It’s an incredible feeling to have all that you need to homeschool with in a backpack. That is what we learned as we flew back and forth between the states and South America. Like most families that embrace the homeschooling lifestyle, we love all of the things that we use for learning. However, things can turn to clutter and clutter can trigger stress. Today, in How to Downsize Your Homeschool, I’m sharing 4 tips for owning less.
One // Mix in Unit Studies
Unit studies are a great way to cut down on clutter because you can use them with multiple ages. Not only are you studying something that delights your children, but unit studies cover numerous subjects too.
Two // Don’t Make Choosing Free Online Storage an Either/Or Choice
Lack of storage space for books, projects and paperwork is a natural part of homeschooling. And there are more free solutions now than ever before and you don’t have to make choices to use just online storage or use physical space at home. Use both kinds of storage options.
Too, I don’t encourage you to ditch all of your physical books because many I won’t part with either, but there are many free online storage solutions I use.
I use Evernote for holding lessons plans for my children because I can create folders, tag items by word descriptions to search for them and easily move things around. The best thing is that I can use it on any device.
I use Google Drive too because files are easily shareable with my sons. I can put lesson plans in files or ebooks and my boys can access them from their devices. It’s easy to move or delete items too.
By moving part of our curriculum and books to online storage, it has freed up physical space for the physical books, projects and curriculum that we love the most.
Three // Sell, Don’t Store Used Curriculum
I use to keep curriculum to use for several years ahead, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson about why not to do that when I moved overseas. Storing a huge amount of curriculum for future use is like that pair of jeans, which hangs in my closet and doesn’t fit me now. When we moved to Ecuador, I lost weight and it was a mistake to keep those jeans. I just paid storage fees on jeans and other clothes that didn’t fit me when I returned to the states.
Homeschooling is very similar. My boys have skipped a whole grade level in curriculum, which I had stored for years. It costs you in some way whether it’s stress, lack of storage space or money to store things you don’t need now.
Get rid of that clutter because you don’t know which level your children will be at in the upcoming years.
Be balanced and don’t throw all caution to the wind, but pair down your curriculum to just a few pieces and sell the rest at one of those fun homeschool used curriculum sales.
Four // Limit Games, Manipulatives, and Crafts
Learning manipulatives and games are part of homeschooling and we need them, but they can become organizational nightmares. Having only digital games or only board games is another extreme we want to avoid. We want to use a balance of both kinds of learning games and crafts in our homeschool to cut down on clutter.
Limit learning manipulatives to the few ones needed. Then, store and label your must-have crafts in a tower of clear drawers or put them in buckets.
I prefer to keep my items like that in clear containers because I can see at a glance what we have. Downsizing is not just about getting rid of things you need, but it’s about avoiding impulse buying. Think of the upside to downsizing, which is a fresh start and focusing on what your children need right now.
What is crowding you out of your home?