Sunday, May 16, 2021

My Home Organization Cart - A Work in Progress

A few years after we finished homeschooling our youngest, I noticed a number of families still in the throes who were implementing some neat tools into their school rooms, namely rolling carts! I have to admit, I was pretty jealous that this trend missed me by about five years! It might seem odd that I continue to follow homeschooling pages on social media, but I guess after 25+ years of raising and teaching numerous children, it's kind of in my blood. I'm still toying with the idea of whether or not to resurrect my old homeschooling blog or just implement the information here. I have a WEALTH of resources archived at the moment, just trying to figure out what I think would be the best fit? If you happen to homeschool and that's something you would like to see here or by linking to another blog, I'm all ears! But for now . . . back to that cart! 

After seeing how streamlined and portable the carts appeared to be, I decided that I might be able to put one to a different use. Since moving into the apartment, I have been moving files and binders twice a day from the bookshelf in my bedroom to the family room which is where I do most of my planning, pay bills and work on my blog and book. So when Bill gave me some money for Mother's Day I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.

I purchased the cart from Amazon and it arrived within a few short days. Right out of the box I was a little disappointed to discover that the trays were not metal.  I was really hoping to be able to use some magnetic clips on the sides, but quickly decided that wasn't that big of a deal. If I had read the description better I would have known. The trays are made of ABS plastic, which apparently is sturdier and holds up better, so that's a plus. Once I started filling it up I ran into my second disappointment, it didn't hold as much as I expected it would! I've seen some of the carts homeschooling families use and they look loaded down with binders, books and school supplies, so I don't know if this one is just smaller, or . . . . maybe I just have too much stuff! But I didn't think I could possibly have as much stuff as a homeschooling family did, but I guess I was wrong!

One of my good friends, Dawn, at By Sun and Candlelight, has been inspiring others for years with her file crate system and home planning and organization printables, and I've personalized and implemented a number of her ideas. What's that old saying?,

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!"


So I thought I'd take a few minutes today and share what's on my cart.  If these types of posts bore you to tears, then please feel free to move on. But I know for myself personally, posts like these and the ones Dawn has shared over the years have really helped me with organizing and stream-lining my life!

The top tray is the one you see in the very first picture in this post.  It holds;

I have a file for the month itself in the front, and behind that are five additional files labeled Weeks 1-5. Week 5 is seldom used of course, except on their rare months when the days fall just right. As today is the first day of the third week of May, later today when I work my files (which I do every Sunday), I'll move the file labeled "Week 3" to the front and rotate the previous weeks files to the back. Then behind that I have a file for each day of the week labeled Sunday - Saturday. These files hold a number of things, but in order to keep this post from turning into a novel, I'll elaborate more on the specifics at a later date.

Behind my files are two binders, my Homekeeping Binder and my Recipe and Meal Planning Binder, which is a work in progress. Again, I won't elaborate a lot on how I use these because at I'm on a learning curve with at least one of them, ha, ha! But I do plan on sharing about both of these binders in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!

This tray also holds my current planner, which is where I keep my daily to-do lists. I used to use a much more elaborate system, but these days I find a simple spiral notebook works just fine. I'm not on the go that much so there's really no need to block certain hours of the day for specific tasks. I just sit down every morning and look over the lists and check things off, easy-peasy! 

And finally, as you can see in the photo on the right, i also keep a small amount of office supplies in a little container on the side, just general stuff, scissors, pens, pencils, etc. There are also a few other small odds and ends but nothing worth mentioning as a few of them are brand new and while I have great plans, nothing has actually been implemented as yet.

Behind my monthly/weekly/daily files I have two other files, - To Do and - Bills to Pay. Pretty self-explanatory and much less exciting stuff, :).

The middle tray is where I keep my binders, and I have, uhmm . . . a few! But it was with this shelf that I ran into my next disappointment, it wasn't as deep as I needed it to be. I was hoping my binders would sit up vertically but they barely fit horizontally.  I had purchased these magazine holders and my original idea was for them to fit on the cart, as well and hold some smaller items, like my Seasonal Day Keepers. But in the end they didn't fit and I put them on a shelf in my bedroom, which is fine, still pretty and functional. With that I tucked my current Seasonal Day Keeper in the back of my Homekeeping Binder. But while I was at Targer, I also bought this and I'm not really sure what the plan is but . . . they matched and I couldn't separate them! :) I'm thinking I'll use it for something related to my blog or my book.  So here's what is on the middle tray;

My blogging binder is simply that, it's where I brainstorm and plan posts, keep running list of ideas for future posts, and **try** to keep track of my social media presence (related to my blog), etc.

