Since we homeschool, I often feel like our dining room is the supply closet at some mismanaged parochial school. We often have way too much stuff at the beginning of the year, and it's difficult keeping the critters out of the new boxes of crayons, while still making it easy to grab what I need. While there are some very nice over-the-door school supply organizers available at home stores, they are $35 or more - which is WAY out of our budget. My husband came up with a great idea to use over-the-door shoe holders (my new favorite product) to separate and store school supplies for much less.
We adapted our original idea to include both backup supplies for the teacher (me) and a lower level of storage for the kids to be able to grab their own stuff. Here's how we did it:
Supplies Needed (everything available at Walmart):
- 24-Pocket Over-the-door plastic clear shoe holder ($6.00 - 12.00)
- 2 packs of lunch notes with stickers (in-store only, $.88 each)
- Sharpie markers ($3.97)
- Double-sided tape ($5.97)
1. To make this project, pick out the lunch notes from the stickers. Decide ahead of time what pockets you will need to label, and write the categories for each school supply type on each note ("markers", "glue sticks", etc.)
2. Place a piece of double-sided tape on the back of each note card label, and stick it to the back of each pocket (higher up than the pocket so you can still read it when the pocket is full.) After you've applied all the labels, you can now hang your organizer (hooks are included), and fill it!
There are a few different ways to organize your supplies. We chose to place the "teacher" and "community" supplies towards the top. These were labeled by type.
We also left three rows at the bottom, one for each school-aged boy. These were not labeled, so that the kids could place multiple items in one pocket. We did choose to use the stickers from the lunch notes to "assign" each child/row a visual reminder of who owned what. Since all of my boys have "M" names, it can be confusing for the younger ones, and we don't want supplies getting mixed up once we take them out of the pockets. (It's also a great way to teach accountability for your own possessions.)
We put basketballs on all of Micah's supplies, a football on Matthias' supplies, and a soccer on Moses' supplies.
This entire project took less than 15 minutes from start to finish, and it can be hung INSIDE a closet door to keep supplies out of reach when it is not craft time. (Open the door when it's art time; lock it when it's not!)
Do you have a hard time "keeping track" of school supplies? How could you use shoe holders in your office or home school?
*I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for my time on this post. Participation in this program is voluntary. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.