Sunday, March 7, 2010

You're In My Space. Proceed With Caution.

My answer to this week's TOS Blog Cruise question varies throughout each year.  "How do you organize your space?".  I have to admit that I'm still working on finding what works best for us.  And yes, I have had fourteen years to get organized and I'm still not. 

I have a friend who is naturally organized.  She alphabetizes her pantry and color codes her To-Do list.  I shove the food in wherever it fits and I'm lucky to find my To-Do list (If I remember to write it in the first place).  I'm looking forward to the various responses to this question, as I can imagine they will reflect both extremes and everywhere in between.  I like that.

So how do we organize our space right now?  I am blessed to have a large closet in the hallway off the kitchen.  I asked for shelves to be put in this closet and I use it as my school closet (that's probably where my pantry should be but I need a school closet more, so the food will remained shoved in the kitchen cupboards and stacked on a basement shelf).  This is packed full of curricula, loosely organized by subject.  It's all nice and neat in September, but by the time we hit's a bit scary.  (In the interest of being real, I had every intention of opening the closet and taking a picture As Is...but, was just more As Is than I could handle so I had the kids do a little bit of straightening.  Just a tad.  So I could sleep at night without being haunted by the images of my closet on the Internet.)

I recently picked up a cabinet with bins from The Christmas Tree Shops.  Each child has a bin (my 14yo has two and my 17yo has none).  This is where their individual books, notebooks, binders, and assignment books are held.  The cabinet is in the living room, which works well for us because I need it in sight and in mind.

There are two bookshelves in the living room as well.  At this point, one shelf holds the materials for my oldest daughter's Sonlight and the other shelf holds the books for my younger children's Sonlight.  We're not really using the Sonlight as written, so this may change sometime in the near future.  The idea is that the books we will be using frequently during the year will be in the living room shelves.  Again, easy access and in my sight.

We also have an armoire down the hall for the overflow.  Our basement has wall to wall bookshelves but we were having issues with flooding and have begun bringing books upstairs.  The armoire is completely unorganized right now, I need to get to that...

We have graduated to two book boxes.  One is holding magazines at the moment, we'll see how long that lasts.  These are on either side of the fireplace and hold library books (well, they will once I pay my fine and can use the library again!), devotionals, our current read aloud, review books, etc.  These are the I-Need-Even-Easier-Access books.

We typically work in the living room and kitchen.  Our living room is often computer central.  We used headphones a lot, while working on different computer based learning, but we're down to only one working pair.  It's a great tip if you need more than one person listening to a computer at a time.  Maybe if I was a little better organized, they wouldn't get broken.  Working on that...maybe in another fourteen years.

I do have a loose form of organization.  I would love to have everything alphabetized and color coded, but I know it wouldn't last more than five minutes once we began using everything.  This works for me, it's actually been a good system for us so far.  Resource curricula are in the closet, independent work is in the bin cabinet, books and curricula being used regularly are in the bookshelves or book boxes. And it's all organized and lovely in September.  I'll have to post comparison pictures in the fall. 

Check out all the other ideas in the Blog Cruise, which will be posted on Tuesday.  We all have different personalities, styles, and methods.  We all have different spaces in which to work as well.  Tweak and change things up when needed, until you find what works well for you.  You may be like my friend and have your homeschool perfectly organized immediately, and that's great.  But if you're more like me, don't give up.  Make it fit you and your space and your kids and don't be afraid to try something new when needed!


TOSHeidi said...

I enjoyed reading your answer and seeing your pictures. Looks great to me! I'm not sure if I'll have time to participate this week or not. We'll see . . .

TerriG said...

I appreciate the untouched photos. Nice post, I will be reading the others. I am finally accepting the books everywhere. Like you, out of sight out of mind just doesn't work around here. It's made me rethink the cbd sale.

Lori said...

Rethink the CBD sale? That better be rethink as in, you're going. ;-) heehee. JK.

I have started being a tad more picky when buying books, I admit. But we love books so the books everywhere will probably not end anytime soon. Oh well, we could have worse problems than too many books!


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