Homework/Homeschool Caddy Organization

This past Saturday, I wrote about homeschool organization, thinking no one would be interested.

Use a caddy and things around the house to organize your homeschool table

However, I was surprised to read a fairly good amount of comments from those wanting more on the subject.  I was also happy to get feedback from a few readers who do not homeschool, yet they still found this post inspiring to create a homework caddy for their kiddos.

Jelly jar crayons, so simple and easy for kids to use during homeschool!

If you’re looking for a simple homeschool (or homework) organization tid-bit, then click HERE to read what I shared on Saturday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Be sure to let your voice be heard if you do (or don’t) want to read more in the future by writing in the “comments” section below the post.  I love your written feedback, it’s the only way for me to gauge what you’re thinking.  Otherwise, I’m just talking to myself… nothing new there, haha!

Organized homeschool caddy, use what you already have!

I’m off to edit pictures for tomorrow’s UBH post.  I have a cheap & easy fall DIY “wreath” to share that I think you’ll love!

Happy start-the-week-off-new Monday! :)

 

Organized Art Cart

My little girl officially started her first year of school.  Entering Kindergarten means I don’t anticipate she’ll bring home algebra equations in her backpack anytime soon.  So you can imagine, we don’t need a homework station… yet.  However, we do need an Art Cart designed to keep all her favorite crafting & art supplies organized and accessible.

Art Cart - The perfect way to organize ALL art supplies in ONE place!

I created our original Art Cart a couple years ago because my daughter has always been interested in crafting and coloring (read about it HERE).  Recently, I upgraded it to a more inclusive cart for her growing skills and growing collections of supplies.

Art Cart Organization 101

Not only does she love to create art on a daily basis, but I will also be “hybrid homeschooling” her this year.  That means she attends a “traditional” school setting for part of the week and the other days she’ll stay home to learn with me.  Learning - especially at her age - should be fun, creative, and colorful.  So, it’s important to have all our early learning art supplies in one easily accessible location to enhance our homeschool days.

The best Art Cart for little children's art supplies

I did a very thorough review of several carts and finally landed on THIS one.  Experience tells me we need a cart with wheels so it could travel from storage to the desk or kitchen table and back again with ease.  The wheels on this cart swivel every direction VERY EASILY, which is helpful considering the way children “drive” rolling devices. ;)  Even better, I can lock the front two wheels in place if I want to keep it stationary.

Swivel wheels make this art cart user friendly for small children

Aside from the obvious aspect of organizing all the glue, paper, & crayons; we also needed a place to stash unfinished art projects.  The top of this cart has plenty of room to use for that purpose.  Often times she likes to make masterpieces at the kitchen table while I’m cooking a meal.  Undoubtedly, she’ll have to stop the project so we can clear the table to eat.  This designated “holding space” keeps my little Picaso satisfied knowing she can come back later to finish.

Use the top for keep unfinished art projects for later

One last thing about the exterior of this cart, I reused an old gift bag to act as a mini garbage receptacle.  Throwing away scraps and trash pieces along the way helps to shorten clean-up time afterwards.

Washitape a trash container on the side for easy clean-up during art projects

Other than a few containers I purchased from a dollar store, I used what I had around the house if items within the drawers needed to be separated.  For example, a small muffin tin keeps all those tiny embellishment pieces from scattering whenever the wind blows.  Of course, if the tin gets removed from the drawer and dropped… well, you know how that goes. ;)

A $1 muffin tin organizes kids craft embellishments inside the art cart

Speaking of things inside the drawers, here’s how I organize our art supplies…

The first drawer contains crayons, crayons, and only crayons – which is very intentional.  If we don’t want to use the whole ‘kit and caboodle’, it’s easy for me to pull out one single drawer and put it wherever little hands are coloring.

Removable drawers are perfect for organizing young kids' art supplies

The second drawer holds other coloring utensils like markers, colored pencils, etc.  I separated those items with plastic bins from a dollar store.

Drawer 2a

The third drawer contains stamps and stickers, excellent means for building dexterity.

Drawer 3

The fourth drawer confines glue, embellishments, and tape.   Art isn’t art in our household without sticky goo and tiny flecks of sparkle.  Glue and scissors get their own dedicated bins and all those itty-bitty embellishments find their way into the previously mentioned muffin tin.

Drawer 4

Fifth in line, a drawer full of paper, all shapes and sizes.  From colorful construction paper to paper plates, we keep it together in this drawer.

Drawer 7

The sixth drawer keeps coloring books together, because nothing passes time better than a good ol’ fashion coloring book!

