The Educational Embarrassment {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

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This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.


the educational embarrassment

Target’s Dollar Spot gets me every time.

Every week I determine that I’m going to enter in on the food side -just to avoid walking by this money pit. And I cave every. single. Tuesday.

There is a reason that it’s located right there at the entrance of the store. It’s clearly for people like me, suckers for anything with a couple of rhinestones, a polka-dot pattern and a burlap bow. Throw on a $1.00 price tag, and it’s in my cart.

school supplies organized

All joking aside, they really do have some neat stuff in those bins, some of which are pretty nice considering the value.

One of my favorite things to purchase is educational material for my kiddos during their Back-to School display. I try to get it when they clearance out specific zones in their Dollar Spot, ranging anywhere from 50-70% off. While the regular Dollar Spot is wonderful, the clearanced Dollar Spot is downright awesome.

Somehow buying random educational items seems justifiable. I mean, isn’t expanding children’s minds  worth a few extra dollars? I think so too.

making a school supply caddy

This year I grabbed a set of U.S. presidents trivia book, flashcards and workbook. I also found a similar set for U.S. states. Of course, I grabbed the usual alphabet, numbers, multiplication, division and sight word flashcards. Ho-hum. They are annual purchases. Why you ask?

We lose them. Like every year lose them. Clearly, as the title suggests, this is embarrassing. A BIG, fat black mark on my record as homemaker.

But no more. This year I put my foot down. These are the final set of cards that I’m buying. We are taking care of them. My kids will forever remember that elephant starts with e and that jack-o-lantern starts with j -all because of these cards.  I’m going to go so far as to leave this specific set in my will. Mark my words, you will see these exact sets of cards in years to come. So will my grandchildren…I am that determined.

But in order to do so, it was imminent that I create a school zone. These evasive little buggers needed a landing zone in this chaotic household.

organizing a homework zone

Our hall closet seemed like the perfect choice. It’s near both the kitchen and the living room, which together constitutes Grand Central Station as far as homework is concerned.

I began gathering a few cheap containers to organize a school/homework shelf. Here’s what I came up with for my new zone.

school supply storage

Dollar Tree currently has some nice plastic shoe box-style containers. This purple-looking one seems somewhat gray in tone to me. Maybe I’m just going color blind or it was merely wishful thinking on my part.  I love gray. At any rate, I nabbed two of them for this project. I slapped simple labels on them and called it a day. A generic “school” label gives me the liberty to decide to stuff them with whatever school paraphernalia I choose. I like some wiggle room.

school supply caddy

Last summer, I grabbed a metal utensil organizer during Target’s end of summer clearance sale. It was originally $10.00 but I purchased it for three bucks. Don’t you just love the red metal? It is the perfect homework caddy for the children. I used a few small glass jars to help contain some of the smaller loose items.

organizing a homework station

(See. I told you not to worry, Mason jars. You are still a well-loved container of mine, and always will be.)

However, just between you and me, a few of the jars are actually recycled pickle jars. While I did wash and air out the jars before using them, I obviously was not overly concerned and nit-picky in removing all the glue. I was not going to waste time over something that would be hidden down inside the caddy. Function over beauty was my motto.

organizing school supplies

We have been enjoying this new zone for homework time every afternoon as well as for the occasional art project. We no longer have to wonder where the glue sticks are or crawl around looking for lost crayons in the couch cushions.

As far as the flashcards go, so far so good. My grandkids may see them yet. And wouldn’t that be something.


tip 11

Whether you homeschool or have your children in a traditional school setting, a special school supply spot can be a great time saver. Even if you don’t have kids, but have extended family, grandchildren or perhaps your neighbor’s children in your home from time to time, you may find this to be beneficial. Keep it simple, keep it within easy reach and above all else, keep this thought in mind. Storage solutions don’t have to be expensive. Dollar Tree offers some nice options, or you can be really frugal and recycle a container.

Remember -function over beauty. Say it with me.

Thanks for reading.


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