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Preparing the Schoolroom: Tips for Organizing the Schoolroom (Back to Homeschool Blog Hop)

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It's finally here! We're starting back to our regular school schedule. I love to be back into a routine. While I'm not sure that the kids are as excited as I am, I do believe they have a little happy anticipation of a new year as well. We do some school all through the summer, but August is the time of year when we move to the new year's curriculum. And we buckle down to a more routine schedule. So there's always some excitement of the new books and new routines.

As we head back to homeschool, I'm also excited to be a part of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop with The Schoolhouse Review Crew and Homeschool Connections. You can find my starting page here with all my links for the hop and with links to all the other great bloggers who are participating. If you're looking for some great reading to get you excited and inspired for the new year, come on in!


My posts for the week will focus on being prepared for a new school  year. And today, I'm looking at preparing the schoolroom. We have a pretty small house for six people. And we have lots of "stuff." Over the years I've become pretty heartless at throwing away "stuff", but I've also become pretty creative in storing it. Our schoolroom is an excellent example. Our schoolroom- like that of many homeschool families- has several other functions. It isn't just a schoolroom. Our schoolroom is our dining room. It also holds our pantry shelves and second refrigerator. And it serves as a play space for my younger girls because the room that they share with their older sister doesn't have much room for playing. We do lots of hands on school activities, so we always have all kinds of craft supplies on hand. I also have school books and materials for four children- and myself. And, because I love to read living books to the kids and these books have a prominent place in our curriculum, we have a large home library (over 1500 books last time I cataloged them!).

Finding a place for all the "stuff" in the schoolroom while trying to keep things organized can sometimes prove challenging. But there are a few key things I use to organize our schoolroom. And I'd recommend these if you're trying to make a small space work and do double (or triple) duty for your schoolroom.

Repurposing old furniture

I have an old (possibly antique) wardrobe, given to us by friends when they couldn't find a place for it. Inside this beautiful old wardrobe are little cubby holes. They were there when we inherited the wardrobe. This setup is perfect for all of our odds and ends craft supplies. I take all kinds of cast off pieces of tissue paper, cardboard, ribbon, yarn, foam. One never knows what extremely creative ideas a kid may have for these items. All of these things find their way into our wardrobe, waiting to be used.

Sometimes you can find cast off furniture at Goodwill or Salvation Army stores for a steal. Think about how you can repurpose furniture pieces as great storage places.


Plastic bins and boxes

Plastic bins are some of my favorite accessories for the schoolroom. When the kids store their books in plastic bins, they can carry them to different rooms as needed. I use a plastic bin to organize my books that are currently in use in the classes I'm still doing together with the younger girls.


Besides being convenient for carrying supplies from place to place, plastic bins and boxes are also great for organizing supplies. These plastic drawers are labeled and hold supplies like markers, glue, pens and pencils.

Shelves

I love my bookshelves. In our schoolroom, though, shelves don't just store books. We also have shelves for our board games as well as shelves for our hands on manipulatives, puzzles, and toys. My strategy is to squeeze shelves in every available space. They make more room which means we can store more things. These terrific, huge, floor to ceiling shelves were also hand me downs that were being tossed. In our schoolroom, they go a long way towards storing all our books. A few years ago I cataloged them using Library Thing, and we had over 1500 at that time!


Labels

I label everything. Our supply drawers are labeled. Our book shelves are organized by genre and labeled. Kids supplies are labeled. Labels help you find things at a glance. My strategy is to label, label, label.



Do you have any other favorite strategies for organizing your schoolroom? I'd love to know. And don't forget to head over to the landing page and check out the other Back to Homeschool bloggers.




My Joy-Filled Life



8 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous of your huge bookshelves.... *wistful sigh*

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    1. I know. I love them! Our church was getting rid of them from one of the offices. :-)

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  2. Every time I think I have everything organized, I get something new in and realize I'm out of space! We're in the process of moving things around...again.

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    1. My kids frequently ask why I'm rearranging the schoolroom...again. :-)

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  3. I love how homey your organization is. While I think so many of the schoolrooms I see are pretty and peaceful looking, they aren't real to me. Yours looks real and I love it. It is joy and comfort and family. Reminds me so much of the way our home looks. Thanks for sharing a bit about your system.

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    1. Thank you. It's definitely "lived in." :-) Yes, I get a little discouraged when I see all those beautiful schoolroom pictures. Four kids definitely play and do schoolwork in our room!

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