It’s a annual ritual I’ve been through for the past 18 years, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

It always begins with the excitement of (my absolute favorite part of school) picking out the new school supplies. There is just something about those freshly sharpened pencils, brand-new pens, gloriously clean pads of paper. I’m happy just touching and gazing at it all.

And I have spread this little bit of wonder to my girls. We’re like kids in a candy shop when all the store roll out their aisles of supplies. Each girl would pick out her favorite things. We’d come home with bags brim-full. Gaze at them, love them. . . But then, what do you DO with all that stuff?

Here’s a few ideas:

I love these old card catalogs with all their cubbies. I especially love that they can be labelled so nicely. Put each family-member’s name on a column of drawers. Label the extra drawers with the supply it holds. For larger items (spirals, notebook paper, workbooks, etc.) place baskets beneath or on top. Organization of school supplies: done!

Another great card catalog.

Brass plate detail of card catalog. I just love brass tags, and find them even cooler when they’re still attached to the object they came with.

For textbooks and workbooks, consider an open hutch. This one is great because it has the ‘bar’ across to catch things before they fall.

An industrial shelf like this one (love the wheels and side bars!) works great as a compact school organizer. Give each child a shelf. Let them pick out a basket (or get a group that are identical to save on stress) to place on his or her shelf. Let each choose a heavy, flat-bottomed object to use as a book end. Fill the baskets with their small supplies. Stack the workbooks, and secure the textbooks with the bookends. Voila! you have all their school stuff in a personalized space that takes up less than 10 sq. ft.! Pretty sweet, huh?

Lockers are another great solution. They not only catch the school supplies, but they also give you plenty of room for sneakers, hats, gloves, and sports equipment. I love the cheerful color of this set, and that the doors flip up to open. Who wouldn’t have fun putting stuff away in this cool locker set?

This locker set is made up of shelving and a set of tough locker baskets. Each basket can be completely removed from the shelf, making it easy for everyone to access their baskets at once.

Next, we’re on to desks and some really clever ways to contain your desk-top supplies.
Thanks for reading,

Virginia