Organizing the Homeschooling Home, Part 1

Spring tends to inspire me to organize. Maybe I have more time with my kids wanting to play outside so much :). This week, I’m starting a series on organizing, specifically for the homeschooling home.

Let me start by saying that I am not a natural born organizer. I tend to be more of a “whole picture” kind of person, rather than a detail person. However, the more children I have been blessed with, the more important it has been for me to learn this skill of organizing. Add in homeschooling, and organization has become an essential a survival skill. It can make the difference between peace and chaos in our home. I am still learning (love my naturally organized friends!), but hope to share some of what I have learned so far here.

I was recently inspired by Erica over at Large Families on Purpose and got rid of 10 bags of stuff. I followed four rules of decluttering. I kept only items that

1. Fit us (or will fit a sibling in the next 2-3 years)

2. We have worn or used in the past year

3. I really like πŸ™‚

4. Could be a family heirloom. (like my wedding dress or the blanket my grandmother crotcheted)

I was ruthless. And you know what? It. Felt. Great.

After the decluttering (and isn’t that half the battle?), next comes organizing.

Here are four rules I follow when organizing:

1. Keep stuff close to where you use it.

2. Stuff that is used the least goes in the hardest to reach places (usually the top shelf)

3. Stuff that is used the most goes in the easiest to reach places. (right in front of you)

4. Use containers to hold items that don’t neatly stack.

As an example, here is my linen closet. I followed my four rules of decluttering by getting rid of all towels and sheets other than those we use all the time. (read my post on how we Color Code Towels). I gave away any placemats and tablecloths that had not been used in the past year and kept only my favorites, including my vinyl tablecloths.

I also followed my four rules of organizing by keeping blankets and seasonal items on the top shelf and floor, while the towels are right at kid height, and sheets are easy to reach. (We have two sheet sets per bed for little ones in case of accidents. Everyone else has one set for summer and one set for winter.) I kept seldom used quilts in a plastic tote, as well as my nice cloth napkins. Also, I followed rule number one by keeping only kid towels in this closet, since it is close to their bathroom. Mommy and Daddy’s towels go in our master bathroom, since that is where we use them. (more on that next week :))

Anyone else doing some spring organizing? Please comment! I would love hear about it or see your pictures!

Read Part 2: Master bathroom and closet

-Beth

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20 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by joyfilled on May 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Love it! I so enjoy seeing and reading about others organization and decluttering. I find decluttering to be a hobby now. When I really got into it about 4 years ago, it was hard to get the hang of at first (learning to let go of things, I guess) but now I really enjoy going through things and learning to live with less!

    I recently did some work in my children’s room (small room, little storage, 3 kids) with pics on my blog!

    Reply

  2. So organized! Love it πŸ™‚

    I’m a new follower from the Thirsty Thursday Hop!
    Please stop on by and follow me at http://www.mommydigger.com and say hello πŸ™‚

    Reply

  3. I also did some organizing this week…kid’s clothes.

    http://worldofwiedz.blogspot.com/2011/05/getting-organized.html

    Reply

  4. Thank you so much for this. I don’t always feel like decluttering but I always feel so much better afterwords.

    Reply

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. Looking at what others have done and how they do it helps me motivate myself to declutter! And it does feel so good afterwards, doesn’t it?

      Reply

  5. Just “hopping” over to visit from the HHH. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the great inspiration! Our church had a flea market and we did a bit of decluttering, but your post has given me the impetus to do even more! Have a great rest of your week! πŸ™‚

    Reply

  6. Here from HHH! Thanks for the tips. I am in the mood myself to try and organize some. Think I am going to work on it over the summer. I think my homeschooling days would be so much better if I didn’t feel like there was so much other stuff I needed to do or clean or organize!!

    Reply

    • Jenny, another gluten free homeschooler- yea πŸ™‚ Yes, I agree things tend to go much more smoothly when my home is well organized and clean! Summer is a great time for me to work on organizing, since our schedule is more relaxed.

      Reply

  7. What a great post. I’m in the process of getting ready to purge big time. My clothes have taken over my closet. You give a great set of guidelines. Thanks.

    –Rachel visiting from HHH

    Reply

    • Rachel, thanks for visiting! I know what you mean about clothes taking over your closet! And how is it that we usually only wear a fraction of what’s in there? πŸ™‚

      Reply

  8. This is so inspiring! You have me looking around my home trying to figure out what I can get rid of! (I’m reading Erika’s site right now too! lol)

    Reply

  9. I’m on the decluttering and organizing “bandwagon” too! It seems like spring is such a great time to do this! I have about 10-12 bags of donates (and 6 bags of trash went to the Transfer Station already). It’s AWESOME! LOL Stopping by from HHH!

    Reply

  10. I love your rules. I’m trying to get started. I really need to organize all my school supplies. I have a hard time figure out where things are when I need them.

    Reply

    • I finally found a way to store school supplies that I like. I’m going to post pictures of our schoolmroom next week!

      Reply

  11. […] presents Organizing the Homeschooling Home, Part 1 posted at Acorns and Oaks, saying, “A multi-part series on organizing the homeschooling […]

    Reply

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