Almost two years ago I saw an idea on Pinterest for organizing a backpack area. I loved the idea - but like many ideas, it went way on the back burner in favor of more 'important' things.
But this year it came to the forefront. All three of my 'short people' are going to be starting High School next week. What??? That hallway outside the laundry room needed to become more functional, now.
As I was looking for a 'before' picture, I came across this one. The hallway outside the laundry room was always a favorite picture taking spot when the kids were little. Moms get a few embarassing pictures of their kids - but somehow I don't think their friends read my blog, so I'll take a liberty here and there. Dang, they were cute.
I had a large wipe/erase board along the wall for several years - just to keep track of their many comings and goings, comittments and class schedules. But frankly, a smartphone and Google calendar sharing has made the board obsolete. Down it came.
So I started the project. Power tools and I are not fast friends, but I know my way around a laser level and a stud finder. And I know that the studs are never where you really want them to be! So I bought some pre-finished white Azek PVC trim from the Home Depot and proceeded to drill holes into it to match the stud locations. Once those were in, I could hang my coat hooks and vertical files anywhere I wanted.
The vertical files are from By Design and called Circuit Wall Files. They aren't easy to find; but there are plenty of options like them available.
I found a piece of furniture I wanted for the bottom portion and measured it's height as well as a backpack so I could figure out placement of the boards. Here is the first take. I used the extra board space horizontally, for a clipboard with information that everybody needs.
I decided to put four hooks up and get four 'cubbies' for beneath in order to accomodate my oldest daughter's soccer equipment. I mounted a power strip above the cabinet so that the kids can park their electronics here at night and have them out of the way, but all charged and ready for the morning.
The Ikea Kallax unit fits in right beneath the hanging backpacks and there is still enough room to put the laptops on top.
The insert bins (Lekman, also from Ikea) are being used in two ways - first the bottom row is for textbooks that never go to school, but always managed to get lost in bedrooms or inexplicably left in their lockers. They'll be handier here and still out of the way when we don't need them. The top row is for whatever they need to put there.
The leftmost two bins have sports schtuff in them. I'm thankful for the vent holes in those Lekmans. Or am I?
And because it was looking very stark in the hallway, I added a little display shelf and put a canvas with their pictures there, along with a few colorful trip mementos.
I made this canvas a few years ago, based on a class from the fabulous Sue Pelletier; and it had yet to find a hanging place. This is perfect.
So we are ready for back to school! Well at least I am. The kids are dragging their feet a little bit, trying to get every spare minute that Summer will give them until next Tuesday. I keep reminding them about the 5:35am alarm clock reveille...and so they are at least heading upstairs earlier each night.
And I'm anticipating having some more time on my hands to get things done around here too.
But I realize how quickly time is passing. How on earth can they all be going to High School?