Getting Ready for Year 7: the content cabinet

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This content cabinet (CON-tent, not con-TENT) is one of my favorite organizational projects this summer. Since I have taught ESL for 6 grades over the last 6 years, I have taught related social studies, science, and math lessons to help build their vocabulary. Thus, I have acquired quite a bit of manipulatives, books, and printables (stories, articles, and worksheets).  Before this year, I was pulling books out of the schoolroom library, searching my documents on the computer and in files, as well as digging in tubs for the manipulatives.  This year, however, (most of) these supplies are now neatly in labelled containers. The only tub that remains to be finished is the bottom middle.  Containers for this project came from Target (currently VERY good sales going on), Walmart (OK, not as good as Target’s prices), and Dollar Tree (cheapest of all, but tubs aren’t as sturdy).  The labels also came from Dollar Tree, but are not currently in stock.  I suppose these are a poor-teacher’s version of the tubs from Lakeshore, but I’m OK with that. :) When I think of it, I will try to add pictures of the tubs and contents in this and future posts.

Until then, happy back to school!

Project Organization: Counter/Desk organizers

I’d been hearing my co-workers at school talk about these organizers for the bathroom that are made of plates, saucers, and candlesticks.  Since it’s Christmas vacation and they had really good deals at GoodWill (and I needed an organizer for my counter)… I made one too.   I started with this:

I had some burnished copper spray paint on sale from Hobby Lobby, so I painted the candle holder.  Nothing against the silver, I just wanted the metals in my bathroom to be bronze and copper.  Anyway, a little hot glue and several trial and errors later (“center the saucer on the candle holder” is not as easy or quick as it sounds… at least not the way I was doing it) this is what I had:

Factoring in the spray paint, this stand was $6.

The great thing with these types of organizers is that they can really take many different looks.  I made another one for my classroom.  It isn’t as sleek as the one for my bathroom, but there’s something about it that feels whimsical.  Or Charmingly Haphazard.  Hopefully this will help keep the surface of my desk clutter-free throughout the day. And I won’t lose my scotch tape as often.  Or end up with 30+ paperclips on my desk.  Or discarded broken crayons. This one didn’t involve any paint at all.  Grand total was $4.50.

Project Organization: Kitchen Overflow

Since my post on organizing my teaching materials, I’ve had a request for more posts on organization.  So, here is our solution for kitchen overflow.  Our kitchen is a good sized kitchen, but it does lack one major component: a pantry.  We’ve managed to relegate most of the food to 4 cabinets, which leaves 5 cabinets for dishes, pots, pans, blender & mixer, Tupperware … in other words, it leaves the other five full. :)  Just around the kitchen, we incorporated kitchen overflow storage in the living room bookcase and desk.  The apartment does not have a linen closet where we could store table clothes, candles or table decorations, so these also got incorporated into the living room.  Here’s how it turned out:

The ELL teacher home office… part one

(Part two is in the closet, (thank goodness for walk-in closets in the bedrooms!) which would be a little weird to post here.) Since I teach at three schools — and don’t have my own room at some of them — it is better to do most prep work/store supplies at home.