Gearing up

I’m not about to claim that I am READY for school to start, but I did at least get a start on pre-school organizing. All last year, the laundry room counter was the dumping grounds for kids’ books at the end of each school day.  Books were supposed to be stacked neatly, but of course that never happened.  With sharing books and working around laundry and many people in and out of the room all day,  it was hard to pin down who left messes and made heaps tip– frustrating for mom.

Laundry room- before

Adding to the mess was an influx of new books someone had given to us. I knew that before I could do any serious school planning, I had to sort through what I had, give away what I didn’t need, and find space for what I intended to use.

I spent parts of two days sorting books and organizing them by subject in the upper cupboards. Once the counter was clear, I was able to move the school computer onto that counter. I think it will be a good place for kids to use the computer for typing, Spanish, Korean, or games.  Last year the computer was in the living room, which when running tended to distract kids doing other work.

Once all that was done, my husband made cubby-style shelving for the books the kids use every day. The 6 youngest kids now each have their own slot in which (theoretically) to return their own books at the end of each day. I’m hoping this will make them more accountable, and also simply more able to put their own things away neatly.

Next step: lesson planning. It feels so much more possible now that the books are in order.

Laundry room - after


  1. Mary, I am SO impressed with ALL that you do!!!

  2. In a regular school classroom, each student has a cubbie or locker, so it looks like you are fitting needs and space quite nicely.

  3. Nice book slots!
    This is very timely inspiration. My school stuff is in piles on the dining room floor, on the bookshelf, in a laundry basket on the little kid table, stacked beside the computer… and has been for weeks while I’ve been working my butt off on an urgent legal/ school cause for my eldest. I can’t stand it and am going to take tomorrow to see how much I can tackle! Congratulations on your accomplishment!

  4. I just spent two days doing the exact same thing!!

  5. Cool organising, I am impressed

  6. Looks great Mary! I’ll guess have to post pictures soon of my project.

  7. Looks great! I have an area in mind that needs serious attention if it is going to be used for our school area. You’re getting me motivated to get my tetanus shot and get started! :0)

  8. I love cubbies! your hubby did a fine job

  9. I love the shelving slots – – -What a great idea! In our house, each kid basically has a backpack for their books. I think that I started that when it seemed like we were driving everywhere. They could just grab their bag if I asked them to and everything would be ready to go. Please keep sharing, I appreciate the inspiration.

  10. I just took pictures lastnight for my “school is starting soon” post, and here you are beating me to it!!!

    Looks great. I envy your laundry room.

  11. Mary, can you tell us what’s in the nicely stacked laundry baskets?? laundry? books? it looks SO organized! Inspires me!

    Thanks for your encouragement to us all!

    Chris in WA state

  12. Hi Chris,
    It is clean laundry sorted by bedroom– I did a post about my laundry room awhile back if you want to know more…

  13. Nicely done!

  14. Mary, it is great to see this picture. I, too, am not quite ready to go back to school, but seeing your post of organization have motivate me. I will be getting my fanny up and get to it! LOL! Just love the color of your picture (and how clean and neat the books looked on the counter).

  15. I wish our school room looked that organized.

  16. wow that looks great!

  17. I love that organized look!

  18. I love that organized look!