Organizing Our Homeschool, Part 3: Oh, Those Supplies!
I have an insatiable need to craft. Since I was a little child, I’ve had tons of supplies that I’ve had to keep neat and organized so that I can find them when I need them. It’s definitely given me an advantage when it comes to keeping supplies organized for homeschool!
I’m want you to meet my three best friends when it comes to organizing. Now, be warned! My best friends are not at all awesomely cool, or stylish, or even wise decorating decisions, but they work like a DREAM and that’s what matters to me!
Simple plastic storage containers. These little boxes are about $2.50 each at my local Wal-Mart. The lids clamp tight (for when they’re dropped), they are easy to open (for little hands), they fit nicely on bookshelves, and you can see what you have available. Everything you want in a storage solution!
Color Coding Labels. Very cheap (about $2.00 for 75-100) I have a color for each grade, but you can color code however you wish.
Sharpie Markers. Trust me, the extra couple of bucks for the name brand is worth it in this case. (And yes, I speak from experience!)
So, now you’ve met my best friends, I’ll tell you what I do with them: Introduce them to one another!
I have three boxes that we use on a regular basis: one for Art Supplies (crayons, markers, watercolors, pencils, erasers, etc), one for Manipulatives (counting blocks, play money, counters, etc), and one for Crafting (yarn, felt, noodles, etc).
I assign each box a home on the kitchen bookshelf where they live. “So, even though they love to come visit at the table, they can’t wait to get back home at the end of the day!”
I also have several storage drawers around the house. One in particular lives in the kitchen right beside my desk. In the top drawer, I keep our hair stuff (yes, totally unrelated to homeschooling, but it’s the best home I’ve found for it!). The second drawer houses pencils, pens, scissors, sharpeners, erasers, and the other miscellany that you seem to need a million of to properly homeschool elementary school but don’t particularly want the children to have unlimited access to. The third drawer holds all of my office supplies (labels, hole punchers, stickers, staplers, staples, etc).
I’m looking forward to the day that I can seperate everything out by type, bag it up, and have the INSIDE of the drawers look neat and snazzy, but until then- there ya have it!
My last bit for this post is a piece of advice: EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! You really don’t have to store 500 boxes of crayons and 10,000 counters where you homeschool. (Not saying that you shouldn’t buy 500 boxes of crayons or 10,000 counters, especially when they’re a nickel a box… I mean- I’m pretty sure we’re all deal hunting stockpilers here! It’s just that they shouldn’t clutter up your school area!) When one of the storage boxes or drawers get full (and believe it or not, they’ll actually get EMPTY more than they do full!), it’s time to go through and get rid of everything broken or no longer serviceable. Don’t just keep adding on because you think you might use it possibly one day in the future!
Anyway, that’s how I keep our supplies from entirely running us out of the house!