-WHAT WE KEEP - A Binder Devoted to My Book
I've mentioned before that I'm currently writing a book. That got interrupted while we were on the road because without consistent internet I was never able to get into a routine. But now that I'm back home and settled, routine is the first order of business on my agenda so you'll be hearing a lot about that in the days and weeks to come. But . . . I do have a binder devoted specifically to my book with dividers for each chapter. I do 100% of the actual writing on my computer, but my binder is where I brainstorm ideas and take notes. I also try to track how many words I've written each week and how many hours I've devoted to it, but like I said, I'm just now getting back into routine.


I've decided that beginning in June I'm doing to begin an in-depth study of the entire bible. I'm just going to start at the beginning with Genesis and with no set-time frame for when I'll finish, and delve long and deep and squeeze the juice out of it, so to speak. I've read the Bible several times using yearly plans, but this go round I don't want to just read it, I want to study it, so naturally, it need a binder!

I've mentioned in previous posts that I've been listening to this series, Practicing the Way, produced by Bridgetown Church. There is so-much-here, and it's going to take me awhile to work through it all, and I had already accumulated a hefty stack of notes and they needed a place. Naturally . . . nothing works better than a binder!

Behind these two binders are three different Bibles, because . . . I need three different Bibles (pictured). Two of them I've been using regularly for awhile now, but the third one I bought specifically for my in-depth Bible study. I've also got my eye on another. I might have a problem. You'll also notice in the picture above I'm did end up using one of those cute magazine holders I mentioned earlier, only laying horizontally. It holds my Bibles and helps to give them some support, so we'll see how it goes.  

And finally!


The bottom tray is where I keep my most-used office supplies, and you might notice a few things that look familiar because they are part of our GIVE-AWAY that is happening first thing tomorrow morning! I have my own set of each of the items I'll be gifting to one lucky reader and I can't wait to see who it is!
If you want a chance to win this little prize, you still have until 10:00 p.m. tonight and then I'll be tallying the comments and announcing the winner tomorrow morning! Remember to scroll back through the posts I've written since the announcement and comment on each one for an additional chance to win!

And that's it for the tour or my cart! I've only been using it for a couple of days now and this coming week will be the first full week I've put it to use, so I'm sure it will need some tweaking. I'm already thinking my Bible Study supplies need another home, probably back where they were before since I do most of that in my bedroom, anyway. I've also contemplated a second cart, and while I haven't completely ruled out the idea, that's probably not the answer.

As for the cart itself, once it was put together I loved it and I'll be keeping it. I looked at the dimensions of some other carts and while there are larger ones, they are also pricier. I couldn't really tell if I was going to like it until we put it together (Kate is my handy-woman). So even if I didn't like it, once you've gone to all the trouble of assembling it, it's hard to consider un-doing it all. But thankfully I like it well enough. It rolls easily, has locks on the front wheels for when I'm using it in place, and the plastic baskets actually make it lighter, and with all that stuff in there, it's heavy enough!

And so ends my little tour! I hope I haven't bored you. As I said, I'll be elaborating some more on some of the contents in upcoming posts as I begin in earnest to get back into routine! June is just around the corner and Summer seems like a good time to begin anew! If nothing else, be sure to comment for a chance to win the give-away, and to each of you who has commented so far, thank's for participating and good luck!

For a chance to win my blog-relaunch give-away, leave a comment on this post.
You get one entry for each post you comment on, but as an added bonus, tell me what your favorite home organization tool is for an additional chance to win!
Winner will be announced TOMORROW, May 17!



Teri said...

Dear Kim,

It looks to me like you are very well organized. I enjoyed seeing how you arranged and organized your 'office on wheels' and to have everything right at hand when you are working on keeping your life in order.

Thank you for sharing.

Homespun Hugs, Teri

Teri said...

Sorry I forgot to mention a tool that is very important to me.

My favorite home organization tool would be my Home Journal. It is chock full of what keeps our home and life running smoothly. I would be so very lost if something happened to it.

Kimberly Lottman said...

@Teri, I love the sound of that, "Home Journal". You're very inspiring! Would love to hear more about what you keep in your journal, if it's not too personal, that is. :)

- Kim

Teri said...

I would love to share with you my Home Journal information. Do you have an email or a way of contacting you as it would be quite detailed as a comment?

Kimberly Lottman said...

You can email me at my blog email, :)

Teri said...

Just wanted you to know that I have sent you an email.