Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I'm in a nesting frenzy right now; anticipating, not a new baby, but the beginning of the school year. This is the first year that we are starting off with homeschooling in the fall (we took Kimball out of public school last November) and the first year that no one is participating in public school at all. Knowing how much time it takes up and wanting desperately to have a sense of order in my life and in my house, I spent last week on a massive organization task. I took everything out of the hall closet and only put back in things that pertain to our "Tiger" Academy (a name we use online to protect our real-life identities). Everything else had to find a new home or go to our friends at Deseret Industries.

Thus, all of our DVDs are now located in one of three DVD wallets. My dear husband insisted on keeping all of the cases "in case we ever want to sell them because they become collector's items." (Can I tell you how much I hate keeping things because they might become collector's items? And is it really possible, even if the Lord of the Rings Special Edition Trilogy is one day worth a small fortune, that I will be able to convince him to sell it and finance our children's college tuition? I doubt it. And yet, the domain of the garage is his and if he wants another box full of empty DVD cases out there with his old GI Joes and all of my junk important things that I don't use very often.)

Our winter coats are hanging in the closets of the people who wear them. Our vacuum is currently homeless, but I will find a spot for it by the end of the day. Our extra table leaves are in a spot in Ian's closet, thanks to his generosity.

And then there was a huge, unorganized pile of school things, some of which we used and some of which I'd only looked through once, put at the bottom of the pile, and never thought about again. Not to mention the 15 gallon bin full of our "daily school stuff", which didn't even fit in the closet, and the shelf in my closet that was overloaded with various resource books. (My mom gave me a lot of stuff when she was getting ready to retire from school teaching. None of it stolen from the government, I assure you!)

Now, the closet looks like this:I really should label the bins. If you care to know how I organized this, read on (those of you who don't homeschool can just skip the next few paragraphs.)

On the bottom, two hold math manipulatives and one holds small educational games that might be looked over if they were competing with the games in our game cupboard. In the middle, each boy has his own bin (in the color of his choosing) and notebook. The bins contain a journal, some workbooks, and a few other things depending on each child's needs. I'm not sure yet if I'll use the notebooks for finished work that we are proud of or for weekly assignments.

The third row from the bottom is pretty obvious. The caddies are low enough that the kids can grab them and bring them to where ever we are learning at that moment. There are four cups of crayons in the caddy, each with a color corresponding to the child's bin so that we don't need to fight over crayons. There are also scissors, colored pencils, and erasers in the crayon caddy. Another holds glue, tape, a stapler, markers, and rulers. The white board markers are in a small plastic box and a large pencil cup is already full of sharpened pencils, thanks to Henry's good efforts.

The top row of cubes contains a bin of craft supplies (which is sadly mostly empty at the moment. I'm not very crafty, but I'm really trying harder for my kids' sake); some extra supplies that I can dole out as needed; and all of my teacher's manuals for this year, which Jared says are far too heavy and are in danger of jeopardizing the entire structure, but I'm ignoring that. (Something which I will surely come to regret later, but that is right where I want the manuals. So there.) On top is writing paper, scratch paper, and math workbooks that they will use later in the year.

The shelf on top, which is barely visible in the photo, has books that I may use for resources. Ideas for math, language arts, unit studies, holiday craft activities, science, . . . . you get the idea. But now I can see them all, so I know just what I have and can put my hands on it quickly if I want it. Hurray!

The white board props up in front of the cubes when we aren't using it, which also makes it harder for Bronwen to get to the crayons if the door is accidentally left open. Crayons she likes to eat and markers she likes to use to give herself tatoos all over her body. We hope she gets that out of her system soon.

Now that this closet is finished, I'm torn between getting all my lesson plans figured out and getting my master bedroom decluttered. I will do both before school starts for us in a week and a half. Please hold me to that!:)

Back to my projects . . . .


Anonymous said...

Don't you love a clean and organized closet!! I wish I had kept pictures of my organizing projects over the years. Then I would have proof for myself that I actually accomplished something occasionally in those days.

You go, girl!!


Prudy said...

It's hard to start without being totally organized. I know because I started on Monday amid clutter. If I can just make it to the weekend, I'm home free.

Nana said...

Ah, a new school year. A clean page, a fresh start. I am having withdrawl anxiety, and will have to control myself or I will be down at school, organizing my friends' classrooms.

Michal said...

we'd love to have you come organize us up here. there's always a good project waiting!:) we miss you.

Michal said...

myrna mom,
you're a pro organizer, that's for sure. and thank goodness your son picked up on it. he is the real reason that we aren't living in a cluttered mess all the time.

mindyluwho said...

I'm feeling the panic! New school year and I'm still trying to figure it all out!

Great job organizing. I love the DVD idea. I have done it partway, but have not had the courage to put them all in, although they get left out of their cases half the time anyway!

Anonymous said...

I think it would be neat to see you organize your closet. -Your Husband

Michal said...

jared? you read my blog?

i'm working on bronwen's closet today, ian's tomorrow, but mine is an excellent idea. let's get all the closets done this weekend!

Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

sorry about the mind needs to be organized like your house!!!

I get glimpses of an organized home and then the kids realize I have been working on something and try their best to undo it!

scrap chair potato said...

I love organizing things. You would never know it by looking at my house though. :)
I am excited to hear about all of your fun adventures this year in Tiger Academy!

MoziEsmé said...

How beautifully neat! And functional, too! I need to do something like that with our craft room - and get all the non-touchables away from baby Esme's reach. I think she and Bronwen would have fun together . . .

Tamlynn said...

Hello, I linked here from my friend Lei's (My Many Colored Days) blog. Yeah, I know the winner. I feel cool.

Anyway, I was excited to discover that not only are you LDS, but a homeschooler and in CA? Me too!

Well, our first day of official homeschool will happen in about a week. Wish me luck!