SCHOOL STATION: Essentially Finished

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Our School Station update!

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.

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Everything I need to help Laz stay on top of homework and school letters.

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.

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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!).

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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.

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SCHOOL STATION: Wood Glue and Wooden Letters

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It was my first time to work with wood glue and contact cement, teehee, newbie that I am in this whole DIY/crafting thing.  I got both from The DIY Shop.  The Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue is especially helpful because it has a flat spout and you can use it directly on the wood without a spatula or anything.  I used it to attach the wooden name letters from Papemelroti for Laz and Alo’s School Station.  (Papemelroti has them in different sizes, colors, and font).

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1] Apply just a thin strip of the wood glue.  (In the photo above, I ended up using too much, and they spilled out of the sides of the letters.  I used wet wipes to wipe them off the cabinet).

2] I then measured the cabinet and marked it with a pencil, so the placement of the name letters on each cabinet door will be aligned.

3] I secured the letters with masking tape while the glue dried.

4] Voila!  So simple!

You can see the cabinet here.

HAPPY FINDS: Bins and a Bar Stool

Aaaah!  So, to carry on the giddiness from yesterday (and the crack of dawn earlier today!), I just want to quickly share my happy finds.  I honestly think it was all serendipity, because I’ve been looking for weeks, even months, for these 3 items in my list:

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  • For the School Station:  I needed a plastic bin to stow inside our school cabinet, remember?  For Laz’s seatwork and artwork per quarter for the whole year!  And preferably with wheels I said, and something that opens up on top instead of a drawer.  I’ve checked laundry hampers, pails, waste baskets, cardboard magazine boxes.  Nothing was quite right… Until I found this awesome carry-all (with wheels! And a covered top!) from Muji!!! I got the one on the left, because the one on the right (with wheels also!) has a drawer pull out.  Kinda hard to keep stooping down so low because it’ll basically be on the floor.

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  • For the Family Command Center:  I’ve been bugging the really amazing, very patient, and so completely helpful sales people at Urban Concepts.  I’ve browsed endless bar stools, called some suppliers and design houses.  Nothing was quite right – either it looked too modern, or too country cottage-y, or was just too darn expensive for my humble command center.  But! Lo and behold!  I walked into Dimensione and boom!  Fell hard, for both the design and the price!
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Sales girl not for sale, hehe.

  • For the Master’s Bathroom:  Even before we moved I’ve been hunting for a plastic bin for delicates and other laundry for the bathroom.  I have bigger hampers outside the banyo, but for this new house, I have a sliver of space between the sink and the wall to squeeze in a laundry basket.  I’ve been measuring it endlessly (hoping it’ll miraculously get bigger maybe?  Engot!).  I carry around a tape measure in my bag and have been measuring bins (like a fiend) in the mall too.  Imagine my joy when I discovered Skinny Can by Umbra in Dimensione Magnolia!  I loved the design and the price, too!  (You will not believe the makeshift hamper I’ve been using.  I shall share my before photos for our bathroom soon – no matter how icky!).

Look, the other colors for the Skinny Cans:

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SCHOOL STATION: Getting Started

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A sneak peek at our “school station” at home.  Still a work in progress, but I’ve been doing it carefully, making sure I love every single detail in this corner!

It’s the first day of school for Laz next week, and I’m cramming catching up on all the back-to-school preps.  Last year, I was all set at least 2 whole weeks before the first day of school.  This year, I’ve been drowning in work, my goodness.  I am grateful, for sure, but I am also tiiiiired.  And slightly panicky because we have so much to do still and school’s only a few days away.

Anyhoo!  Before we moved, I was just itching to set up a homework or school station for Laz.  I never did get to perfect my whole filing system for the gazillion of papers he brings home from school.  Plus, the extra school supplies I always keep on hand were all over the place.  This year, in this new house, I think I’ve finally figured it out.

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The framed print is an illustration of Laz when he was less than a year old (from this event we attended in Makati).  The shot glass where I keep push pins is a souvenir from my late grandfather.  The cactus and pot are actually Laz’s (from one of those gardening stalls along White Plains Avenue) – it was supposed to be his pet plant but he never waters it!  The file boxes, hanging folders, and bamboo tray are from Muji, and the owl from True Home in Robinson’s Magnolia.  (I so love that little owl).

I still need more supplies, like scissors and a tape dispenser, paper clips, note pads, and little envelopes for payments (we seem to be buying a shirt or tickets or whatever every week in Laz’s school!).  And though you can’t see from the picture, there’s a big blank white wall behind everything.  Debating on hanging a print (prettier) or a cork board (more practical).  Then there’s the inside of that cabinet to fill up, of course.  So much to do still, but I’ve at least started (slow but steady as Laz often says when describing our progress at home)… and to tell you the truth, I am loving every minute of this.

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