Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'm Suppose to Organize it All Too?

The question posed on The Blog Cruise this week is "How do you organize your space?" 

Let me preface this post by stating this...I live in a 14x70 foot trailer (aka mobile home). I have three active boys, a hubby and a dog. Space is at a premium here. As in - there is never enough. As in - there is too much stuff!

I really wasn't sure what I would post about this week. I could certainly tell you all how I would like to have everything organized. I could have spent some time actually cleaning things up so they actually looked organized. Instead, I decided to keep it real. I've found lately that many folks (IRL and on-line) think I have it all together. Let the following photos prove that I so do not have it all together and I really need to spend some time this week working on getting stuff organized!

Exhibit #1:

Let me explain the mess homeschool supplies you are seeing in the above photo. I know there is a lot...

The white bookcase has the following things on it
  • the very top of the case has various loose pencils, a box of miscellaneous markers, a box of miscellaneous crayons, and our shoe box of Math-U-See blocks.
  • the top shelf holds all the books we are currently supposed to be using for this school year - in actuality - I rarely touch them
  • the second shelf houses science books - last I checked
  • the bottom shelf (yes, there is a bottom shelf) houses more science books, language art readers, Bible readers, and I think that's it.
The mess stuff below that is just a hodge-podge of stuff. The white bin to the far right has "Miss H" friendly materials in it (coloring books, crayons and various other things she uses during the school day). The blue crate has all of J6's material in it. Piled on top of it all are library book bags (we use a mail order library since we live in the boonies) and other various school (and non-school) related object.

The large white plastic draw holds various school supplies - pencils, erasers, markers, colored pencils and the like. I should probably mention is sits on top of a speaker that we no longer actually use but it holds that bin nicely!

The other mess, um, pile, um, the far left at the bottom is J6's "bin" of school games and toys. Yes, I do realize that there is so much stuff piled on top (um, including one of my sweatshirts) that he can't actually get to any of it.

Exhibit #2: 

This photos shows the boys work boxes. Most of them. Kind of. The one to the far left is J6's which I don't actually use for him anymore. I do most of his stuff one-on-one with him. His bin still holds things we use though. You can't actually see N8's bin because there is stuff piled on it but it's right next to J6's. The bin with the bike helmet (why, yes that is my bike helmet but in my defense J6 borrowed it today) holds materials I had planned to use this year. It's been sitting on the porch most of the winter. This post is suppose to be about organization right? B13's bin is the black one. Please ignore the rest of the junk in the photo. It has nothing to do with school. Although, you can see my laminator and that rocks!

Exhibit #3:

Five years ago while we were living in a much smaller space than we are now (a four room apartment) I converted this china hutch to hold homeschool supplies. It has a lot of games and art supplies in it. I periodically organize it and it actually looks rather good right now - all things considered. 

Exhibit #4: 

The majority of the kids book are here on these three shelves. There is a fourth one but I actually decided that spot was simply too messy to share so you know that's saying something!

The white bookcase holds easy readers for the most part. The second shelf also has all the board books I've kept for Mr. & Miss H to play with. The bottom shelf has some chapter books.

The long two-shelf bookcase has:
  • top shelf has my smaller scrapbooks on top
  • some very tall (and new) David Macaulay books
  • the middle shelf holds chapter books
  • the bottom shelf has my 12x12 scrapbooks & tucked on top are a few larger school books
The small two shelf bookcase at the end holds art books (top shelf) & math and music books (bottom shelf).

The bookcase I didn't show has history books. It's another small one like the art/math/music shelf.

Exhibit #5:

My computer desk. This year was our first year doing most of our school work in the living room. In years past we've always done it at the kitchen table. This has led to a more relaxed environment - which I like. Most of the books I use for our "together school" are piled right here on my desk. On the left is the Bible I use for school time, the composer books we've been reading, the homeschool devotional I sometimes use, and the outdoor winter study we've been trying. On the right are the read aloud books, Easter devotional, and the Olympic lapbooks we need to finish up.

But you want to hear something really cool? Something I've been wanting for the last three to four years? Something that hubby and I talked about just today??

This summer we are most likely going to build (and yes, I'll help this time) another addition on to our trailer. It will be big! It will be the largest room we have. And guess what!??!?!  It is going to be our school room/play room/craft room!!!! So all the mess I just showed you? It will finally have one spot to be in. I will have designated spaces for everything. And I can't wait! Of course, I'll be posting photos and updates. Obviously! So by this time next year, I should have a nice, warm, and cozy space just to homeschool in. Well, and for the boys to play in. Oh, and for me to do my scrapbooking in. But I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

If you want to check out other organized (or not) school rooms, be sure to check in to the Blog Cruise.


  1. The addition sounds wonderful! I would love to knock a wall out and expand by 1 full room but such is not in the plans for us right now. But I can dream! I can't wait to see the pictures --- documenting the progress!

  2. Ah, but the clutter does die down quite a bit by the time they get to 15/16. That's what I found, anyway.

    We even managed to get rid of a whole bookcase recently!

  3. Thanks for being real, Lisa. You made me feel better about my organization, or lack thereof. I try so hard to be organized but I think that, when you don't have a room specifically for schooling, it's really difficult. I enjoyed a glimpse into your lives.

  4. Hi! I loved your blog posting! I especially loved your honesty! Nice to see Real Homeschool Settings and know I am not alone! I was checking in to see if you got your addition! Can't wait to hear all about it!

  5. Thank you for your honesty and courage in sharing this! You've really helped take the pressure off this mama who's used to seeing picture perfect homeschool rooms on most of the other blogs she visits. Seriously THANK YOU! :)


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