I am pleased to share that our School Station at home is basically done. Laz and I, and yaya, have been using it for the past few weeks and it has really helped to manage the school paper trail, access supplies, file receipts, and to take note of action documents. I’m also very happy about not having to trip over Laz’s school stroller in the living room, and to have all our extra supplies in one place.
My lighting and editing work is horrible, but I’ve been using just iPhone photos for the entire blog so far. I’ll bring out the camera once the School Station is truly complete, hehe (will these projects ever truly end?).
Anyway. I decided to go really muted with this corner, so I even did away with the colored paper clips and stuck to silver. The name letters are in very light pastel because I didn’t want them to stand out too much against that big white cabinet. (You can see how I attached the letters here). Oh, and Laz uses a puncher this year, because they’re being taught to file away their papers with fasteners in the folders they always bring home.
I keep action documents on that clipboard. These are usually PTC schedules or deadlines or field trip activities that I need out in the open, to remind me. I decided to go with clipboards because I didn’t want to drill holes in my walls for a white/corkboard. The hook is where Laz or Jeff can hang Laz’s school ID, fetcher’s card, and gate pass (yes, his school is like a dungeon, anti-kidnapping. Kudos to them though!).
Now here’s what’s inside the School Station cabinets, and how all the different parts keep us organized:
1] File Boxes. This is where we file all the school papers Laz brings home daily, and it really keeps the paper clutter at bay. I have hanging folders for: Instructions (the more important school letters, guidelines, school handbook, registration or enrollment forms. Everything here will go into my School Binder); Letters (all the other school letters, for announcements, etc. In other words, these are the letters I’ll throw away at the end of the school year); Payments (tuition receipts, receipts for school shirts, etc.); Report Cards (for grades, awards, certificates, and school pictures. These will go into my School Binder, too); Activities (everything related to extra-curricular activities or clubs); and Tutor (receipts, information sheets, tutor’s billing statements, etc.). (You can see the folders here).
2] Mamu’s Supplies. Everything I need for this School Station!
3] Bin for School Supplies. I have Laz’s extra utensils, crayons, pencils, whiteboard erasers, bag tags, writing supplies for when he goes to his tutor, and extra pouches there. Behind the bin are eco-bags tagged with Laz’s name. The school requires plain pencil pouches for the boys, but Laz asked for one of those cartoon-illustrated ones for use when he goes to tutor, so we have separate supplies for that too.
4] Filing Drawers. The top drawer holds more school supplies (whiteboard markers, erasers, sharpeners, more pencils, and Laz’s ruler). The middle drawer holds Laz’s name stickers and extra note pads for letters to his teacher. The bottom drawer holds plastic sleeves, card sleeves, extra lanyards, and small plastic zip-up envelopes.
5] Carry All Box with Wheels. This is where I’ll be putting the artwork Laz brings home, and all his quizzes and seatwork. The quizzes and seatwork will be filed in one expanding envelope per quarter – he’s going to need them when he reviews for quarterly exams. I was so happy to find that box because, prior to that, everything else I checked out was too big or wide and wouldn’t have left enough room for Laz’s school stroller.
6] Clipboard for Action Documents and a Hook for IDs. As seen above. I have a clipboard and a hook on each side of the cabinet, one set all ready for when Alo starts school as well.
My sister says the challenge is to maintain the system. Well, we’ve been using the file boxes for a month now, and our house has been completely (school) paper clutter free. Granted, school just started last June, but I can already see how this system is working for us. Plus, for the past 2 years, I’ve always made sure to always keep extra school supplies on hand (it was especially necessary when I was working full-time), so it was really just a matter of getting to coral everything together with this School Station.
So what’s next?!
Just itty-bitty tasks, such as:
- Lining the pencil jar with cork. (Because I’m OC like dut);
- Have “school” labels printed at Robee stickers (to put on all my cabinet top supplies, para pag hiniram nina yaya they’ll know where to put it back!);
- Get a box for my extra supplies (mine, not Laz’s, so that means my extra paper clips, staples, etc. I’m going to keep it in the kitchen or that overhead cabinet in the Family Command Station); and
- Buy a matching filing drawer for Alo’s side.
And this semi-major (but it can wait, because I want to focus on other corners) task:
- Organize the supplies in the filing drawer and supplies bin, because right now they look like this:
And extras, or frills, more for aesthetics but not absolutely vital right now:
- Replace the plastic bin for school supplies with something nicer;
- Maybe wrap the blue drawers in the filing drawer with black print washi tape;
- Hang a framed print on the wall;
- Maybe get acrylic frames for current school photos?
Finally, if you’re nosy, like me, when it comes to stuff like where to get them, here is the list:
File boxes, hanging folders inside, bamboo tray, container with lid, puncher, stapler, and tea light holder (used to hold my silver paper clips from National Bookstore) are from Muji. Inside the small container with the lid, I keep a small tape dispenser (from Muji) and sticky notes (from National).
White owl (which is actually a toothbrush holder I think) from True Home – love that guy. Assorted pens and markers from Muji, Sharpie and Pilot (from National Bookstore or Fully Booked), and black scissors from Maped (from National).
The framed illustration is handmade from this girl cartoonist, and the cacti and plant holder are from one of those gardening stores in White Plains Avenue.
Cabinet Itself and Cabinet Doors:
I had my carpenter Mang Ariel make the cabinet. I drew up the sketch. (My mother used to call it The Monstrosity).
Wooden name letters from Papemelroti. (More about them here!).
Cabinet door handles from Wilcon Depot.
Inside the Cabinet:
Plastic bin from SM Department Store (old); the smaller containers I keep inside are from Cartimar; the blue and white plastic filing drawers are from Office Warehouse (they can fit legal size paper. It took me weeks to find something that fits legal size!); plastic carry-all with wheels from Muji.
Sides of the Cabinet:
Hooks (actually they’re bathroom hooks) from Wilcon Depot, and clipboards from Office Warehouse.
A bunch of the above items were part of my recent bookstore haul.