Today we went to Target to get our school supplies. I homeschool my kids so I don’t need much – a few folders, notebooks, binders and pencils (we always seem to need pencils). While I walked up and down the aisle of super cheap school supplies, I thought about all the projects I plan on doing with my daughter this school year. We do a lot of science projects (we love science) and I try to incorporate art into everything I possibly can (art is my favorite). Now is the time to be purchasing all of the items I’ll need through out the school year.
I have the advantage of knowing what projects to buy for, public or private school parents probably don’t. Even if you don’t know what projects are in your kids’ future, you can bet it will probably involve markers or colored pencils, glue sticks and poster board. By thinking ahead (and buying ahead), you can save money and frustration in your future. Buy up these things now and keep them in a cabinet or closet so when you’re kids need them in 2 weeks, or 2 months, you’ll be prepared. Look at what’s on your kids’ school supply list and buy extra of the things you’ll know they’ll run out of before the school year is out (notebook paper, index cards, erasers, etc).
It doesn’t take much room to store these items throughout the school year. Everything but the poster board can fit into a basket or small bucket that your kids can retrieve whenever they need it. Poster board is easily stashed upright in a closet next to something that will keep it upright. I have a cabinet in a desk my husband made (I’ll write about that in a future post) that I store all of our extra school supplies in. Before the amazing desk was built, I kept everything in a basket in a closet.
School Supply Cabinet
On a side note – did you know that glue expires? This came directly from the Elmer’s Glue website:
“If stored properly and capped tightly, Elmer’s school glues and wood glues have an average shelf life of 2 years; Krazy Glue, also known as a cyanoacrylate, has a shelf life of approximately 12 – 18 months.”
I needed something to keep my pens and pencils in but didn’t want to spend much money…or any money if I could get by with it. I came up with this super simple (and inexpensive) idea.
Things you need:
Cans (mine had enchilada sauce in them…Yum!)
*The first thing I did was to use a drill to make two holes in the can (one on one side of the can, and one on the other side directly across from each other). Even though I used a drill, you could a screw (or something else that is sturdy and sharp) and hammer it through the can.
*I then cut the paper to fit around the can and glued it on. If you’re impatient and don’t want to hold onto the can while the paper dries you could wrap a rubber band around it (just don’t wrap it too tightly or it could crinkle the paper).
*Use a nail (or ink pen) and poke a hole through the paper where the holes in the can are.
*Thread a piece of ribbon in one of the holes and tie a knot on the inside so the ribbon won’t come out of the hole.
*Thread the other end of the ribbon into the other hole on the opposite side (starting from the outside of the can). Before you tie it in a knot, decide how long you want the ribbon to be. I marked a spot on the ribbon where my knot should go. Once you’ve decided on your length, tie the ribbon on the inside of the can. I put a little bit of glue on each of the knots to help it hold a little better.
Now I have super cute pen/pencil holders and I made them from things I had in my home! I love them so much I think I might make some more!
I have a small area between the living room and the master bed room that is just wasted space. It’s only about a 4×4 foot space. It’s a bright area; light comes from the living room, plus there is an outside door in that tiny space as well. Since I moved here, that space has stumped me. I hate wasted space!
One day I was thinking about how nice it would be to have a space I could sit and drink my tea and look out at the birds in the back yard. It would also be nice to have a little area to read, write letters, be inspired (I know, I want a lot of things). Could I make all that in that little 4×4 foot space? Could I make a mini-sunroom, work space, creative nook, and reading area? I could try!
I worked on it all day today, and I have to say that I’m really happy with my new space. Not only did I get all the things I wanted out of this space, I also made homes for things that didn’t have a home before:
*I added space for several books on the new shelf. On a side note, that shelf came from Hobby Lobby and I got it half off so it only cost me $22.
*I added a space for colored pencils, pens and other office supplies. The step shelf also came from Hobby Lobby and was also half off so I paid $10 for it.
*I used a chair that has been in my garage for 2 years.
*I used a table that came from outside. The paint was worn so I made an easy table cloth.
*I used an old picture frame to make a cute cork board.
If you’d like to see how I made the cute little pen/pencil holders go to my “Make It” section! You’ll also see how I made the cork board.
In case you’re wondering “Hey! What’s that white thing hanging on the wall in the “before” picture and where did it go in the “after” picture?” That is my door bell. I hung the shelf directly under it and put a book in front of it to hide it. Pretty clever!
You may also be wondering who that person is in the back ground of the “before” picture. That is my daughter – I have no idea how she sneaks into some of these pictures!
I have a little drawer in my laundry room where I keep a few tools and miscellaneous pieces of hardware (nails, bolts, picture hangers, etc). Every time I need something I have to rummage through there to find it. Not anymore! Today, while trying to find some tiny nails that I KNEW were in there somewhere, I had an idea. Why not use an egg carton?
I put the egg carton in my drawer (it fit perfectly!) and filled it up! Now I can see exactly what I have! This would also be a great idea for a drawer in a home office (you could fill it with tacks, rubber bands, paper clips, etc) or for your bathroom (this could be a great way to keep track of your jewelry).
I love it when simple, inexpensive things make a big difference!