Since we first started our homeschooling journey in 2001, we have begun every year with a freshly organized school area. Some years that has been a desk-and-shelf combination, occasionally it's been a pair of secondhand desks, and most recently it's been a simple shelf of supplies.
This year, I fell in love with THIS rolling cart, (found via Pinterest) and thought that having mobile supplies would be a great option for two teens who school anywhere from the living room to the back deck. I checked out Poppit, the site the original blogger purchased all her lovely color-coordinated supplies, and nearly choked when my shopping cart came to $120. That was BEFORE I added the cost of the cart itself!
Refusing to pay that much, but still wanting a pretty color-coordinated space, I started exploring pretty colors and organizational options. $75 and a trip to IKEA and the dollar store later, this is what I came up with. The dry erase boards on the wall are homemade Photoshopped images that have been in our living area for four years now. The glass frame works better than a standard dry erase board, and looks so much better than a blank white rectangle on my wall.
The cart, is the famous RASKOG kitchen cart from IKEA that has taken the blogging universe by storm. All the little pails, baskets, and containers? They're ALL from Dollar Tree!
The pails on the wooden stand, are "book-dumps". Regardless of where we school or how we organize things, piles of books tend to get "dumped" at random places around the house. Now, they can easily carry their books from room to room - and put them back again, when they're finished for the day.
In the top shelf of the cart, I placed our pens, pencils, scissors, markers, and other essentials in 13 individual metal mesh cups. Each of my teens has their own shelf below this, color-coordinated with:
* a bin for small notepads, calculators, and other necessities (including their own oversized sticky-notes!)
* two lidded sandwich-containers to hold stickers, erasers, paperclips, and other tiny essentials
* a metal pail with color-coordinating pens, mechanical pencils and gel-pens
* a single color-coordinated notebook (for scratch-paper & notetaking since most of their work is done elsewhere)
* and a can of Silly String... for their annual First Day of School lunchbreak.
The binders in the back hold their current unit of assignments and essays, to be filed in their permanent binder at the end of each unit.
It may not be exactly like my inspiration photo, but I am SO pleased with how this turned out! I put it together for the kids while they were out visiting their grandparents, and surprised them with it already set up when they returned.
We've certainly come a long way from our school corner being a set of bookshelves piled high with play-doh, tree blocks and musical instruments!