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12 Organizational Tips for Homeschooling in Small Spaces

Between art supplies, curriculum for multiple children, science resources, and books, homeschool can be an all out explosion, taking over an entire house.  Today I’m sharing some homeschool organization ideas for small spaces that I think you will find helpful.

We are currently a small-space, homeschool family and it works out great. We use our couch for our read alouds and our kitchen table for book work.  While finding a home for all the curriculum and resources has been a challenge, but we now have a system in place that feels natural and organized to us.

Because thats the goal right? To have a space that merges both home and school seamlessly.

Why Organize Your Homeschool?

Though some people have mastered the art of having a minimal homeschool, the rest of us deal with extra art supplies, curriculum piles, and loose papers. Organizing is simply putting systems in place so these things don’t take over our house.

When you have systems in place that work for you and your family, I think you will find that your homeschool days run a lot smoother.

If everyone knows where everything is, your kids will not loose there workbooks or spend the morning frantically looking for a pencil with a decent eraser.

Having homeschool organization systems in place will not only make things easier to find, but easier to put away as well.

Homeschool Organization Ideas for Small Spaces

Here are a few homeschool organization ideas for small spaces that I have found really helpful in creating a learning environment that my kids and I enjoy being in during school hours as well as throughout the rest of our day.

1. Establish the Homeschool Essentials

Before you begin setting up a system the works for you, you need to establish your homeschool essentials. Basically, what you be using for this current year of homeschool.

This is a great time to do a homeschool declutter and get rid of anything you are no using or have plans of ever using in the future.

From curriculum down to the project supplies you will need, go through what you currently have and decide what is essential and what is not.

2. Store Your Homeschool Unessentials

It’s inevitable to have resources that you won’t need this year but will in the future. A couple examples of this are history curriculums that cycle through every four years, or books from older siblings to be passed down to younger ones.

These resources can be stored in a tub out in the garage or under a bed. Taking these extra resources out of the main living spaces will free up a ton of space.

3. Go Vertical for Shelving

To maximize your space think vertical. When you have limited homeschool space, finding optimal shelving and storage is essential.

Our family has one shelf that we hold our homeschool resources on for the current year. It’s our main station for curriculum and supplies.  The height of the shelf helps us to maximize the space in our dining room to its full potential.

bookshelf for homeschool

4. Make Your Homeschool Look like Home

When you need homeschool organization ideas for small spaces you want things that can hold homeschool supplies without making your home look like a classroom.

Our main school shelf sits in between our living and dining space. While I want it to serve its purpose, I also want it to look like home. Putting the extra time in to strategically arranging everything has really merged our home and school together.

5. Use Crates, Baskets, and Bins for Organizing Homeschool in Small Spaces

Good homeschool organization ideas for small spaces always include a variety crates, baskets, and bins. And Part of being strategic about your main shelf is choosing storage options that complement your existing decor.

I like to hide some of the bold colored art supplies and books in wooden crates and tall baskets. So, when the school day is done and we have people over for dinner, it still feels like home.

There are tons of practice homeschool storage ideas you can find to fit your style while addressing your homeschool organizational needs.

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” -Benjamin Franklin

6. A Good Homeschool Filing System

We have a small filing cabinet that serves to store home systems, as well as, homeschool resources. Our science comes in pdf form and we have portfolios for the kids that are kept in here. Because this filing system merges home and school I adopted the binder system. (I got this idea from Nikki Boyd’s book Beautifully Organized #ad)

This was quite a bit of work up front, but the result as been worth it. It so easy to access each binder and has a very clean and put-together look)

7. Homeschool Portfolios

When addressing homeschool organization ideas for small spaces, we have to talk about the challenges of storing records of completed work.

If you are limited on space, a great option is to look into might be a digital homeschool portfolio. Once, you have your samples and pictures uploaded, you could toss any extra workbooks that are taking up space.

Another thing you can can do, is learn how to create a free homeschool portfolio for each kid using a three-ring binder. This binder could include things like: work samples, attendance records, legal papers, test results, book logs, learning objectives, curriculum lists, and art.

8. Homeschool Organization Ideas for Small Spaces with Basic Art Supplies

Think about the things that you and your kids are always reaching for: pencils, scissors, glue, crayons, highlighters, etc. Those things need to be easily accessible.

