How to Stay Organized During Distance Learning with a Rolling School Cart


There are so many different variations on what school will look like this fall, but for many of us, we are preparing for “back to school at home.”

The start of a new school year is always a good time to get organized and create new systems to keep things running smoothly, and this year that’s more important than ever. I’ve joined with 15 talented bloggers to bring you lots of tips and tricks for back to school organization and decorating ideas for your school HQ. You’ll find all the links to all of their fabulous back to school projects at the bottom of this blog post!

Back to School at Home graphic on pink background

As of now our boys will be doing school online at least through mid-October, and then it will likely be a hybrid of in school and distance learning after that. Creating an organized remote learning set up is one of the few things I feel like I can control right now, so this weekend I got busy and put together a cart to keep all of our virtual learning necessities in one place.

How to Set Up a Learning Space at Home

Organizing a virtual learning environment at home starts with the questions of where your students will do their work. At the kitchen table, at a desk in their room, in your home office, or in the living room perhaps.

Back in the spring, my boys worked at the kitchen table, but for fall I debated on getting them each their own small desk. It turns out that kid’s desks are pretty hard to come by right now, but I was able to find some small, affordable in-stock desk options, and I shared them in a post last week.

After weighing the pros and cons, I decided that we’re going to stick with the school-in-the-kitchen set up once again. Since they boys are both young enough that they still need quite a bit of support with both the technology and the school work, and since I also work from home, it just makes sense for all three of us to work in the same space. It will also allow me to support them while fixing lunch or prepping dinner.

The downside of making our kitchen table home base for online learning is that at the end of the day, the table is covered in computers, papers, and school supplies that need to be cleaned up before dinner. To make this as quick and easy as possible, I decided to create an organized, rolling homeschool cart.

Rolling cart with distance learning school supplies by the kitchen table

This cart will allow us to keep all of the boys’ school supplies right in the kitchen without taking up every surface, and we can easily roll it away into the hall closet anytime.

Of course, a cart like this would work just as well next to a desk in a kid’s bedroom or home office!

How to Organize a Rolling Cart for Remote Learning

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I looked at a lot of homeschool organization ideas on Pinterest, but I found many of the photos overwhelming because it’s hard to see everything that is included. Rather than just showing your our cart all put together, I thought it might be more helpful to show you how I filled up and organized our cart, step by step.

I own so many IKEA Raskog carts that I’ve lost count, but I’ve recently become an even bigger fan of this 3-tier rolling cart because it’s much easier to assemble {seriously – I assembled my new cart in under 5 minutes.}

As an added bonus, this particular cart has some great accessories that make organizing a breeze. I chose a white cart to match our kitchen, but this cart also comes in six other colors.

After assembling the cart, I added a pegboard to one side. This pegboard is designed specifically for this cart, and it simply slides into place.

Adding a pegboard to a rolling cart

I started by adding hooks to the pegboard for the boys’ headphones, then added three cups for pencils, dry erase markers, scissors, and glue. Other available pegboard accessories include shelves and long shallow bins.

Pegboard on a rolling cart with hooks for headphones and cups filled with pencils and markers

Once I had our basic school supplies organized on the pegboard, I moved on to organizing the top tier of the cart. To make the best use of the space, I purchased the same clear file-sorter that I use on our kitchen counter to organize mail and papers.

Clear file sorter in top tier or rolling cart

The boys’ online curriculum will be provided by their school, but {just like me as a kid} they both love workbooks, so we always buy them a Brain Quest workbook at their grade level to provide extra practice.

Brain Quest workbooks in clear file sorter on top of rolling cart

While the boys will be doing much of their work online, based we’ll be printing some of their worksheets and they’ll be writing as well, so we’ll use a few folders to organize their papers by subject.

My boys have always used small dry erase boards in their classrooms to practice spelling words and math problems while following along with their teachers, and in the spring, we found dry erase boards ideal for practicing along with online instruction as well. These boards fit perfectly in the clear file sorter, and I’ve also ordered some primary ruled writing paper that I’ll store in this section as well.

