If you're just joining me for the 10 Days to a Flexible Homeschool Plan series, then be sure to read the previous posts.
Day 1: 10 Days to a Flexible Homeschool Plan
Day 2: Determining Your School Year
Day 3: Finding Your Routine
Day 4: Deciding What to Teach and When
Day 5: Scheduling Your Resources
Day 6: Putting it All to Work
Day 7: Facing the Challenges
Day 8: Structured Free Time
Organizing may not seem all that important to being flexible, but the reality is that the more organized we are the more flexibility we have. It means that we can stress less about finding the things we need, stop wasting our time looking for stuff, and focus on the things that matter.
So how do we get organized?
I feel I should begin by saying that I am not a naturally organized person. It is something that I always seem to be working on!
Over the years I've learned a few tricks and I've also learned that what works for one person may not work for another! So be open to a trial and error process here. This is my way of organizing. There are hundreds of other ideas on Pinterest that will get your creative juices flowing!
To begin, I've provided a free printable of the form I use each year when I start thinking about how I want things organized. Sometimes things stay the same from year to year, but sometimes I have to change things up (that's the trial and error process at work!).
Here's the printable for you, or you can just use a plain sheet of paper. Whatever works best for you!
What Do You Need to Organize?
I always begin by determining what it is I need to organize.
- school supplies?
- art supplies?
- extra books?
Everyone's needs here will be different. Take some time to really think about your specific needs and make a list of those things.
Where Will You Put Those Things?
Knowing what needs organizing is only half the battle. You have to also know where you're going to put it all!
- Do you have a specific room to put things in?
- A shelf?
- A closet?
- A cabinet?
Think about how and where you use whatever it is you need to store and put it in a convenient place. If you do art in the upstairs loft area you don't want to store your art supplies in the basement!
Walk through your home and make a list of where you use things and where you can store them.
What Do You Need to Organize Well?
Now that you know where you'll put things you'll need to think about any extras you'll need that make your organizing convenient and hassle-free. Things like...
Once again, think about how you use your supplies and what storage method makes their use most convenient.
How We Do It
Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
The things that I have to organize are:
- extra reading books
- pursuits & occupations supplies
- treasure time materials
Where I put these things:
Our curriculum is stored on two shelves that I keep in our dining room. We typically complete our lessons at our dining room table so this is the most convenient area to store our curriculum. Each of my children have their own Sterilite Latch Bin that they keep their curriculum in and I have one for the subjects that we complete together.
The bins have worked VERY well for us because the kids can just grab their bin and have everything they need to complete their lessons wherever they decide to work that day. Sometimes that's our dining room table, sometimes outside if the weather is nice, sometimes in their rooms....anywhere really. The bins also keep things contained nicely. They don't have to search for their books and materials because it's all together.
Extra Reading Books
Extra reading books are stored on small shelves in our living room since that's where most reading takes place. Each child has their own shelf.
Treasure Time Basket
Treasure Time materials are stored in a basket which is kept on a cube shelf in our living room. We typically take up the living room sofa and floor during Treasure Time so it just makes sense to store it there. Keeping everything in a basket makes it very easy to grab and go.
Our chores are kept on a shelf in the living room where they are easily accessible to everyone when it's time to complete chores.
Pursuits & Occupations Supplies
Pursuits & Occupations supplies are separated into Sterilite Latch Bin containers which are kept in a closet in our hallway. The kids will do this stuff all over the house so having the supplies in a central place works best for us. Each container is clearly labeled so that my kids can just grab what they want to work on and have everything they need. I apologize for not having a photo of this. I'm still working on getting everything together for next year!
There you have it! That's how we keep things organized. How do you organize your stuff?