I prefer to simply store these items out in the open. And I love using a caddy to do this. There are so many different caddy options to choose from. I chose this farmhouse caddy from Hobby Lobby. It holds pencils, glue, crayons, etc, white still looking great on the table. 

Then when school is over, and I need my table back, I slide the caddy back onto its designated spot on the homeschool shelf.

supplies in a homeschool art caddy

 

“A place for everything, and everything for a place.” -Benjamin Franklin

9. Utilize a Pantry or Closet for more Homeschool Storage

If you are running low on extra space to store things, perhaps there you can repurpose your pantry or create a homeschool closet.

These spaces can be great for holding bins of extra arts supplies, homeschool portfolios, or materials for upcoming science projects.

You could even turn a closet into a homeschool work station for your child, complete with shelving and a desk.

10. Incorporate Educational Material in Your Wall Decor

Alphabet charts, maps, and vocabulary words can easily take over the walls of a classroom or…house.

 I’m very selective about what I hang. With that being said, my husband built an oversized chalkboard last year that has been the perfect addition for us. I can use it for school or hang a wreath on it. 

I’ve also seen people frame the art work their studying, find cute alphabet banners, or buy decor styled maps.  There are definitely options if you take your time and shop around.

chalkboard with wreath

10. Have a Curriculum Caddy for Each Kid

We have found that keeping our kid’s curriculum in their own caddy not only has helps to reduce the wear and tear of their books but also lends to much smoother mornings.  

Without the kids constantly shoving books onto the shelf, this method really helps to keep the shelf looking nice and organized from day to day.

homeschool organization

11. Put together a homeschool cart

There are some pretty clever ways to put together a homeschool cart. I love the idea that you could keep all of your essentials (curriculum, art caddy, teacher resources, etc) on a movable cart that you can slip into a corner or closet at the end of the day.

If you were strategic and super organized, a homeschool cart could really be your main homeschool hub of resources.

12. Explore Different Homeschool Work Space Ideas

If you are homeschooling in a small area, try to be open to new homeschool work space ideas. These could include wall-mounted desks, homeschool closets, kitchen table, corner desk, hallway classrooms, drop-down desks, or a nook under a staircase. (Amazon affiliate links in this list)

Maybe the kitchen simply doesn’t work as a good homeschool work space for your family. Thats ok, look for other options and don’t be afraid to try something new.

13. Regularly Declutter Your Small Spaces

This is probably the most important part of homeschooling in a small space. 

We’ve all experienced the chaos of books and art supplies strewn about the house. Even our well-organized shelves can start looking disheveled. 

Being good about putting things away and teaching our kids to put things away will be the deciding factor for true functionality.

Ways to Organize Your Small Homeschool Space on a Budget

All these homeschool organization ideas for small spaces are great, but how can we make them happen on a budget?

First, look around your house and see what you already have on hand. More than likely, if you rearrange a few things, you’ve got shelf options and work space options at your finger tips. You probably have baskets and bins you could repurpose for homeschool organization as well.

Then, shop around! You don’t have to buy everything brand new. Go to thrift stores, fb marketplace, homeschool resource centers, and garage sales in your area to find the other things you need.

And remember, organizing your homeschool is an ongoing process. Sure, setting up systems will really set you on the right path, but these systems will probably change as your homeschool evolves. So don’t blow your budget the first year. Use what you have and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Top Three Organizational Take-Aways for Small Spaces

The best homeschool organization ideas for small spaces can be to narrowed down to the basics:

  1. Decide what is essential,
  2. Create a manageable storing system where everything has a place
  3. And lastly, be good about putting things away.

No homeschool system is perfect, but there are definitely ways we can improve and organize our homeschool to make it more functional and helpful for the day to day. Let’s get started!

More Resources for Homeschool Organization

Whether you are just getting started with homeschool or you have been at it for years, here are some resources to help you continue organizing your educational space at home.

What are your best homeschool organization ideas for small spaces?

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

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12 Comments

  1. Thank you for the tips! What I really want to know about is your binder system. Would you be willing to do a post about that in particular…..how many binders you have, what the categories are etc?
    Thank you,
    Holly

  2. Hi , I love this, so inspirational! Where did you get the metal baskets in the bottom , the curriculum caddies? I have the same shelf and struggle to find baskets that will fit.

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