Much like laundry, homeschool curriculum and supplies tend to multiply and take over space. Left unchecked, this “menace” can creep into your kitchen, dining room and has even been known to take over a bedroom or two. Here are some tips to tame the mess.
Obviously if you have a dedicated homeschool room, this is relatively easy. Pushing all the books, papers and miscellaneous “stuff” into the room and shutting the door stops the encroachment. (At least for a little while.)
While a dedicated homeschool room is almost every homeschool mom’s dream, the reality is more moms run their “school” without this luxury. I am one of those moms. Our primary homeschool area was the dining room that was also used as a “normal” dining room. We did work diligently to keep this area as organized as possible.
And by organized, I’m not say “Pinterest perfect” organizers with the latest shelving. I’m talking about keeping only what you really need. More times than not, you need less “stuff” rather than more shelving or crates or decorative boxes to put things in. You must ask yourself, do you really need 20 packages of notebook paper? Do you really need to keep that laminator that you bought two years ago that’s still in the box? If the answer is “no”, sell it or donate it! Don’t let your stuff get out of hand and cause you additional stress. I had to follow my own advice recently with all my science lab supplies. After keeping only what I really needed, it was so refreshing and freeing to bless other families with needs, sell what I didn’t need, or just throw the excess out!
Do you have curriculum one child has completed with a gap until the next child is old enough to use it? Unless your next child is going to use it within a year or two, sell it or find another mom who can use it this year with the promise of returning it to you. This way, you bless another family and have less “stuff” hanging around collecting dust.
There is one piece of furniture that I recommend for your schooling area. In our school room/dining room a small shelving unit that could hold a bin in for each child’s specific books, notebooks and supplies was key. Once a week I’d set up their bins with assignments and all they had to do was pull the bin out at the start of the day, complete their work and then place everything back in the bin and put the bin back on the shelf. This less stress clean up method was also wonderful to have in place when having to do unexpected tidying up when company popped by. And, it prevented any literature books from suddenly wandering off getting lost in the abyss of a messy bedroom.
So in your homeschool, less should be more! While those pictures of hanging pens separated by colors and fancy containers look nice, it’s just one more thing to deal with and keep clean. Keep it simple and turn your extra energies to your children!
Check out more homeschooling resources at Rainbow Resource Center!