From Shoes to School Supplies

I cleaned up and cleaned out my closet last week.  I did realize halfway into the project, however, that it might be a harder task than anticipated.  Not only was I was attempting to do this in the middle of a season change but, at just 8 weeks postpartum, I was also doing this in the middle of a body change.

Regardless, my closet was in desperate need of a cleaning and I was in an even more desperate need to get rid of a bunch of stuff.

In my cleaning frenzy I decided that the shoe rack I have had forever needed to go.  It took up a lot of space in the closet, was always overloaded, and a true pain whenever the kids were around.  If one of the top shoes got so much as touched it would fall, pulling all of the other shoes down with it.  To GoodWill it was headed.

Now, before you start asking about the lack of shoes in the picture…obviously, this is NOT what it usually looks like. Not knowing I was going to KEEP the falling apart shoe rack, I took no “before” pictures of the mess that it has become.  This is a picture with just a few shoes to show how it was used…well, kinda.

Just before it hit the door to the garage and made it’s way into my car, I had an idea.  I also had another closet that needed some cleaning up (although I wasn’t sure there would be as much cleaning out).  That was the SCHOOL CLOSET.

Now, if any of you read my “I’ve been Nominated” post you will remember that I get an ultimate high on being organized.  As you can imagine, this was the ultimate annoyance.

So without taking the time to even measure.  I yanked every bit of clutter out of that closet and got to work.  I slid the old shoe rack in and quickly noticed that there was not a millimeter left on each side to spare.  IT WAS MEANT TO BE.  This old shoe rack was going to become a different type of closet organizer.

From the basement, I pulled out the boxes I had emptied and brought home from my classroom when I quit teaching.  I sorted all of the supplies and labeled each box.

Here is the finished product.  Ah, I feel so much better!  Cleaning out 2 closets is such good therapy.

I must say this old shoe rack does a much better job working as a school supply rack than it ever did as a shoe rack.

And for those of us who LOVE before and after pictures…

BEFORE the shoe rack

AFTER the shoe rack


Snack Packs!

So, I have found one of the most frustrating times of the day for BroBro is the time right when he wakes up from his nap.  It is during this time that BroBro says he is “starving”.  Starving right after nap time usually means little to no patience and lots and lots of whining.  Add to this the common fact that during this time, I am either just finishing something up or nursing Littlest Man and you can begin to see why this has historically been a rough point in our day.

The solution?  The SNACK PACKS!

These have worked perfectly.  There are two baskets; one that sits on the counter and one that sits in the fridge.  Each have been filled with small tupperware containers that have just the right portion of a healthy snack.  They are both within easy reach of little hands.  When the kids get up from their naps, instead of asking me for a snack and having to wait or going back and forth with what they get and how much they get, they just grab one container and they are on their way.  The snack packs are just the right portion, they are easy to grab, and they provide the much needed choice for an independent 4-year old.  Our house is now a happy house after nap time!

Examples of snacks used:

*  Fridge – grapes, cheese squares, mini carrots, cantaloupe slices, apples

*  Counter – trail mix, crackers, raisins, pretzels