se7en

The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: Se7en’s Savvy Storage…

August 17th, 2010 · 21 Comments

Last week was our first week back at school after our winter break and it is always easier to put your head down and get into school before you get round to outings!!! So our Saturday spot has to be around the home. Recently a friend visiting asked how we kept our house so organized… I faltered!!! I don’t feel that organized but I have been living with a bunch of kids for a number of years and we do need to get from A to B and we do need to get through school each day and I guess we have got a couple of things streamlined… I thought I would show you se7en storage solutions that work for us… things that aren’t necessarily meant to be used for storage… but they work for us!!!

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I really only have three rules for storing things:

  1. Store like things together. Keeping track of the gear associated with eight kids would be an absolute nightmare if everyone kept all their things in their own places. So all shoes go in the shoe spot, all stationary goes on the dresser and so on. This really helps streamline our to-ings and fro-ings…
  2. Store things where you need them. If I have to unpack something from the back of a cupboard in another room to use it, then I will never ever use it. Whatever I need has to be right at hand. Even something as simple as shopping bags – need to be right at the door so that when we step out the door we can grab them and go.
  3. Keep Containers Small: In a country where so many people have so little I really can’t justify having mountains of stuff. We keep out containers small and when they start to overflow we sort and donate.

Here we go in no specific order:

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  1. The Towel Rail: We don’t have closet space in our bedroom but we do have a dressing room, we popped a towel rail behind the bedroom door for storing all the girls dresses.
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  3. A colander: This is great for storing drippy bath toys. If a toy doesn’t fit in the colander then it doesn’t stay in the bathroom.
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  5. The Paper Cup: This collection of all pencils in one place has quite literally saved my homeschool sanity. If anyone sees a pencil anywhere they put it in the cup. If anyone needs a pencil they look in the cup. Hours of my kids school days were spent sharpening their pencils… now at the end of each day someone gets the task to sharpen the bunch… and when their nib breaks or blunts they grab a fresh pencil. The sharpener is totally band during school hours… My days of “write a word, sharpen a pencil, repeat until the day is done” are indeed over.
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  7. The Board Book Basket: We used to keep our board books on the book shelf, but really they are read so much in our house and get dragged from pillar to post… Now the basket gets dragged around and it is very quick to clean up. Pack it and pop the whole basket on the bookshelf – and we are done!!!
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  9. The book shelf: This used to be where the board books were kept and the toys in the basket… only the toys were never played with. And I always wanted a dolls house on a bookshelf – I just like the idea!!! Well since these toys have been on the book case they have been played with constantly!!! Every time someone passes the scene changes and it is quite fun to see the goings on in the world of “the book case people.”
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  11. Book Boxes: Bibles come in very nice cardboard boxes. And the Father Person never throws out a good box. So I needed to find a use for them. Well all those little wires and cables that litter my desk – countless little ipod wires and goodies… pop them in a Bible box and pop the box on the book shelf and no-one is any the wiser!!!
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  13. Book Cases for BoardGames: Our book situation can get quite out of control and from time to time I do a major declutter… this past month was just that… I patrol the book cases and whip off books that aren’t loved and adored. And then we are left with gaps between the books. If I don’t fill them then the gaps quickly become dumping zones… so I keep them filled. Also with a little guy wandering about we need to keep the book shelves packed tight so that he cannot unpack them with his great and unquenching enthusiasm.
  14. And the Se7en +1th Thing: DSC_0738DSC_0739

  15. The “Gym Bag” Bag: When your kids go to holiday club at the gym and they all come home from gym with identical bags the first thing you do is whip out your permanent marker – yes I keep one in my bag!!! And Hood #1′s bag gets one dot, Hood #2′s bag gets two dots… and so on. All the bags are at the front door ready for action whenever we are.

That’s it!!! Storage in a nutshell!!!

This Post is part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom.

I popped this post onto the Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.

I linked this post at the inspired room, pop over there for some lovely weekend reading!!!
inspired room

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Tags: House Tour · Inside · Saturday Spot

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jenn @ Beautiful Calling // Aug 17, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Love the idea of the board book basket. It seriously needs to be incorporated into our home!!

    {unrelated but I made your pipe cleaner people with my VBS class last week and it was a huge hit!!}

  • 2 irene // Aug 17, 2010 at 10:24 am

    No 6 is just the best – very, very clever (see I didn’t even know….)
    Have a good week.

  • 3 se7en // Aug 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Hi Jenn – I am so glad you had fun making pipecleaner people!!! I have never found kids that didn’t love it and couldn’t get totally caught up in it!!! Have a fun week!!!

