Before I started homeschooling, I read several books but none of them mentioned the shocking fruit of homeschooling: piles of papers, thousands of books, art supplies, completed projects with no place to live, and mess everywhere. Even having a homeschool room didn’t seem to help me get everything organized.
Before homeschooling, my home stayed pretty tidy. Each day before Daddy came home, we straightened up the house and put away the toys. Oh, the bliss of a not-messy home!
What could I do with all the mess? I was desperate!
Before I get to organization, let me tell you what is IN my homeschool room.
- Books, textbooks, workbooks
- Computer, printer, laminator, laptop, kindles
- Globe, atlases, dictionaries, thesaurus, handbooks, maps, games, puzzles, flashcards
- Table, chairs, computer desk, trashcan, tall wood cabinet, file cabinet
- Every kind of paper known to mankind
- Pencils, pens, calculators, markers, crayons, stamps, glue, glue stick, paint, paintbrushes, scissors, etc.
I decided to create a place for each thing in my homeschool room or it had to go live somewhere else in my house. Things we used the most, I stored in the most accessible places.
It took a long time to organize everything, but it was worth it!
Before I share some of my secrets, I want everyone to know that we still do most of our schoolwork snuggling on the family room couch. Some of my kids prefer the dining room table to the homeschool room table and that’s okay with me.
By the way, for my homeschool table, I found a throwaway dining table at a thrift store and painted the legs pretty colors. It was perfect!
A homeschool room can’t have too many bookshelves because books are, well, books are the foundation of learning. We have 25 bookshelves in our house! Most of them house literature or living books for our home school.
I organize all the history living books and historical fiction by date starting with creation and ending with modern times. It makes it super easy to get what I need when I’m planning history courses or unit studies. There are 5 of these bookshelves.
I also have a geography bookshelf, a science bookshelf, a Bible/character one, and a final one for government/economics/business. There are so many books in my home, but because they are organized I can use the books when I need them!
Removable Plastic Drawer Cabinet
This was such a blessing! At Sam’s Club, we purchased a little cabinet with removable drawers that were lightweight and easy to carry around. Each child has their own drawer. They pull it out in the morning and take it to the dining room or homeschool room table. When they finish schoolwork, everything goes back into the drawer and it’s returned to the cabinet. This changed our world!
Inside our big wooden cabinet is paper sorted by kind and use and tons of containers. Each container holds only 1 things like pencils, stencils, scissors, glue sticks, WASHABLE markers, or pens. It is easy to find what you need quickly.
I love file folders! I use them to store all kinds of things:
- Legal paperwork
- Book report sheets
- Reading logs
- Health records
- Writing papers
- Field trip ideas
- Co-op Information
I found a old file cabinet at a garage sale and painted it a cheerful blue. I put cute magnets on it!
Magazine holders have also been a great help to me! I store all kinds of things in them including homeschooling magazines! I love the ones in bright colors.
Here are things that I store in Magazine Holders
- Homeschooling Magazines
- Magazines we can cut up for collages
- Workbooks we aren’t using yet, but I’ve already purchased
- Completed lapbooks
- Scrap Paper
- Notebook Paper
- Projects I absolutely can’t part with
At church, I used them for our homeschool co-op like little mailboxes to return papers to students or let them leave something for me!
Those Bulky Projects
One thing I could never figure out was how to store all the bulky projects. You know what I mean—the temple replica, trebuchet, paper President quilt, dioramas, volcano, topographical map, or the sugar cube igloo.
Finally, my son-in-law saved the day when he suggested keeping projects for a certain period of time (1-2 weeks) and then photographing it. The photo lasts forever and the project can be thrown away. Gasp!
I create a little scrapbook for my kids each year with page protectors and a simple white notebook. I put in a few samples of their work and some photo pages. I keep these on a shelf for my kids to pull out whenever they want to. It’s fun to look back at the fun we’ve had or to look at a siblings adventures!
How To Eat An Elephant
The task of organizing your homeschool room can be overwhelming.
So, how do you organize your homeschool room? The same way you eat an elephant. One bite at a time.
Here’s the order I used
- First, I organized the furniture
- Second, I organized all the bookshelves
- Third, I organized the big wooden cabinet
- Fourth, the File cabinet/file folders
- Fifth, everything else
Don’t be intimidated and overwhelmed. Put a big “Caution/Construction Zone” sign up and give yourself some time to finish the task. I used a summer break to work on it. You might get it done in a weekend. Either way, organizing the homeschool room will save hours of endless searching and eliminate some clutter and piles from your home!
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!