It’s an age-old homeschool conundrum: Yes, homeschooling means scads more freedom and the ability to customize your child’s education journey…but it also means a whole lot more stuff. And while it’s certainly possible to homeschool minimally, most homeschool families quickly find themselves in need of a variety of supplies that can take over their homeschool space.
And because your classroom is also your living room, office, or other room of your home, keeping your homeschool space organized and decluttered can make all the difference in keeping order in your home.
Not sure where to start? We can help. Here are five things you can declutter right now to free up space in your homeschool area.
Used up art supplies
We’re big believers in using what you have before buying anything new, which often means our art supplies become cluttered with dried out markers, empty water color pots, scraps of cardstock, and more. Every few months, take an inventory of your art supplies and clean out anything that has become unusable and is simply taking up (valuable) space. Not sure which supplies you should keep on hand during the school year? Here are our 20 most-used homeschool supplies.
Your child’s artwork
Hear us out! There are so many ways to hold onto your child’s art if you’re nostalgic (framing favorite pieces, creating a photo book, even organizing an artwork binder all come to mind!), but if your child is a budding Picasso who never met a blank sheet of paper they didn’t want to scribble on, you’ve likely found yourself drowning in doodles. Hold on to the meaningful works or the ones your child spent the most effort to create, but give yourself permission to part with piles of papers your child won’t think about the next day.
Books they’ve outgrown
At L+L, we strive to only recommend books that can grow with your child (and that they’ll want to read again and again for years!), but if your bookshelf has become crowded with stories or activity books your child never reaches for, it might be time for a cleanout. If it’s something you think your child might appreciate in a year or two, tuck it away in storage to revisit later. If not, check your local library to see if they’re taking donations or drop them off at your nearest thrift store.
Curriculum or activities that don’t match your current homeschool goals
Did you fall victim to a colorful bin of activity worksheets…only to find they aren’t actually teaching tools? Did you purchase a curriculum in one philosophy of homeschool…to later decide a different track better suits your child’s learning style? It happens to all of us, but remember: The simple fact that you spent money on something is not a good enough reason to let it continue to take up space in your life. (And you can’t put a price on the peace of mind a decluttered space will bring!) If the cost was significant, you may be able to re-sell it on your local homeschool Facebook group to someone who can actually use it.
Anything you don’t use on at least a weekly basis
In our house, glue, cardstock, and drawing materials come up in just about every lesson and art project we tackle. But popsicle sticks, yarn, and pipe cleaners? Those only get used a couple of times a month. Unless you have a limited amount of storage in your homeschool room (lucky you!), use the space you have for the items you used most often. Then create a secondary storage space out of the way (perhaps in a basement or storage closet in another room) for the items that you don’t need regular access to.