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Homeschooling in a small space can be challenging. Whether you’re trying to cram all of your books into a too-small bookshelf or trying to decide where to keep your pencils so they’re easily found, it’s frustrating. Organizing your supplies can be a pain, but that doesn’t make it impossible. With a few simple homeschool organization tips, you can guarantee that you’ll never have to search for colored pencils again.
8 Homeschool Organization Tips
We often forget about vertical space, but in reality, there is a ton of unused space on the top half of your walls. Place seasonal and less-used items up high, ensuring that you aren’t getting a step-ladder out everyday. Some things to keep up high include your microscope, holiday-themed books and curriculum you aren’t currently using. Instead of taking up precious space that the kids can reach, put them up high until needed.
Think Outside the Box:
Stuffed bookshelves can add a cluttered feeling to your home but there are plenty of other places to keep your books. Store them inside a buffet, in a basket under your coffee table, in a tote under the bed, on shelves in the garage or anywhere else you can think of. We recently converted our coat closet into a school closet by moving everyone’s coats to their own bedrooms and installing simple shelves to hold our learning materials. Keep your favorite books on shelves but store chapter books in an easy-to-get-to spot. It may help to keep an inventory sheet with which books you already own and where they’re located in your home.
It’s true: Less really is more. The less curriculum and supplies you have, the less you need to store. Keep the amount of supplies to a minimum by only buying what you need. Go through your supplies regularly and get rid of anything you don’t plan on using in the near future. You may want to toss out tiny crayon nubs, broken pencil, dried-out markers and any workbooks you no longer need.
Work boxes are a simple and cost-effective way to keep your supplies organized and tidy. This rolling cart with 10 drawers is absolutely perfect. Divide your child’s work into subjects, like math, English, Latin, etc. Place everything they need to complete that subject in the assigned drawer. For instance, your math drawer would hold your Teaching Textbooks CDs, scratch paper, pencils and headphones. Science would include books, colored pencils, worksheets, etc. The workbox system is a simple way to keep your everyday supplies handy and tidy.
There are certain things every homeschool family must have. A laminator, 3 denim jumpers, a library card and a map are the obvious. But where will you keep your supplies if you don’t have a homeschool room? Why not incorporate it into your home’s décor? Buy cheap frames (or build your own) and hang a world map in your dining room. Keep a globe sitting pretty on the top of your TV stand. When buying furniture, make sure it can pull double duty. Opt for an ottoman that doubles as storage for books. Choose a coffee table that trendy baskets can easily slide under. Make your decorations work for you!
For under $10, you can pick up an over-the-door organizer. Some of them have slots for shoes and others have even smaller pockets. This is perfect for utilizing the otherwise wasted space on the back of your doors. Keep games, supplies or books organized and easy to grab with this handy trick. (Don’t have a homeschool room with a door? Try putting one inside your coat closet, laundry room, or the door to your garage.)
Corral Small Things:
Pencils, paperclips, erasers and other small but necessary supplies get tossed into drawers or lost. Corral like-items using an organizer or even recycled metal cans. (You can jazz them up with paint, scrapbook paper or pretty ribbon.) You’ll be amazed at how much time you save by not having to search the house for a pencil, when it’s math time!
Clean Your House:
It sounds simple but it’s easier for you homeschool to run smoothly when the rest of your house is in order. It’s hard to focus on getting schoolwork done when there’s a mountain of dishes in the sink and a pile of laundry growing in the laundry room. Of course, the easiest way to keep your house clean is to get rid of stuff. More stuff equals more cleaning!