Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Week 8 - Organizing the Garage

Week EIGHT!! We made it to the very end.  I hope I still have at least SOME of you with me! How did you do on your total home organization over the past eight weeks?  This week we are ending with organizing the garage.   I did most of the work in my garage last fall when the weather was a little better.   We were preparing for a garage sale at the time so there were huge piles of junk in the garage.  But you can also see how the storage we had at the time was really not working for us at all.

After lots and lots of measuring and researching, I decided to order three sets of these shelving units made by Sterilite.  I ordered them from Wal-Mart - a great way to get something large and bulky delivered for free without the hassle of trying to fit it all in your car to bring home from the store.   I do think a disclaimer is in order here - all the junk sitting on hubby's side of the garage was just placed there for a yard sale we were about to have.   We sold almost every bit of it - and what didn't go went away on the donation truck I had scheduled to come pick everything up the following Monday.  The white bags that look like trash are just old clothes and shoes and stuff for donation that I wasn't going to bother to try and sell at the yard sale. 

 And now the AFTER PICTURE!!!!
 TA-DAAAA!!!  Sooo much better.
 I also ordered this set of drawers from the same line as the shelving units.  In here we keep all the snow boots, sporting shoes, etc that are too bulky for the mudroom. I LOVE THIS!! It's been great to keep all the clutter off the floor.   We had a different system for recycling before - but now we don't have to sort it, it can all go out together, so these blue bins right by the door make it easy just to toss the recycle in.  Also - having a regular trash can in the garage has been the KEY to keeping a clean car.  I always make the kids take their trash out right away, and with the trash right there, it's easy.
 The girls wear these boots quite a bit, to the horse barn, or just to play outside when it's wet, or to go wading in the creek in the woods out back, more so lately for the snow - so I left them on top for easy access.

 Here's a little bit of crazy for ya' - my husbands tools used to live on the floor of my linen closet.  That's right - crazy!! In what world does that make any sense at all?  After spending several hours sorting out and organizing all his tools they now have a happy little home in the garage - where they BELONG! After seeing pounds and pounds of screws, nails and such all loose in the bottom on the box they used to be in, I ran to Home Depot and picked up this organizer for only $14.99.  Sorting all that stuff was probably the most tedious part of this whole job.

 I love how it's all behind closed doors and now looks so neat and clean.

The other cabinets are for kids toys and sporting goods, and one is for lawn care and yard maintenance.

I love this umbrella hanger that I found at Homegoods.  Well, I guess you could hang anything on it, but I was looking for something for umbrellas just outside the garage door - and this was perfect for the four of us.  College girl doesn't get a hook :)  Plus, I think it just looks pretty.

 Phase two of the garage makeover/organization will include painting the floor, the entrance door and the steps - I'm thinking of "Naval" by Sherwin Williams for the door, which is a light-ish navy blue.  Adding a little white "Welcome" decal will be the perfect touch - which I already have waiting.  That will have to wait until warmer weather though - which I'm convinced will never arrive.  I know it's only February, but I am SO READY FOR SPRING!! Can you tell by the wreath that I stubbornly hung on the door in the middle of winter?  Southern girls have to do whatever they can to survive mid-Atlantic east coast winters. 

 One more look at the organized clean garage! 

Happy Organizing! 

Follow me on Instagram here and post your pictures using the hashtag #organizeeverything - You can follow along and catch up on all the organizing in the links below.  It's not too late to get started! 




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weeks in Review - Catching up on Homeschool Pictures

So I think it's time for a homeschool update! We have been very busy homeschoolers through the winter months, and I continued to take lots of pictures - but doing the blog series on Organizing Our Homes put me a little bit behind on blogging about homeschooling - so it's time to catch up!  I love keeping a picture record of so many of the things that we are doing - it's great when it comes time for our evaluation - plus it's such an encouragement for me and Boo both to see everything we are doing and how far we have come.  It's just fun to look back at the memories too!  Homeschooling years have always been some of my favorite memories with my girls.  So grab a cup of hot tea and enjoy some glimpses of the last few months of homeschooling!

- plugging right along with our Insttitute for Excellence in Writing
-  Shurley grammar is still a favorite subject - and nothing like some School House Rock to reinforce it
-  the interjection song is one of our favorites - especially this part - WOW!!

- sometimes being the teacher is just as educational as being the student..
 - hiding God's word in her heart
 - sometimes miniature horses want to learn about history too

 - working on critical thinking skills with miniLUK

 - some history reading - sometimes I actually have to MAKE her stop reading.. (notice her favorite little stuffed friend is reading as well)

 - memorizing upside down always helps...
 - keeping hands busy while listening to mom read...

- learning about graphing in math so we charted her growth since she was born..

 - and we turned in into a line graph..

 - nature study is always a highlight..

 - observing the birds on our deck..
 - we keep track of every new bird we see and write the date... (this has been ongoing for years now)

 - learning about the expressionist paintings of Paul Klee using oil pastel medium

 - giggling.... lots and lots of giggling....

- mechanical engineering field trips to shop for and put together a homeschooling Ikea desk big enough for two...
 - she loves to organize just like her momma
 - she loves to make her work spaces pretty too!
 - we enjoyed a few new educational items to chase away the winter doldrums...
 - we have devoured almost all of our homeschool books that I thought would last all year...

 - we took a detour away from Saxon math .... Horizons and "mommy math" is filling in for now....
 - "Mommy Math" is her favorite - she was starting to hate math and I couldn't let that happen.
 - Not using a set curriculum and just teaching her the concepts she needs to master right now is her favorite approach. We even have a silly song - "It's time for mommy maaaaa-aaaaath!"
 - whatever works to instill a love of learning...
 - teaching long division and long multiplication is a breeze when done on graph paper to keep all those numbers lined up ...

- learning about similes and metaphors....
  - and dreaming of spring..... it will come again - right?
 - almost through all of our spelling words for the year...
 - fun science experiments making Borax crystals

 - learning liquids and solids .....

 - three simple ingredients...

 - one of her favorite readers lately....
 - we started a new science book....
 - she wants to be a zoologist :)

We have been very busy the past few months and we are SOOO ready for some warmer weather - how about you?