Drawer 6

The seventh drawer holds activity books (the kind that are more focused on education and learning).

Drawer 8

In the last drawer, I keep Do-a-Dot art.  We love this form of painting and skill building!

Drawer 9

As for the finished artwork that she considers “keepers”, I wrote about how I organize them HERE and offer a free printable too!  It’s my relief system when I’m overrun by colored pages and glittery glue drawings.

Create an Art Book to organize your child's take-home papers

Finally, I labeled each drawer with a small piece of washitape.  My daughter can’t read yet; in fact, she has the drawer contents memorized by now anyways.  So the labels aren’t for her, more for friends and babysitters with whom we share our art supplies.  The way I see it, a good label never hurts when trying to keeping things tidy. :)

Washitape labels are quick, easy, and able to be rearranged as necessary

That’s the way we “roll” (hee hee) when it comes to organizing our arts & crafts.  I hope all of you with budding artists find this useful!

Organize your children's art supplies in this cheerful Art Cart!

 

 

Dollar Store Decor – EASY Glitter Dipped Fall Vase

Last year I wrote a few posts about decorating for less (read the recap HERE) and the response is crazy on Pinterest this year.  I started to think that many of you must love to decorate for the season but don’t want to invest loads of cash in the process.  I hear ya!  I’m in the same boat, so I whipped up a few more Dollar Store Decor ideas for your creative pleasure. I’ll start this season by showing you a super EASY glitter-dipped fall vase.  This is great for your own home, a retreat, or fall fundraiser tables you may have on the horizon because it’s inexpensive & simple!

DollarStoreDecor Easy Glitter Dipped Fall Vase

Below you will see the original vase; pretty, but could use a little help since I was planning to put faux cattails inside.  FYI, everything I used for this quick project (except for the wire cutter thingy) was purchased at The Dollar Tree.  Oh, and that container of glitter below was from Walmart but I know The Dollar Tree sells glitter too.  So, basically you can get all the goods in one location, making this project even more convenient!

Create a trendy vase for Fall using all Dollar Store items!

The see-through effect with these tinted jars makes it impossible to hide faux flower/plant stems (see below), which was my main reason for glitter dipping the bottom.

Dollar Store vase looks plain and needs help

I ended up clipping off the extra stem with a pair of wire cutters but that’s not entirely necessary since the bottom gets covered with glitter.

Cut stems

First, use basic masking tape to create a design.  I know you can get really creative with patterns and such but I wanted to keep it simple for time sake.  It’s helpful to know these are tapered vessels, so make sure the line you want to create is pressed on straight and let the rest of the masking tape bubble or bunch however it wants.

So smart!  Just use cheap dollar store masking tape to glitter embellish a cheap vase!

Grab a glue stick from your kid’s Art Cart

How simple!  Glue stick and glitter for an awesome upgrade!

And cover the area you want glitterized…

Simple vase, glue stick, and glitter make a WOW impression!

I used a paper plate to catch the falling extra glitter as I sprinkled.

Use glitter over a paper plate for easy clean up!

The glue stick gave great coverage for this flat-sided vase but some corners were missed like the one shown below.  After the glue dried, I went back and touched up the empty spots with more glue & glitter.

Fix missed spots after the glue dries.

Glitter will cling to rest of the glass even though it’s not covered with glue, but don’t fret, it wipes away. :)

Such an easy project with big wow factor!

Peel off the tape while the glue is still fresh to help create a crisp edge line.

Pull the tape away while glue is still wet.

You may notice, my glitter was a burnt orange color to match the burnt orange colored vase.  I also used an “extra fine” glitter.  It was a good combination without looking cheesy… know what I mean? :)

This makes all the difference... use tinted glitter on tinted glass for big glam!

When I finished the bottom, I decided to embellish the top too but this step certainly isn’t necessary.  The glue stick did not give good coverage in all the crevices here.  Instead, I used a glue pen (also found at The Dollar Tree) to help get in the tight spots around the square shape and I just used my finger to smear it around evenly.

How to get in the tight spots when decorating with glitter.

Oh, and I used the masking tape to create a crisp bottom line here too.

Even the top looks pretty all glittered up.

Trends have been showing many versions of paint-dipped clear vases but the glitter looks a little more glam in my opinion, especially with the matching color of the orange tint.

Make a $1 vase glamorous for your next Fall fling or your mantel shelf!

Well, whacha think?  Stuff a sprig of fake cattails (or real if ya have ‘em!) and maybe a fall colored flower or two inside to complete the project.

