Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Organized Cubbies

Since we moved in, I have been trying to figure out where to put my family command center. I finally got my new fridge, so our calendar, schedule, mail and notes are now on the side. I just hadn't found the perfect place for the kids' cubbies and new chore charts. Eventually we will have a mud room with lockers so things can go there, but until then I needed something temporary that would be just as organized. I also prefer that it be near the point of entry to make it easier for the kids to be successful. Then it hit me! I could put their cubbies in the living room cabinets just past the front door entry! That way the clutter stays hidden but it is all still right there when we walk in the door. This is what it looks like:

Now here it is broken down:
1. The Chore Charts - I decided to rework the chore charts onto a magnetic board. I used the small Foray magnetic dry erase boards I found at Target. With permanent marker I wrote their name and made 'to do' and 'done' sides.

I then traced circles on white paper using the magnets that came with the board (I liked the size). I wrote and drew on the paper, covered the circle with contact paper and stuck a magnet on the back (which came with the board, too!) I stuck the 3M Velcro tabs on the back of the board, and voila! They now have new chore charts. Busy's chores are make bed, clean room and brush teeth. Beansie's chores are feed Bentley (the dog), clean room and brush teeth. They both have to complete all three chores before we leave for school in the morning and they simply move the markers to the 'done' side when the task is complete! They are really doing a great job :)!!!

2. Shoe Boxes - We have been doing this since Busy started wearing shoes and it's really cute when little friends come over and put their shoes in the shoe box too ;) We used to have just one box for both kids, but with growing feet, it's easier with two boxes.
Again, I traced a circle, cut it out, labeled it and covered it with contact paper. Are you starting to realize that I have a small obsession with contact paper?!

Busy wanted her shoes labeled "Lollie", which is what her brother calls her, so that's what I did. And Beansie wanted "Beansie" on his :)

Now each kid has their own shoe box and they know to put them in when they come in the house. That way we don't go looking all over the house for missing shoes when we were supposed to be out the door 10 minutes ago ;)

3. The Paper Catcher - This is a place for school papers to park. When they come in and put their shoes in the shoe boxes, they then take out all papers from their bags and put them in the paper catcher. With the Beans I am still checking for any strays, but Busy is really good at helping him get them all out. This just makes it easier for me to get all papers (including art work) and helps teach them responsibility.

I dressed up the paper catchers with Washi tape so each is unique with pink and orange tape.

4. The Study Box - During Beansie's nap, Busy and I always do a project. Recently, her teachers have been doing some extra work with her including some reading. The books are sight word heavy so they have been sending home sight word cards that she has worked on. So everyday we do some sight word practice and literacy work. In her study box she has a pencil bag (with pencils, a sharpener -which she loves, a highlighter and a pen), a reading phone, a notebook and some sight word balls (we play lots of different games with these - look for them in another post). With her study box in her cubby, she can grab everything she needs at once.
Beansie has a study box too, but his is empty right now. I am planning on introducing one item at a time (like crayons, a notebook and books) to teach him how to use the box.

I also labeled each study box with a Washi tape and contact paper covered circle. The tape color corresponds to the paper catcher colors.

5. The bags and lunch boxes - After taking out all papers from their bags they put them in the cubby next to their shoe box and put their lunch boxes on top of the cabinet. I thought about having them take the lunch boxes to the kitchen, but this way I can just grab them on my way in. Right now putting them on the cabinet it keeps everything together.

This is what it looks like finished:

So, that's what I did for the few days in November after Thanksgiving. After family headed home, I organized a much needed cubby station for my kids (and for me). 

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