Workboxes Redux

June 26, 2009

I loveLoveLOVE the concept and practical use of Workboxes.  But I’m short on space and tried to innovate another solution.  It only took two days to learn that theory vs. practice crashed and burned, so I jumped ship and have been treading water ever since.

I know that there is something huge to Workboxes and that it will benefit the citizens of Boyville greatly, but couldn’t wrap my brain around how to make it work in a tight space.

We live in a very remote location and so when I had a chance to visit the closest Walmart, I jumped at the chance to browse and brainstorm.  Three hours and two very achy legs later, by George, I think I’ve got it!

Workboxes set-up for Kinder/1st Workboxes

Workboxes set-up for Kinder/1st Workboxes

What a blessing, a grace and a sigh of relief.  I love it–and it works.  Here’s how it came together:

  1. The shelf from Walmart was $24.88 and I found it back by the hardware/home storage/shelving area.  It’s 30″ high x 23″ wide x 13″ deep.  I can’t find it on their site online, though.  Phooey.
  2. The Sterilite boxes were $3 each (approx 4″ high x 6″ wide x 7″ deep.  They came with clear lids and squarish teal-colored handles (and those handles sure put up a great fight! ; ).
  3. The hooks on the boxes are 3M Command strip hooks, about $3.25 for a pack of 6.  I didn’t use the sticking strips, but hot glued them instead to keep them as invisible as possible (see below).  Those babies aren’t going anywhere.
  4. The number tags were made very simply from what I had on hand (foam sheets & glitter glue).  I used magnets on the back instead of using velcro dots (I cut two self-adhesive business card magnets to size and simply stuck them on the back of the tags) .  When Pip’s done with a box, he takes the number off the hook and moves it to his “All Done” magnet board (see below).  Easy peasy!
Hooks and number tags

Hooks and number tags

"All Done" magnet/dry erase board

"All Done" magnet/dry erase board

Now, this side of heaven, nothing is perfect; what are some problems that I see with this set up?

  1. I’m pretty sure that the shelf is too small.  There was a longer, slightly deeper 4-shelf version right next to the 3-shelf version I got.  I think for Middlin (rising 5th grader), I’ll get the bigger 4-shelf version and just not put the last shelf on (very possible with the adustable assembly method).
  2. Cost.  This sweet set-up cost $25 for the shelf, $18 for the boxes and $3 for the hooks (I had everything else at home), so it was $46+ when all was said and done.  That’s almost twice the cost of some set-ups, but only a fraction of my heart’s desire, Ikea’s Trofast system.  I think it’s a great compromise.

I am so very excited to move through the rest of our light summer schooling schedule to see if I need to make any tweaks along the way before we hit the new school year on August 15th.

If you’re blogging your own Workboxes set-up, please feel free to leave a link in the Comments section.

Blessings to you!