This is what I need!  Dollar store items turned up a notch... super easy though!

Please help me out by sharing or pinning on Pinterest if you love these ideas!  Doing so helps prevent others from “stealing” my content (yes, sadly that has been happening!).  I greatly appreciate your loyalty and willingness to credit my content so I can continue producing!!!  If you’re a blogger and considering this idea for yourself, please give credit and link back here at Useful Beautiful Home.  Thanks! :)

She has great ideas for turning cheap-o items in to beautiful home and party decor!

You may also enjoy these Fall decor posts…

Dollar Store Decor – Fall Decorating for Less!

Make a Felt Leaf Garland for ONE Dollar!

Easy Pumpkin Topiary

DollarStoreDecor Easy Glitter Dipped Fall Vase - she has great ideas for turning cheap-o items into beautiful home and party decor!

 

Colorful Command Center Details

Just sharin’ a few details about my colorful command center today.  If you don’t find your answers here, then please keep the comment love coming and I’ll do my best to answer!  You guys have been great (and patient!) while I’ve been navigating a new computer.  Also, if my pictures look atrocious, please forgive my editing skills.  I think my new screen needs to be calibrated.  Either that or I’ve been working with the wrong colors on my old screen for a long time, haha!

brocade wall hanging file folder

The hottest topic of interest has been the hanging wall file folder (pictured above).  It came from The Container Store and I can’t find it anywhere else for you.  It’s called the Brocade Wall File in white (found HERE).

brocade wall hanging file folder  built-in hooks

It’s made of white epoxy covered steel and is very sturdy.  I purchased it a few years ago, but if memory serves me correctly it came with all the necessary pieces to hang on the wall.  It also has two designated keyhole hangers to take the guesswork out of how it’s best supported (see arrows pointing above).  My husband used a molly and screw on each side so it would withstand frequent use without ripping out of the wall.

organizing with washi

Inside are just plain file folders I found in coordinating colors.  I also tuck my recipe system here, that’s the turquoise polka-dot folder you see above.  All of these pieces I found at Office Depot.  If you only want a few colorful folders rather than a huge box, then check out the assortment at Office Depot first.  They sell them in small packages at an affordable rate.  I’m not paid to advertise for them, I’m just offering what I know to be a lesser price point for ya.  :)

In this hanging file system is where I keep all the day-to-day papers that would normally clutter the countertops.  THIS CHANGES REGULARLY!  I don’t want you to think I toss a few papers in there and never address it again.  Just like papers clutter up a workspace, it can happen while hanging on the wall too.  However, this separates things out into manageable and view-able portions.

Right now, the majority of these folders act as holders for the randomness of school papers.  It’s also the spot to keep my meal planning system (which is on the UBH horizon for you).

Labeling notebook folders with washi tape

I keep a few free printables and organizing papers in the Brocade Wall File too.  In a couple months, if they aren’t doing me any good, they will get tossed or rearranged and probably filled with something holiday related.  It’s a revolving system all to manage what would normally collect on my kitchen counters.

On the front of the Brocade Wall File, I have a magnetic mail holder.  It does nothing more than just that… hold mail.  It’s the first line of defense for mail after the junk stuff has been pitched into the recycle bin or shred pile.  It works best for us to have a “quick drop zone” until officially sorted for the week.

A magnetic mail pocket front and center of my command center

I love this handy guy, officially called a Quartet Magnetic Mail Pocket and found HERE.  The entire backside is covered in one giant magnet, so it doesn’t slide off when full.  If you have Amazon Prime, it comes with free shipping!  Otherwise, I think you can also find it at Staples (it was there the last time I checked, not sure about other office supply stores).  Look at the size of this magnet on the back…

Magnetic Mail Pocket is an excellent addition for any command center!

On the front, it has a designated place to add a label and I couldn’t resist.

washi tape label

I added a slip of colored paper covered in a splice of washi tape and then used my handy-dandy label maker to type the word “mail”.

I love a good label, especially with fun colored washi tape!

All four clipboards in my command center were painted by yours truly.  I talked about that over HERE.  It really wasn’t difficult, I’m just not a patient person sometimes. :)

Kitchen Command Center out of the way but central to family activities

I also get questions about my calendar.  It came from Target and is the perfect size to fit inside the painted frame.  The frame came from Michael’s Craft Store as a raw (unpainted) frame piece.  I don’t remember the price but I know I used my 40% off coupon found in a mail flyer.  I painted the frame with yellow craft paint (only 60-some cents) and gave it a white edge for added dimension.

painted frame to spice up my calendar

It took a little investigating to find a frame and a calendar that matched up in size but these two make a perfect pair so it was worth the search.  Below you can see that I use one straight-line goldish colored hook to hang the calendar and above that is a silver hook to hang the frame piece.  I used separate hooks so I can easily lift the frame off if I need to do something with just the calendar.

