Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy Bookshelves!

Maybe that should really read Happy Heather! This weekend we did a lot of work moving bookcases and building shelves. I have been waiting for a few months for this to happen and we finally did it!

My goal was to put a nice looking bookcase in our living room to hold my Creative Memories albums and some of our most loved or at least most referenced books. However, nice ones are pricey and I began to think creatively. Then it dawned on me. I already had a nice bookcase, but it was in our learning room/playroom. So began the quest to acquire more shelving for the learning area. But, I had to wait.

I have been planning and waiting for several months, but it was finally time to get the materials and I began preparing the bookcase downstairs for the big move. Saturday I finished emptying it and we moved it. We also had to move our sofa a bit and Dan insisted on vacuuming underneath of it and cleaning that out. Amazing what you find in and under a queen sleeper sofa! I have decided jelly beans are banned from the sofa area in general.

I packed away a lot of books and bundle some to be donated to the MOPS library- it really is time to part with books like, What to Expect in the First Year type of books! I think getting rid of things is like my new hobby!

Here are the results! Enjoy!!

This is an old before picture, but it gives you a good idea of what the shelves looked like.

Here is the bookcase on the right in the picture above in our living room. Along with my desk and a windsor swivel chair, I had this bookcase made by an Amish man when I started teaching and I was still living at home with my parents. One of the best things I purchased in those days. The other was my car- my beloved Emma- a Saturn SL. I think the pictures above the sofa will need to be recentered- unless askew is in. Perhaps you all can comment on that for me!

Here is another view. Remember the hutch I got rid of about a month or so ago? The bookcase is much less dominating and it fits nicely. Fairly soon the dining room wall to the left will be painted with barn red on the bottom and I think I'll leave it white on top. With luck there will be a chair rail too. You know I'll update when that happens.

This is a view of our sectional wall. On the other side are the stairs leading to the front door and the basement. A very typical 1970s split foyer is what we have fact how do you like that fake brick wall? You'll never guess what is behind that. Would you believe brick wall paper? Oh is that bad! Someday that will be history as well. For now I was able to move the pictures to spread them out. The right side of the ledge used to have my albums.

Dan is the best! Here he has begun the task of hanging the new shelves. The load bearing is on the studs and the cross bar at the top is attached to them. The bracketing was then hung from the load bearing piece. Fascinating to think how much weight this shelf will be holding.

The newly hung empty shelves! My job was to clean up all the messes he made and to move everything around. It was raining today (the snow for our soon-to-be visiting cousins is in serious jeopardy!) so Dan had to use the circular saw right in our playroom. I was in charge of vacuuming sawdust from everything in sight. A small price to pay for immediate gratification. Trust me.

Finally, the shelve reloaded! Taking everything down gave me the chance to reorganize. I found that I was forgetting many of my instructional materials because they were thin books all stacked together on the other shelf. So, tonight as I stared at the empty shelves and the books all around me, I came up with a new plan. I decided to group the books by subject area. This way I could access all of my like materials at the same time. When I go to plan science lessons, all of my science stuff will be in once place. Very nice.

Want a tour?

  • Top Shelf- world puzzles, math game, balance, and the preschool ziplock games
  • Shelf 2- adult dictionary and thesaurus along with general kid activity books and my graduate texts on education (hey there might be something worthwhile there!)
  • Shelf 3- (from left to right) pattern blocks, language arts and reading books, math books and teacher manuals, and Five in a Row manuals along with other literature units, and Funtastic Frogs
  • Shelf 4- laying on their side are social studies materials and to the right are the science books
  • Shelf 5- laying down on the right are more general homeschool materials like puppet making books, unit study authoring book, Dinah Zyke general manuals and on the right are the art books and references
  • Shelf 6- Five in a Row, B4, and Beyond FIAR children's books along with my seasonal book boxes
  • Floor- So far I've put one box which has our Leap Pad turbo twists in it along with extra cartridges.
This is it so far. I put paperwork and file folder units and ideas went on the bookshelf on the left which has sides. I also put children's non-fiction by topic on the left hand bookcase. I have a few more things to tweak and then I think I can safely move on to a new spot in the house.


Alana - The Mommy said...

WOWZA! Very nice job Dan! You totally rock! Good job on the prep/organization/cleanup Heather. Very nice indeed!

Very happy for you!

Shannon said...

Heather, it looks awesome! Your organizational skills inspire me. I've got books everywhere around here! Would you and Dan like to come for a visit? Hee hee! :)
P.S. I love your living room furniture.

Jen said...

Wow!! That looks great!

Lynn said...

Wow, you've been busy! It looks great. I love getting new shelves. Is there anything better??? Well, maybe a new layer of brick wallpaper or something.

Just kidding!!!


April said...

Oh what a happy rainy day for you!!!
I sorted mine by subject as well. All the history reference on one shelf, Science on another, etc. It really makes searching a lot faster.

Bookshelves are my favorite. Last Year my husband actually bought me another one for Christmas and I was as happy as I could be. Now if I could just get one more........