Welcome back to our Back to School Survival Series! We are thrilled you are here.
As many homeschoolers know, clutter is part of our every day lives. What if I told you that starting today you can start a journey to be clutter free? Well, with your homeschool table anyway. Let me show you how!
Is your homeschool table:
- always covered in books
- scattered with papers
- smattered pencils, pens, and paperclips
- impossible to find your teachers manuals and textbooks
I get it! It used to plague me too.
Keeping your table clutter free is a never-ending endeavor for veteran and newbie homeschoolers alike. Thankfully, we live in a day and age where we can easily research ideas and get experiences from other families on what has worked and what hasn’t. Hopefully, this gives you some new ideas for keeping your homeschool table – whether it is in a dedicated school room or the kitchen – clutter free for this upcoming school year.
I have become a lot less cluttered since moving. Let me tell you how!
Click next to learn my secrets to clutter free living.
My journey to clutter free
So, you want to be clutter free too?
Once upon a time, in the not so distant path, I lived in a one story home that had 4 bedrooms plus a bonus room. The bonus room was huge and with it having no closet and a nice big window, it became our school room. I had shelves and bookcases, posters and toys, a classroom sized white board. It was the stuff of dreams. Unfortunately, dreams end but that doesn’t mean the organization has to.
We have moved since then and while I miss our one story house with a bonus room, I also enjoy our two story townhouse that has a dining room away from the view of my front door; our kitchen table has become our homeschool table. This is the nature of being a military family and having an arsenal of tricks is what has helped keep the table clutter free and space for us to gather as a family.
My main trick is that at the end of our school day, I require my children to clean their work-spaces. If I had to get it down for them they leave it but having everyone pitching in is what helps keep the kitchen table from being cluttered. It is also nowhere near our main entrance which means our kitchen table does not become a dumping ground for mail, purses, bags, etc.
If you are schooling at your kitchen table, here are some other tips to keep the kitchen table clutter free while still maintaining functionality.
Click next to find out how to be clutter free outside of he kitchen.
My favorite options to keep the work-space clutter free
I have three of them of varying height. This works perfectly as we have a wonderful window to let the morning light in while we are doing school. Bookshelves have a lot of usable space. Due to the varying shelf levels of a traditional bookshelf to fixed dimensions like what IKEA can give you, you are only limited by your imagination.
Here is how I maximize the space of 3 bookcases:
- I line them all up against one wall – the furthest from the entrance to the table. This makes grabbing anything from that area intentional.
- Dedicate a few shelves just for school books and curriculum.
- Dedicate a shelf or two to just children’s books that they are free to roam. I like keeping our curriculum and personal books separate in case I want to sell the curriculum later on.
- If you are using part of your bookshelf for personal, reference and recipe books, dedicate a shelf or two to them.
- Don’t be afraid to double stack books. Our IKEA bookshelf is deep so I put similar sized books and double stack them putting ones I’ve already read towards the back. On our wider but not deep shelves, I stack on top of each other.
- Use the top of the bookcases to store supplies and other curricula you don’t want little hands getting into.
Supplies, supplies, supplies. Papers, pens, markers, and more. Back to school sales are just as fun for supply junkies as it is for the kids but making sure you have the storage for these supplies is important too. This one doesn’t take an IKEA either. Michaels, Target, and Walmart all have great options for supply storage. The key is to think outside the box. Just because a storage container is in the bathroom section doesn’t mean that it won’t work for other areas of the house.
How do you keep these bigger pieces of furniture clutter free?
Don’t worry, I have some great ideas on how to keep these big pieces of furniture clutter free too. Click next to find out what I use.
Here are some clutter free tools I have used for years. I call them my sanity savers.
Multi-sectioned carousel. I got this one at Michael’s for 50% off plus I was able to use a coupon. It is normally $49.99 but if you wait for a great sale and use a coupon, you can walk out of there only paying $20 maybe less. This is my saving grace too. I have room for my markers, pencils, pens, glue sticks, scissors. You could even divide the sections up by children so that they can only grab from their designated area.
Sterilite containers! These things are the bomb! I personally like the ones that have the side snaps that come over the top of the lid. They stack well and can hold quite a bit. This is a great way to stock up on crayons, glue, pencils, and anything that you consistently run out of during the middle of the year or need to replenish and organize effectively so you aren’t searching for or forgetting about later on.
Magazine holders. These hold workbooks and teacher’s manuals so well. Get different colors for each kid or subject.
Oh, how I adore rolling carts. I have two from IKEA and have them hold various projects for the kids. These can be used to hold all the material for the day/week, turn in basket, or you can use them as workboxes. Even the sterilite containers can be stacked to provide storage options. If you don’t have any rolling carts or don’t want one but want the benefit of having some storage, opt for a piece like this storage container. It’ll give you a hard surface to put supplies or a turn in basket plus the storage drawers hide anything you really don’t want to see!
There are so many ways to organize a schoolroom. When your dining table also becomes your schooling table, organization is important to keep your sanity while having an environment that is inviting.
The best part is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get functionality and storage to keep your table clutter free. All you need is some inspiration!
Here is some encouragement to help you get your home clean and organized.
- 4 Ways to Motivate Your Children to Help You Clean
- Surviving Housework with Kids
- How to Keep Your Homeschool Table Clutter Free
- Teach Your Children to be Helpful
- Teach Your Children to do a Job Well
- To the Mom Who is Doing it All Wrong
- Confessions of a Stinky House
This post is part of the Back to Homeschool Series by The Multi Taskin’ Mom. It was written by my friend Amanda.
Get to know Amanda:
Amanda is taking advantage of the hot and humid summer days to prepare for the introduction of another soul to the homeschooling table. You can find her binge watching Netflix, enjoying crisp cucumbers, or (im)patiently waiting for school supplies to go on sale. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and her Blog – Green Tea + Cotton.
This series brought to you by:
Don't miss out on these articles...
Latest posts by Stephanie Eidson (see all)
- Swan Facts Color and Copywork - July 20, 2018
- 15 Shark Themed Resources - July 19, 2018
- 6 Essential Oils That May Help With Anxiety - July 18, 2018
- August Planning Pack for Children Free for Limited Time - July 13, 2018