Behind the Scenes ~ Homeschool Storage Room

Behind the Scenes

When we were blessed with the new schoolroom, we were also blessed with an amazing storage space. Problem-it was FULL of junk. It has been cleaned out bit by bit over the past year, but it was finally at the point to just take a few days and finish it. That’s just what I did last week!

Here’s a few way-before shots to give you an idea of what has been accomplished over the last 10 months. Originally it looked like this, filled wall to wall, floor to ceiling with stuff. Most of it not even belonging to us and needing to be distributed to the church-this was leftover stuff from when this house use to hold ministry activities.

IMG_0519

1st stage last year was to get it ALL out and sort through it. This was not a fun job. Over 50% of the stuff was not ours and was distributed back to the church or to the thrift store.IMG_0538

What was left was put back in the storage room, but was still very unorganized {although this photo makes it look rather nice}IMG_0566

Every single box that was left needed to be gone through—most of them were boxes from my former Kindergarten teaching day. Boxes filled with good stuff, but also lots of stuff that we wouldn’t use. It was a tedious few days with a huge trash pile but I am finally done! Here’s a glimpse into the room…IMG_7145

This is office/school supply storage {part of it-the rest is in our actual school room} for the most part…

IMG_7026

This is the outside station, since the door to the backyard is through this room. Setting u this area has been on my agenda for years and finally-it is complete! Each kid has their own drawer {bathing suits, goggles, hats, sunglasses}. There is a drawer for sunscreen/bug spray and also for smaller outdoor toys. On the left {shelves} there are towels, bubbles, outdoor games and a baseball box. The bottom shelf is unused and I stacked PacMan’s completed 3rd grade books there-woops! There’s a laundry basket on the other side of the room for their wet towels and used bathing suits.IMG_7030

The entire back of the room and one side is theme storage!!! I divided up seasons/holidays on large shelves and then created blue bins for my other top themes.IMG_7034

IMG_7040

IMG_7044 IMG_7047

I created all of the labels in Publisher and printed on cardstock, laminated and put on with double sided tape. Many of the images I used are just Google images {some copyright protected} so I am sorry I can’t share. The borders I used were free digital papers from here. Here’s a screen shot of one of my pages, in case you are interested in duplicating your own version!Toy Bin Labels

I also have a shelf that contains all of our larger toys and puzzles. This area is not sorted exactly the way I want it, but it will do for now, I am exhausted!

IMG_7139

My sensory bin storage area is still the same, I just changed up the theme bins I had and made the areas bigger for my themes!

I still keep our books stored in the schoolroom, the same way they are shown in this book storage post. I just moved the seasonal books into the storage room. {no I don’t have a list of the labels I have-I get asked that a lot! Someday I will try to recreate one!}

I sure hope this new clean storage room helps with schooling this year. Having it a huge mess last year was difficult and frustrating! Portions were clean but then they would get messed up because things would overflow! I am praying it will stay organized and simple this year!

See more Behind the Scenes posts here!



Behind the Scenes ~ Storing Legos

Organizing Legos



Honestly, my boys haven’t been as into Legos as I thought they would be, especially Pac Man.  I always thought he would be my builder, but he ranks Legos in the same category with other activities.  He likes playing and building but isn’t over the moon about it. Organizing Legos hasn’t always been an issue for us, until recently!

Recently Krash got into Legos and I was left with a dilemma…storage.  I began searching the web and was inspired by a few photos I saw, and ultimately went and wandered around Joann Fabric to see what I could find.  I ended up finding the PERFECT solution for us and it was 50% off that day!!!! I bought 3 of these amazing storage bins {yup, Amazon carries the exact model # I got} and hoped it would be enough, it was!Organizing LegosI then set to the fun task {yes I am nuts and I actually enjoyed the sorting} of putting each piece where it belonged.

Organizing LegosOrganizing Legos

When I was finished {yes, the boys helped me too}  I breathed a large organizational sigh of relief and admired the Lego beauty I had created.Organizing Legos

 

These little containers are genius, as they have handles on them as well and can be flipped all around and the little pieces stay separated.  I set them up on a shelf in our old school room so the boys could build, build, build!  Above the shelf I put 3 trays {yes our Tot Trays}, and told them they could only have 3 different items built at a time.  When they were ready to create something new, they had to break down one that was up.

Organizing Legos

I stored manuals in the little drawers…

Organizing Legos

Gave them a “to be sorted” bin, so if they found Legos around the house, or were in a hurry, could drop them in there.  As you can see it’s already full ;-).  Someone needs to get to sorting.

Organizing Legos

It is working out well for us!

Here are a few of the sets we own and ones that are on our wishlist!

 

Edited to add {6/2014} We no longer use this method, mostly because we acquired too many Legos!  When we had a smaller amount this method worked great.  We now use a method that works but makes me cringe because it looks messy!  My mom made us one of those lay on the floor mats that cinch up into a bag.



Behind the Scenes ~ Book Storage

I recently got asked how I store all of our children’s books. This was a very simple answer so I thought I would put it in a Behind the Scenes post! This issue haunted me at first as I had TONS of children’s books even before I began homeschooling. I used to teach Kindergarten and had kept all of the books I purchased myself over the years. Finally, I came up with a solution!

I bought cardboard magazine boxes, made labels for them and sorted the books by the general themes or concepts. Specifically, I have these boxes from Ikea, and I used my printer to make the labels, you could use a label making machine or just hand write them!

This makes it so much easier for me to find what we are studying at a particular time, or just to find books we want to read! As for my categories of books, I made them based on the books we had, trying to divide as much as I could to make it more simple to find things.I also keep our holiday/seasonal books like this so I can easily pull them down. I usually keep these in a special basket at the bottom of the bookshelf during that particular time so we can read them. I don’t have a photo of it, but at the bottom of this bookshelf there is a shelf with no boxes-it is for Krash’s books. Mostly board books, baby books, and stuff like that. Obviously, those are on the bottom so he can easily get to them when he wants.

We also have books all over the house, I just keep our main storage here (it’s in our living room). I rotate out books for the boys in their rooms from here. Pac Man is also old enough to find what he is looking for and also help me put books back in the correct boxes- it’s awesome!

 

Behind the Scenes ~ Book Storage