storage

Keeping School Organized

How Can I Keep Resources Organized?

If you’re anything like me, accumulating homeschool supplies and books is so much fun. But organizing it all can be a headache!

Whether you are dealing with keeping up with the day-to-day supplies and resources or considering year-to-year storage, organizing can be a challenge. This is true whether you have a large home or a small apartment, have a single child or teach multiples, and use a boxed curriculum or gather resources as you go. Learning organization tricks can not only help the daily routine move more smoothly, it can also ensure that your reusable resources endure for many years.

Points to Ponder

Here’s how I keep those delightful resources organized and ready for each school day or new school year.

Organizing with Crates

At the beginning of each school year, I ask each child their favorite color. Then, I pop over to the local office store and purchase a file storage crate in their preferred color. Each child is required to keep their curriculum and reading books in their crate. I also purchase two extra crates for teacher’s books and crafting supplies.

For the crate that holds pencils, crayons, and crafts, be sure to line the bottom with a piece of sturdy construction paper or cut a piece of cardboard from a box to match the size.

With limited storage, these crates can be stacked in the laundry room, a pantry, hall closet, or corner of a room. It’s a simple way to keep things neat, tidy, and organized, even if you don’t have the space or budget for lots of bookshelves. This also begins the process of having students responsible for their own homeschool books and supplies.

Storing with Tubs

When it comes time to decide how to store non-consumables for future usage, small to medium storage tubs are as space saving as the daily crates. As you shop for good tubs to use, look for some that are easily stackable and do not leave a lot of unusable space around them when stored. A plastic tub that will seal well will best protect books and resources.

If you have closets or other storage space, almost any tub will do. But, if space is a concern, consider storage options that can serve double-duty as furniture. Use an ottoman that opens up or choose a container that can serve double-duty as a nightstand, end table, or coffee table. Or you can choose a flat, wide tub that can slide under a bed or couch.

A Few More Thoughts

Whether your homeschool area and budget are large or small, crates and offer an inexpensive and simple solution for creating order. Here are a few more thoughts as you organize your resources:

– If space is an issue but you still want to us a living book curriculum that incorporates a large number of books, consider only pulling out six weeks worth of resources at a time, leaving the rest stored in a tub or crate.
– Another living book curriculum option is to see what you can borrow from the library instead of purchasing. Only store at home what you cannot borrow.
– Before you pack everything away at the end of the year, evaluate it closely and be very critical about whether or not you will use it again. If so, keep it, but if not, bless another family with it!
– Do your best to organize your storage well, whether you are putting away a completed year’s resources or storing for access during the year. Sort and store by grade, history cycle, or subject so you can easily find what you need when the times comes.