Utilizing good storage solutions and organization hacks is so important when homeschooling is involved for the sake of your sanity. Curriculum, workbooks, pencils, erasers, reading books, art supplies, musical instruments – it all adds up pretty quick, plus deciding what to keep and what to pitch can be tricky. Especially if you have to keep a detailed portfolio for each student according to your local laws. Keeping homeschool clutter to a minimum and using these 6 Easy Ways to Store Homeschool Materials will help you keep everything organized and save your sanity!
One of my personal biggest challenges with being a home school parent is where to put our materials so our living areas (and van) don’t look like a classroom 24/7. We've been homeschooling for over 7 years now and during that time I've amassed a lot of curriculum, art & craft supplies, science kits, and a lot of reading books. These easy ways to store homeschool materials that have helped me not only stay on top of things and be more organized but also keep my entire house from looking like a classroom!
Easy Ways to Store Homeschool Materials
(1) Set aside one corner or area just for school supplies. Whether it be one book case, one corner of the living area or a whole room set aside for your home school classroom and materials, make sure everything is kept in one location to prevent days of looking everywhere for that one lost item.
(2) Use existing bookshelves and cabinets for storage. Consolidate as needed and use existing bookshelves for storing curriculum, teacher guides, binders and portfolios. Those under stairway cabinets or odd shelves in closets can be great out of the way storage locations for supplies not used every day. Things like projectors, white boards or art supplies can easily be tucked away for future use.
(3) Purchase small crates or storage bins for each student. For under $5 per student at a local discount store you can purchase small shoebox sized bins or crates for your children to store their crayons, markers, erasers, pencils, rulers and other miscellaneous supplies in. I find it works best to keep all supplies as a collective group with no ownership to keep arguments over “she/he is using my” at bay, but some families find that keeping ownership clearly defined works better for them.
(4) Use Kitchen & Garage Storage Bins for Art Supplies. I grabbed a few of the $1 Kitchen utensil storage trays and the small storage bins used for nuts and bolts to store our paints, brushes, buttons, sequins, ribbons an such all in one place. They are easy to stack and put in your cabinet, on a shelf of the bookshelf or even in a desk drawer.
(5) Store larger items in Closets or under beds when not in use. My younger students use a cork board and small chalkboard that were given to us. They are too large to keep out every day in our living area but when we are finished using them can be easily stored under one of our beds or in the back of the coat closet in our hall.
(6) Use 10 Gallon Storage Tubs or Milk Crates when Bookshelves & Cabinets aren’t available. Inexpensive clear plastic storage tubs can be purchased and easily label one per student for storing their individual binders, curriculum and the teachers guides needed daily. If you purchase the flat shoe or sweater storage style you can slide under beds for storage or stack in a corner of the room to be out of the way when not working in the “classroom”. Back to school sales are a great time to grab cheap milk crates!
The boys all love to read now and my van can quickly fill up with books that get carried in and left in there. With 7 boys in the van most days, it can get a bit crazy really fast. I use a cloth tote (like these ones for cube organizers) to keep everything in one place. When they get out of the van, everything is put in there. When I clean out the van once a week, I can just carry it in and put everything back in its proper place in the house easily.
The most important thing to do is to determine what space you realistically have to utilize and make adaptations for your home. As simple as a handful of storage bins and rearranging some pictures to a new location you can utilize existing shelving, cabinetry and empty space to store homeschool materials when not in use.