Homeschool moms have a lot of organization challenges. First, we’re not only educators, we’re homemakers too. And our kids are with us nearly all the time. So cleaning up the house doesn’t always fix the problem for long. But there are some things you can do to help your home and homeschool space stay more organized this year. Here are top organization tips for homeschool moms.
Decluttering isn’t always as fun as organizing, so it sometimes gets a bad rap. But decluttering is essential to keeping an organized space. Because if you have too much stuff, your organization will never be able to keep up with the clutter.
My favorite question to ask myself when decluttering is this: “If we were moving tomorrow, would I keep this?”
This is a great question because moving an item to a new house requires so many things: packing it, transporting it, unpacking it, organizing it, and keeping it functional and clean in the future.
If this item is worth all that trouble, then I’ll keep it. If not, it’s much easier to let go when I count the cost of hypothetically moving that item to a new home.
This question alone has allowed me to declutter substantially over the last five years. Old homeschool curriculum just isn’t worth hoarding anymore if I ask that question. And it feels so good to let it go to a new home.
Think outside the box
The next tip is to think outside the box when organizing your home layout. We can end up being paralyzed by the blueprint of our home when it was on the market. If a room is marked “dining room” or “bedroom” on the house plan, then we sometimes feel obligated to keep it as a dining room or bedroom.
But what if you allow yourself to think outside the box? What if your formal dining room, which only sees a formal meal in it once or twice a year, could function as your homeschool room for the other 363 days of the year? Wouldn’t that be a better use of the space in your home? Of course it would!
Allow yourself to creatively restructure your home to fit your daily homeschool needs. It doesn’t matter if you get rid of that formal dining room or reorganize your living room. Make it work for you, no matter what the builder intended.
Have a supply store
This next tip is one I picked up from Lisa Woodruff’s Organize 365 podcast. Instead of having your gluesticks, paper, notebooks, and other resources tucked in every nook and cranny around the house, have a central supply store. The idea of this is to shop your supply closet before buying more products. We’ve all been there – purchased yet another dozen glue sticks, only to discover 200 hiding in a forgotten drawer. This supply store or supply closer organization tip will help you use up your stash before buying more!
Not only will it save you money, it will help you cut the clutter by only purchasing what you really need.
I love this idea for things other than just school supplies. With four boys in our home, we have a boy clothing and shoe store in a closet. Instead of immediately buying a new coat or a new pair of jeans, we shop our supply closet first.
Where can you implement a supply store?
Listen in on this podcast episode with Lisa Woodruff for more tips about Organizing Your Homeschool.
Organize your paper clutter
Homeschooling is notorious for all the paper clutter. Multiply that by multiple kids, and you could have a disaster on your hands.
But the paper doesn’t have to drive you crazy! Come up with some doable systems now and your homeschool year will be much smoother.
Check out these posts for paper clutter organization tips:
- Homeschool Organization for the Non-Planner
- 15 Tips To Get Rid of Paper Clutter
- 10 Reasons Why Homeschool Moms Need a Bullet Journal
- Organize Homeschool Paperwork Effortlessly
Organize your schedule & daily homeschool tasks
Finally, get set up with Trello.com for an easy-to-use schedule and daily task tracking system. It’s basically like post-it notes without the paper clutter. All of my kids use Trello to keep track of their school tasks for the week. It provides accountability to the kids and keeps them on task. They can easily see how many subjects are left at any moment.
Check out these posts about getting set up with Trello:
- How to Organize Your Homeschool Schedule on Trello
- 7 Reasons to Use Trello for High School Homeschool Schedules + FREE Cheatsheet
- How To Use Trello
- Video Tutorials for Using Trello for Homeschool
If you start implementing some of these top organization tips, your home and homeschool will thank you and you’ll be on the way to a smoother homeschool year just because you’re organized!
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.