Primary ruled dry erase boards in file sorter

Last, but certainly not least, the front two sections of this clear file sorter are perfect for holding the boys’ 14″ Chromebooks.

One of the challenges we ran into in the spring is that both boys’ computers look identical, so they had to turn them on to figure out whose is whose. To solve the problem for this fall, the boys each chose a design, and I used my Cricut Joy to cut vinyl labels for their laptops. {I’ll share the full tutorial soon.}

Adding a vinyl rhino sticker to a laptop

Moving on to the middle tier of the rolling cart, I started by adding a small, clear bin to hold the boys’ computer chargers.

Computer chargers in clear bin on second shelf of rolling cart

Since the boys love workbooks, we have a variety of other workbooks {many purchased from the Target Dollar Spot} on topics such as outer space, state capitals, flags of the world, and more. Since these workbooks don’t directly align with their school curriculum, I’m storing this on the center of the middle shelf, rather than with their schoolwork in the file sorter above.

Learning wrap ups in bin on rolling cart

This spring, I also introduced the boys to one of my favorite childhood activities – learning wrap-ups {yes, the nerdy genes run strong in our family}. They loved my old math wrap-ups so much, that I ordered them more in other subject areas, and I’m storing all of them in a clear bin on the right side of the middle shelf.

Another of the boys’ favorite learning activities is their OSMO. Since they ask to play so often, I decided to store the OSMO base and their various game pieces on the bottom shelf of their at home learning cart. Also on the bottom shelf are sight word flashcards and Brain Quest flashcards.

Osmo games on bottom shelf of cart

Once I had everything organized in the cart, I added a black bin clip to each tier of the cart and printed some quick labels.

Homeschool cart labels with scissors
Labels in

I am so thrilled with how this cart turned out, and I can already tell that it’s going to make school at home run much smoother around our house this fall!

Organized Homeschool Cart for at home learning

This cart does a terrific job of corralling everything we need. The pegboard on the side adds tons of extra storage space, but I think the Chromebooks stored in the clear file organizer is my very favorite part!

Storing chromebooks in file sorter on top of organized homeschool cart
Close up of chromebooks in acrylic file sorter

While I was tempted by some of the fun colors that this cart comes in, the white cart blends in very nicely with the white storage cabinets in the dining area of our kitchen.

Rolling school cart in corner of kitchen with white cabinets

My sons were so excited when I showed them their new school cart. It’s a proud mom moment when my boys love an organized space as much as I do. But kids really do love order, and the independence that comes with being able to find things on their own.

Boy getting school supplies from rolling homeschool cart in kitchen

MORE BACK TO SCHOOL (AT HOME) ORGANIZING & DECORATING TIPS

Back to School (The At-Home Edition!) Blog Hop 
TUESDAY
Small Space Homework Station – Kate Decorates
How to Set Up a Homeschool Space for Three Kids – The Organized Mama
Organized Rolling School Cart – Blue i Style {you are here}
Back to School Playroom Makeover – The Goat Abode
8 Tips for Back to School (At Home) – Sweet Digs
WEDNESDAY
Home on Poplar Creek
Cassie Bustamante
Love and Renovations
Small Stuff Counts
SKG Designs and Style
THURSDAY
Natural Born Organizers
Organize Design Create
Making Home Base
Practically Perfect
Casa Watkins Blog

A COMPLETE LIST OF ORGANIZING SUPPLIES & EVERYTHING INCLUDED ON OUR VIRTUAL LEARNING CART:

3-Tier Rolling Cart
Black Clip Labels
PEGBOARD & SUPPLIES:
Rolling Cart Pegboard
Pegboard Hooks
Headphones
Pegboard Cups
Dry Erase Markers
Pencils
Scissors
Glue Sticks
TOP TIER:
Clear File Sorter
Brain Quest Workbooks
Folders
Dry Erase Boards
Primary Ruled Writing Paper
Chromebooks
MIDDLE TIER:
Workbooks
Learning Wrap-Ups
iDesign Bin
BOTTOM TIER:
Osmo Genius Kit
Osmo Creative Kit
Osmo Detective
Osmo Pizza Shop Math Game
Sight Word Flashcards
Brian Quest Flashcards

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