In a time of year where it seems like the whole world has caught the “Spring Cleaning” bug, I embraced today as the perfect opportunity to chat with you all about some of the ways we can keep all those books and supplies for our homeschool organized and easily accessible. In my home it seems like the further we get in the school year the more time my boys and I spend wrangling the books and supplies we need to get started every morning! I know I could use some fresh ideas!
Gem #1 comes from the lovely Jenae @ I Can Teach My Child. She received a simply brilliant comment on one of her posts that gave her the idea to store all her craft supplies in an over-the-door shoe organizer like this:
Clear, white, or even colored over-the-door shoe organizers can be purchased almost anywhere inexpensively (Lowe’s, Target, Amazon, Big Lots, etc.). Like Jenae, we tend acquire all kinds of great art supplies from various places and then don’t use them or forget we have them because they get lost in bins and boxes. What an amazing way to store a whole lot without taking up any space at all!
Gem #2, my hip friends, almost made me put on a pair of jeans, trade my slippers for a pair of real shoes, hop in my car on the 35 degree spring night I first read about it, and drive the almost hour and a half to the nearest big box office supply store to pick one up. I was that excited! I first saw the idea thanks to this Pinterest pin via Valerie @ The Crafty Classroom. Valerie had seen the idea in a few other places around homeschool blogs but I hadn’t, so I’m betting some of you haven’t either!
This amazing piece of organization fantasticness is called the “desk apprentice“. Even the name takes charge! It’s bigger than you might think measuring 16″ x 16″, and I know exactly how I will use this in our homeschool. All of our current notebooks and/or workbooks, my teacher’s manual, our morning devotional booklet, pencils, erasers, scissors, a stapler, index cards….almost everything we use on a daily basis, all in one place on the school table, right at our fingertips! If you do your seat work in a living or dining room, how great would it be to be able to pack everything in it and move it to the side when it’s dinner time, family game night, or when company is headed your way? I’m looking forward to picking one of these up!
Gem #3 showcases some of the ways I’ve seen and personally used those plastic file crates everyone seems to have laying around their houses. You know the ones……they show up at back-to-school time in trendy, brightly colored dorm collections and are good for almost anything. Most of them are stackable, have a groove for hanging file folders and are an absolute necessity in my homeschool!
- Group together all the books and materials you use for any given subject or curriculum and keep them next to the space you do your work.
- Move all your many jigsaw puzzles in individual Ziploc bags (don’t forget to cut out the picture guide for reference) and store your entire puzzle collection in one or two of these crates!
- Hang file folders and label them to correspond with the number of weeks you schedule for your school year. Separate worksheets, workbooks, writing paper, coloring sheets, project instructions, field trip ideas etc. into the file folder of the week the work is scheduled. You can do a little at a time or knock out the whole year with relative ease depending on what kind of curriculum you use. After each week is finished this system makes for a perfect place to file completed work!
- Use a crate to take school outside or on the road. Pile everything you need into one convenient, easy to carry crate and be on your way!
(Note to self: Buy more crates!!)
Gem #4 deals with actual places to put things. I tend to fall down on the side of cheap but I can’t stand to buy things of poor quality. Mix that with a desire for things to look pretty & put-together….and I, personally, am left with only one option. Build something myself that’s nice-looking, good quality, and inexpensive…..ladies, I promise you, it can be done! My husband and I built two monster-size bookshelves for our old home.
Our new house doesn’t even come close to having the same space so we’re building another, much simpler set of shelves. There are places all over the internet (this is my favorite) that can help anyone with a DIY spirit have beautiful, functional, good-quality and inexpensive shelves (and so much more if you choose). We’re already homeschoolers, the ultimate in DIY, don’t you agree? I’d bet there’s quite a few of you reading this right now that would build amazing things and some of you already have. Check it out!
What about you all? What are some of the best storage and organization tips and systems you’ve seen or used for all the great stuff that comes with our schooling at home?