  • 4 se7en // Aug 17, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Oh Irene, So good to impress you!!! Have a lovely day!!!

  • 5 teresa // Aug 17, 2010 at 10:53 am

    iam totally stealing the bathroom toys one , dont know why i never thought of it before haha

  • 6 se7en // Aug 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Teresa… Glad you like it!!! Notice not a single pouring toy in the bathroom – mean mother I know!!! But if my kids want to pour and splish and splash I put them outdoors!!!! Have a fun day!!!

  • 7 Nina // Aug 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    yes bathroom toys are only in draining containers. cuts down on mold too.

    I have a basket next to my bed and after we read at night I throw the books in there and every week or so we go book hunting for new books to read at night. kids like repetition (more than I realized) so we don’t even need to keep a lot in here…a few books and he’s happy.

  • 8 katherinemarie // Aug 17, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I’m in love with all those wood toys!!!!! what a lovely little PLAY area. I bet you have one of the most organized homes ever.

  • 9 se7en // Aug 18, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Hay Nina… Tell me about repetition!!! We have a clump of stories that have been jammed into my brain so even if the lights are out, because some very little people are on the brink of sleep the older guys can still get their bed time story!!! Hope you guys have a great week!!!

  • 10 se7en // Aug 18, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Hay KM… The trouble with parenting is all the cool toys!!! We love our bookshelf of toys and so many times the scenario gets reset as someone passes by.. only to have it reset again a few moments later!!! You guys sure looked like you had a lot of fun at the fair!!!! Wonderful!!!! Have a great week!!!

  • 11 jacki // Aug 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Brilliant! Loved all those ideas. And for the record, I think you are one of the most organised people I know. Maybe it has something to do with all those years of applied maths!!!

  • 12 Tara // Aug 19, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Some fantastic ideas here!

  • 13 Rachel // Sep 2, 2010 at 4:44 am

    The colander is a good idea. We keep bath toys in a mesh bag that hangs from the faucet. I think I might collect our board books in a basket too.

  • 14 se7en // Sep 2, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Hi Rachel!!! I am so thrilled you stopped by!!! I couldn’t resist buying the colander but couldn’t justify it because i hardly ever use one, always use the pasta pot, but when I thought of the bath toys I thought – aaaahhhh!!! The light bulb moment in our house was the towel rail behind the door – three little girls can generate quite a few little dresses and we just had nowhere to hang them!!! Have a lovely day!!!

  • 15 Stacy @ Delighting in the Days // Sep 5, 2010 at 9:40 am

    These are great ideas. My favorite is the pencil cup. I am definitely giving this one a try. The endless sharpening is driving me crazy!!!

    Do you have a special place for the sharpener? My daughter is quite the little artist and is always drawing. The problem is she keeps taking the sharpeners and forgetting where she left them. I probably need to implement some sort of sharpening rule!

  • 16 se7en // Sep 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Stacy, I am insanely strict “absolutely no sharpening” during school. I have one child who is going to be the first professional pencil sharpener in the world… forget about do a sum and sharpen… write a number, um sharpen, write the next number, sharpen… and so on…. all sharpening after school!!! I made sure there are enough pencils to last the day and that’s it!!! Have a fun weekend!!!

  • 17 Mary Joy @Seeds of Encouragement Sewn with Grace // Sep 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I just love this article!!!! All of the kids have their shoes in the shoe bin in our mud room. If they tried putting them in other spots we would lose them so quickly it would make your head spin!! I love what you did with the toys on the shelf and the books in the baskets…my sons’ bookshelf is a huge mess that seems to return to mess as soon as I straighten it! You are really making me think with this one…hmm….

    This is my first visit to your blog…I found you at Melissa’s Inspired Room… but I didn’t see you linked up to her in your article…maybe I found you on another one…??? Anyway! Love your blog and I will be back! :-)

  • 18 se7en // Sep 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks Mary Joy… I just forgot to link back – how awful!!! I am getting right on to it!!! Glad you liked your visit over here!!!

  • 19 Org Junkie // Sep 17, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Great tips, I enjoyed reading them!!

  • 20 se7en // Sep 18, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Woohoo!!!The Org Junkie stopped by!!! Isn’t their so much good stuff to see on the inspired room this weekend… Lots and lots of lovely reads!!! Have a great weekend and thanks for commenting!!!

  • 21 Marcia // Feb 10, 2013 at 8:55 am

    What great simple ideas! I will be putting these into action very soon.

    Thank you so much

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