supplies were mostly in the closet in the school room.  Moving them out created a lot more room in the closet and made the sewing room much more functional.

We moved the treadmill down two flights of stairs to put it downstairs where it will be cooler and fits in better than it did in our bedroom.

 I have my normal sewing machine and my industrial machine set up back to back with a table in between.  That way there won't be as much drag when I'm sewing things that are longer - especially quilts.  I am storing my cutting mat on that table, and I can easily slide that table out when I want to do any cutting.  The small ironing board will fit on it too.  The quilts on the wall were my baby quilts.

The white cabinets hold quite a bit of my fabric.  I have a lot more, but this is what I will probably use first. The other dresser has project packs - fabric planned for certain projects, and works in progress.

This is the view when you first come down the stairs.  The larger doorway goes to the boys' room and the one next to that, on the right (where you can see a window) is the school room.  The bathroom door is right in front of the treadmill, and right behind the treadmill is the laundry room.

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