School Command Center

Filed under: Kids,Office,Uncategorized — Colleen at 11:08 pm on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My kids headed back to school today.  In preparation for the back to school season, we recently transformed our sunroom into a “School Command Center”.   Since our sunroom has an outside exit, we started using it as a “mud room” last year and had the kids exit and enter the sunroom door to and from school.  This prevented the kids from dropping their school items throughout the house.   (Imagine 3 bookbags, 3 sets of shoes, 3 coats on a small living room floor!)    We saw a significant improvement last year, so this year we stepped it up to make our school supplies a little less visible.

First, we needed a place for the bookbags.  We decided to hide our bookbags by repurposing an old kitchen pantry into a “locker”.  Our backpack “locker” is pictured below.  Each child has a section and the lower portion houses our arts and crafts.

Next, we needed to hide the shoes.  With 4 kids, we were constantly tripping on shoes.  We had shoe racks last year, but they just didn’t look nice in the space.  So we solved that problem with a trip to Ikea.  We purchased the TRONES shoe cabinet (sold in sets of 3 for $39.99).  Each child now has their own cabinet for their frequently worn shoes.  Since we need to buy 2 sets of cabinets (for 6 separate bins in all) , we are using the 2 extra cabinets to house their sports shoes, having 2 kids to  a cabinet.

Here is the TRONES shoe storage system.  I love how it is low-profile and can be  installed behind the door.   The older kids have the higher bins.  I am really enjoying not looking at shoes anymore!

As shown below, the two “extra” shoe bins are being used to house the seasonal sports.  Right now they are storing basketball shoes, soccer shoes and chin guards, and ice skates!  How awesome is that?  Above the bins is a filing organizer I got from 31 Gifts.  Each child has a section for me to put any school papers they may need to reference (or that I find laying around the house).  The bottom file is devoted to general school papers, like the school transportation forms, the calendar, and the school directory.  A small bulletin board posts the kids’ weekly activity schedule, the kid’s weekly “specials’ in school, and (most importantly to them) the Hot Lunch calendar.

Here is a close up of our bulletin board:

And finally, what drive me the craziest with back to school is getting 3 kids ready.  It is so exhausting to ask each child if they are ready for school and if they have brushed their teeth and packed their lunch and whether they have library that day.  So instead of repeating myself everyday, I created “The Nagging Mom Morning Checklist”.  Posted on the exit door is every question I tend to ask them in the morning.  It is their job to read it each morning to make sure that they are ready.  I’m sure it will evolve as the year goes on!

I’m happy to report all well well this morning.  They were actually all ready about 20 minutes early.  And I didn’t have to nag once. :)

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