Organizing supplies/curriculum in a very small space. - Mothering Forums
Learning at Home and Beyond > Organizing supplies/curriculum in a very small space.
Morgan's mama's Avatar Morgan's mama 02:10 PM 04-28-2010
I need help organizing my curriculum and other supplies in a single cabinet in the kitchen. I'd like to try and keep everything in the kitchen b/c we do our work at the kitchen table. So this is just for convenience. We don't have a room devoted to schooling and are tight on storage. Does anyone have a good method for keeping things in order in a small house? Does anyone have any pictures of they would be willing to share? Thanks!

mommariffic's Avatar mommariffic 03:17 PM 04-28-2010
Right now, you don't wanna see pictures of my house

I'm doing my own version of nesting, which is more like mess making/pile making

Anyway, one website I love is Community Playthings - they have an art storage on wheels that's perfect for storing almost all of our craft type stuff, and we can move it from room to room. It cost and arm and a leg, but I'd marry it if I could because it's that awesome!
onyxravnos's Avatar onyxravnos 09:04 PM 04-28-2010
i have three big plastic totes. two for manipulatives one for art/craft supplies. then have a workbox kinda system with one of those four drawer plastic storage things for what is happening each day.

then of course shelves / countertops / floors piled with books and books and books
Smithie's Avatar Smithie 12:27 AM 04-29-2010
I have a hanging file folder box in a cabinet, next to the books. Much more efficient than a bunch of three-ring binders.
One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 01:03 AM 04-29-2010
I keep our stuff in a small plastic container and bring it to the living room when we do school work. I sometimes have to dig through it when I am starting something new but it is all there.
ikesmom's Avatar ikesmom 01:32 AM 04-29-2010
what about some deep baskets underneath the table and then you could drape a table cloth over to hide things when you don't want to look at them or the doorbell rings ect.
PreggieUBA2C's Avatar PreggieUBA2C 03:23 AM 04-29-2010
Under table shelving can be very helpful. I built a shelf that spanned the whole bottom of the kitchen table to store paper for drawing, but it could just as well have been for books or low rectangular baskets of supplies. It hung down about five inches, but could have been lower- maybe 6 or 8 inches and accommodate a lot more. We have built a larger table now, but that 1st one is a work table for outdoors and the shelf underneath stores tools and supplies.

How big is the cabinet you have to work with? I couldn't fit everything into a standard kitchen cabinet, but we are building our own kitchen this winter and will have a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit with boxes and dividers to house all of our table-work stuff in the kitchen.

We live in a small home too (780 sq ft- up from 650 last year ), and floor-to-ceiling storage units are a must for us in every room. Everything is built-in as well so that we can use all of the otherwise 'dead' space.

Open shelving with lots of rectangular baskets works the best for us in most scenarios. In some cabinets, that would work as well, if you can move the shelving inside.
pampered_mom's Avatar pampered_mom 02:24 PM 04-29-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
We live in a small home too (780 sq ft- up from 650 last year ), and floor-to-ceiling storage units are a must for us in every room. Everything is built-in as well so that we can use all of the otherwise 'dead' space.

Open shelving with lots of rectangular baskets works the best for us in most scenarios. In some cabinets, that would work as well, if you can move the shelving inside.
: We have more space than this, but what I've found is that the way the previous homeowners set everything up there is a poor use of space. I've found the key is to try and take advantage of every bit of vertical space that you can. Even with shelving I've found that some sort of other container on the shelving is key. I prefer containers with lids just in case my administrative assistant's get into the area. The lids seem to slow the dumping. :0)
MrsJewelsRae's Avatar MrsJewelsRae 02:38 PM 04-29-2010
I just bought tons of organizing open storage stackable bins from Dollarama dollar store. They're in nice bright primary colors and only a buck- I have one for clay and play-doh, tapes and glues, crayons, markers, paintbrushes, pencils/erasers/sharpeners, etc. Everything has a place and I can stack them 2 high on the shelves and it's neat and tidy and brightens the space. Dollar store has so many great storage containers for cheap, I'd go browse through there and see if you get inspired with some ideas of how to set your space up!
CariOfOz's Avatar CariOfOz 10:50 PM 04-29-2010
Here is where most of our hs'ing material lives I like to keep most of our gear in one place, even though our house is not technically small (not overly large either!). I do have some paper on a stacker in the linen closet (which is huge for some reason) as well as a couple of over the door pocket hangers to hold paintbrushes and scissors and stuff
Morgan's mama's Avatar Morgan's mama 12:33 AM 04-30-2010
Thank you for all of your input! It's really helpful. The cabinet I've been cramming all of our supplies into is really small; about 2'h x 1 1/2'w. I've used this particular cabinet because it's right by the kitchen table where we do our work. Like I stated, -everything is crammed in there.

I think I'm leaning toward a storage system on wheels, but it can't be too large. I love the stuff from Community Playthings, but they're pricey. Dh thinks he can make something similar to one of the storage systems. I think I can also find something with drawers on wheels from the container store or storables. The under the table storage is a good idea too. So much to think about. -CariOfOz, I love your shelving unit. Is that an Ikea shelf? If only we had the room...
CariOfOz's Avatar CariOfOz 01:33 AM 04-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan's mama View Post
CariOfOz, I love your shelving unit. Is that an Ikea shelf? If only we had the room...
It is I've always loved the cube style shelves and the baskets/bins hide a multitude of MESS They also have 2x4 ones that are tall & narrower

We may be moving into a smaller place in the future so I'm always looking at storage!
PreggieUBA2C's Avatar PreggieUBA2C 01:54 AM 05-01-2010
Morgans' Mama, if you like rolling storage and find a sturdy book shelf that suits your space, you can reinforce the corners with hardware (fancy brass corner supports if you like and square brackets for the inside corners) and add wheels from the hardware store too.

We buy almost nothing of our furniture and storage equipment because we are always trying to keep our space uncluttered and efficient, so to do that, we make it ourselves. But many purchased items would work if converted or customized too.

Another idea that might work if you have any unused wall space is a floor-to-ceiling book display case. Ours sticks out 2.5 inches from the wall and holds lots of books- it's 4 ft wide. We built this because we always have books on the go and we don't use a coffee table or end tables, so we have nowhere to stack the books we're reading except back in their places in the built-in bookcase. But it would be suitable for binders and with some pockets hanging in the front, it would house many supplies but take up little space. Ours fits along a wall in a hallway but many other places would work too.

Do you have anywhere in your kitchen where you could hang wire baskets? Could you hang your pots over the table so that you have another cupboard available? Or your cooking utensils hung along your backsplash so that you have a drawer free?

We're renovating, and I haven't figured out how to deal with photos on this computer; otherwise it would be much easier to post photos.
Morgan's mama's Avatar Morgan's mama 01:40 AM 05-02-2010
Thanks for the great ideas PreggieUBA2C, we have also built a lot of our own furniture. We have a small space in the kitchen that I could fit a tall, narrow shelf into. The taller 2x4 cube shelf from Ikea that CariOfOz mentioned would fit nicely, so we may go that route. Dh likes to make everything himself, so we just may copy the ikea shelf design. Maybe make it a little taller.
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