How to hang a frame around a calendar

I wasn’t in love with the calendar “design” or lack thereof, so I added a little washi tape to better coordinate with my color scheme.

Take your calendar up a notch with washi tape decor!!!

In fact, you may have already noticed a great deal of my accessorizing here is with pieces of inexpensive washi tape.  Washi is really quite versatile and exists at an unbeatable price!  At a conference, I was given a free pack of the Scotch brand washi.  As soon as I started experimenting, I fell in love.  It’s now scattered in many ways throughout our house, including the command center.  I love the little bits of personalty and color it provides but I especially love the super simple labeling capability!!!  Yep, the labeling maniac in me is evident once again.

You already saw above how I used it as a non-permanent way to identify my file folders and dress up a blah looking calendar.

I also use it to highlight week-long and special events on the family calendar.

Marking special days and weeks of a calendar with washi tape - best idea evah!

I even use it for homeschooling, but that’s another post to show you later. :)

One last goodie I recently added – a pen and pencil holder.  Fetching a pen from another room was annoying.  I needed something to write with… now… before it left my brain.  I found a clear caddy (click HERE) that I could peel and stick to the wall.

I stuck it on the side of my picture frame.  Take note: I wouldn’t do that again because it makes my frame lean slightly to the side.  Likely due to the whole balance thing; wishing I thought through that one a little better.  In hindsight, I would have just stuck it directly on the wall next to the calendar.  But hey, ya live and learn, right?  And it’s still useful to me… and beautiful. :)

Best pen & pencil cup holder for a command center!

Other similar posts you may also enjoy reading include:

Kitchen Command Center Reveal

Back to School Kitchen Command Center

Organizing Random Shopping Trips

Painting Clipboards

Note: I am an affiliate for Amazon but only because I love the convenience of shopping there so much!  Since I use Amazon so often, I purchased Amazon Prime and am very happy with the perks, including free shipping on most items.  Making a purchase through any Amazon link I provide will create a small commission percentage to me that adds up over time.  It does not affect your bottom line price.  In other words, you do not pay additional charges by purchasing products through my website links and in the UBH Marketplace.  However, I’m thankful for your willingness to support me, as it is the primary means of keeping Useful Beautiful Home in operation!

 

August Co-Hosted Link Party!!!

Howdy-howdy and happy Labor Day!  Today I’m co-hosting a link party with Morgan over at Morganize With Me.  So get ready to showcase your favorite projects from this past month.  But before you link up (and please do so because your link will be shown on both blogs giving double the exposure!), I want to review a few of my own highlights from August.

AUGUST in REVIEW

August in Review

I started the month off with a few sniffles and tears when I shared my Goodbyes to Sweet Georgia & Friends as our family moved back to Florida – bitter sweet to say the least.

I revealed my new Colorful Command Center complete with How to {and how not to} Paint a Clipboard.  I also highlighted the Kiddie Section of my Command Center over at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Speaking of my OrgJunkie contributions, I recently shared 10 Tips for Easy School Mornings, which was a real eye-opener for me as we began our school season.

As for back-to-school, I participated in an awesome Operation: Organization Series with the gals of 11 Magnolia Lane where I shared my Back to School Art Cart.

Since school was the theme, I shared a giant printable sale for back-to-school organization alongside some seriously talented bloggers.  Of course, there were more posts from August, but I think perusing those highlights should keep ya busy.  :)

Without further ado, let me share the details on your chance to link up something good!  See the description below and click the blue link button at the bottom to join.

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Morganize with Me

Now it’s time for you to show us your August highlights! It’s your turn to shine! We’re looking for monthly link ups to include anything that fall within the two main categories – health and home. In what ways did you live with more intention last month? What did you create? How did you better organize? Where did you implement healthier changes?

Your link up can be organizational related, fitness focused, DIY, personal, recipes, fashion, parenting, faith, you name it! We look forward to seeing all that you’ve done and a few lucky links up will be featured as one of MWM’s top faves later this month.

(The fine print.)

Please follow MWM – Bloglovin | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.

Please link up your direct post and also link back to this site.

Please go share some love to the other links!