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 a few organizational tips we have learned along the way for managing a homeschool in small spaces.
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.
Tips for Organizing Homeschool in Small Spaces
1. Establish the Essentials- Before you begin setting up a system the works for you, you need to establish your essentials. (Everything you need for the current homeschool year.)
2. Store 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. Tall Shelving– To maximize your space think vertical. 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 to its full potential.
4. Make it Look Homey– 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. Crates and Baskets– 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 feels like home.
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” -Benjamin Franklin
6. A Good 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. Portfolios- Storing completed work is always a challenge to manage. We’ve found that a portfolio for each kid is all we need. After saving a few snippets of each subject we throw the rest away.
8. Table Caddy’s for Basic art supplies– Art supplies are one of those things that are always being reached for. An easy solution is to simply store them out in the open. 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.
“A place for everything, and everything for a place.” -Benjamin Franklin
9. Utilize the Pantry– If you are blessed with a pantry. You can utilize this space as a homeschool station as well. If it is more like a small closet, you can simply store art or science supplies in a bin. Keeping it out of your main living space.
10. Incorporate Homeschool Content in 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.
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 a much smoother morning.
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.
11. 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.
Top Three Organizational Take-Aways for Small Spaces
Where to start? Keep it simple.
- Decide what is essential.
- Create a manageable storing system where everything has a place.
- Be good about putting things away.
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