Day 4: Organizing the Home School Stuff

Earlier this Crew year, I blogged about organizing my home school. It was part of a Blog Cruise.  I wanted to write again about organizing supplies.  Not just our school supplies but my office type supplies.

There are three kinds of stores that I could spend hours and hours wondering and browsing.  They are not clothing stores.  Not shoe stores either.  Office Supply stores, Kitchen Gadgets and Books.  Consequently, my husband rarely takes me to the outlet mall.  (Truth be told he’s a sucker for the Kitchen Gadget and Book stores, too!)

I love pencils and pens and all those neat little gadgets like clips and pins and containers to hold everything.  And the perfectionist who wants everything to match and be perfect drools and covets paper trays, markers and clipboards.

Reality is not so pretty but I still have a need to be able to find a working pen or sharpened pencil without having to scrounge through the cushions of the couch.  Mugs and baskets make perfect containers for pens and pencils.  I have a freestanding cabinet in my dining room that holds office supplies, math manipulatives and other school related items. 


This is the top shelf.  On the left in the back you can see where I store my pens.  I have four glass mugs.  These were part of my “Mug Collection” and I needed to do something with them, and I needed a way to store pens.  But I’m weird and I wanted my pens sorted.  So I have a mug for black ink pens, a mug for blue ink pens, a mug that is supposed to be for red/purple ink pens and a fourth mug for all others.  Some other colors have migrated into the red/purple mug and all my blue pens are missing at the moment.  But in theory, it is really easy to find a pen and to find the kind I want. 

You can also see, on the right, one of those paper sorter thing-a-ma-jigs.  On the top shelf of that is the pencil basket.  It has erasers, as well.  Every now and again we go through the basket and pull out the pens and colored pencils that come to visit the regular pencils.

The paper is sorted (roughly) into 3 hole punched loose leaf notebook paper and special Handwriting Without Tears paper.  Of course we have the “other” category where whatever paper goes. :)

The other baskets hold things like bookmarks and sharpies.

I don’t want to just talk about pens and pencils.  I want to talk about my favorite way to store those spiral bound teacher and student books.  Softcover and spiral bound books/notebooks just do NOT stand on a shelf very well.  And if you lay them flat, you have to move them all to find the one you want (which always seems to be at the bottom of the pile.  Even if you used it this morning!).

My solution?  Magazine racks.  These plastic do-hickeys are available at office supply stores and even Walmart.   I have lots of them.  I even use some of them to hold magazines.  I use one for holding my home school catalogs.  Want to see some?  Good cause I have a picture! :)


In this picture you can see the one I have for Math, Science/Latin, Misc and on the right end, my items from Institute for Excellence in Writing.   I love that I can easily find what I am looking for and they look impressive on the bookcase.  Each of my daughters have one (you can see the tops of them at the bottom of the picture.)

For more about the magazine racks and a couple of other school room organization tips, check out my old post I Need Organization to Keep My Sanity.

Click on the banner below to go visit more 5 Days of Blogging Posts.  So many different topics!!



  1. I am right there with you at the office supply, kitchen, & book stores. I can skip shopping at the mall!!

    I love your blog layout.

  2. I use magazine racks to keep all my "teacher editions" too - now I feel so smart and organized! (that might be the ONLY way I'm organized! LOL) Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!


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