The new year is here! Although it’s not a new school year yet, I thought it would be a great idea to talk about organizing your homeschool space as we’re all in declutter mode! So I’m going to share with you how to organize your homeschool room from school books to art supplies.
We’re just now going on our 3rd year of homeschooling, but we have experimented with different homeschool setups. We currently have a dedicated space, but we’ve also tried homeschooling at the kitchen table. We found having a dedicated room works best for our family to have a smooth homeschool day.
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Why We Have a Dedicated Homeschool Space
I realize not every home has an empty room sitting around. Just 4 years ago we lived in a 1200 sq. ft. small house, built in 1953 that had 1 closet for 5 people. We did have an extra space in the small room upstairs we could’ve used as a homeschool area had we been homeschooling at the time. But since building our new home, we have extra space in our basement. We currently use an extra bedroom as our homeschool room. Finding the right place that works for your family is truly what matters.
I didn’t realize how helpful a dedicated space would be to each of us in our family. But since my husband is self-employed and works from home most of the time, it helps that we have our separate space. So for a large portion of our mornings, he is in his office upstairs and we are in the basement.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to have a dedicated homeschool room! Hang around and hear simple tips from homeschool moms who homeschool at the dining room table, living room, in multiple areas, and in small spaces! I hope this gives you some fresh ideas for an organized homeschool space.
How to Organize Your Homeschool Room
1. Pick your space
You may choose a designated space in your home for your homeschool room. This could be a spare bedroom, office, or basement. Other options include the kitchen, dining room, living room, or a corner of a larger room. What I’ve found to be the most important is to have plenty of natural light in whatever area you choose. The room we currently use is a small bedroom in our basement, but it has a good size window for plenty of natural light. Having natural light isn’t only important for completing work, but it has an impact on our emotional health.
If you’re using a separate, designated area you will need to have some furniture. You can use tables and chairs, desks, and I’ve seen some add a couch or reading chair. In our short years of homeschooling, we’ve used multiple options, but our favorite has been our DIY desk and IKEA chairs (more details towards the end of this post). I love having a desk long enough for all of us to sit at. This allows me to sit between our 2 oldest and assist them as needed. We use a small hand-me-down desk with our computer inside of the closet since this room is actually a bedroom. That helps to open up the space a bit more and allows for a little quiet for the child working on the computer.
3. Organize Your Homeschool Room
This is also really important to your space. It may take a little experimenting with and it will likely change over time as you find what works best for you. Basically, every blog post you read here about organizing anything, I’m going to tell you to shop around your house first. I love shopping and buying new things, but I’m also into saving money and using things I already have! Some things you might already have on hand that you could use to organize your homeschool room: baskets, bins, mason jars, bookshelves, and chalkboard/whiteboard. Look around for anything that could be used to organize your homeschool room and put it in the room/area that you plan to use. But if you don’t have any of these things I’m going to share some budget-friendly ideas that have worked great for us below.
Lastly, decorate! You want your space to feel welcoming and inviting! You’re going to be spending a lot of time in this area. Add some wall art, plants, chalkboard, whiteboard, bulletin board. The options are endless! Invite your kids to help and have fun! I added 2 wire memo boards to our room this year! So we have a place to hang artwork as they create!
Favorite Products to Organize Your Homeschool Room
I absolutely love using mason jars to organize supplies like pencils, markers, scissors, glue sticks, and more! Literally use mason jars anytime I get a chance. They’re inexpensive, clear, and decorative.
Also, using something like a wooden box that has separators that can hold all of the supplies you would need daily is a great option that offers easy access!
Homeschool Curriculum Books
Last year we used a rolling cart with magazine holders to organize everyone’s books. This worked great until the baby started pulling everything over! So I decided to keep things semi-out of his reach this year with wire, metal wall baskets! They’re plenty deep enough that they hold all of the books each of the kids needs and I love the little chalkboard detail on the front for either their name or initial.
We hung these on the empty wall space directly above our DIY desk so everyone can reach what they need without getting up! Saves time for all of us!
Ok, this is when you might just have to break down and buy something! If you don’t already have a bookshelf, well you’re going to need one. Even if you’re a rookie homeschooler like myself, books are going to become an addiction and a bookshelf is just a good idea! Now, you don’t have to buy the grandest bookshelf that ever existed, but something that will house all the reading books.
We have one that my husband built several years ago and we also have a hand-me-down bookshelf that I spray painted.
Another option is to use the photo ledge shelves or spice racks! It’s a great way to display books as you’re using them throughout the year.
We first started with a hand-me-down desk and an IKEA sensory table. But it just wasn’t enough space so I borrowed a 6ft fold-out table from my parents. This did give us more room, however, it was so wide it took up quite a bit of space. So I decided to turn to the internet for help! I found a youtube video of a DIY desk that we altered a little to fit our needs! It has been perfect for our space!
Simple DIY Desk
We took 3 2x6s, 10ft long, and put them together with wood glue and wooden brackets underneath. Then filled the gaps in with wood filler, sanded, and slapped some stain on it. Lastly, we attached hairpin legs and anchored the table to the wall! It’s wide enough that there’s room to lay books and notebooks out, but not so wide it’s taking up half the room. So, it’s plenty long enough that I can fit 4, possibly even 5 chairs comfortably. This has finally given each of them their own space to complete schoolwork! The table cost about $100 which is pretty darn good for my sanity!
Even though we don’t have an IKEA close to us, I can’t resist checking online when I need something specific. But I found chairs for just $20 that are stackable and work well in our room! They’re functional and cute!
The last thing, shop around thrift stores and FB marketplace for things that can help organize your homeschool materials! You never know what you might be able to find! And spray paint is magical!
There are so many options to organize your homeschool room! I love using small containers, baskets, mason jars, and wall baskets. Having supplies on the wall helps to save space! You can use a shelf with pencils and other supplies and use the wall baskets for books!
Pick your space, pick your furniture, organize all the supplies and books you’ll be using, and then decorate!
Good lighting, some sort of desk or table and chairs, storage for supplies like crayons, pencils, etc, and also storage for books.
I found that our homeschool room stays organized if we are always sure to clean up at the end of each “school day”. Do a quick tidy of all supplies and books, clear all the flat surfaces off, and sweep the floor.
More from Other Homeschool Moms
Q&A with Lyndsey
We started informally when my oldest was around 4 years old, so it has been 5.5 years. Before motherhood though, I had the unique experience to be a private homeschool teacher for two children. Between these two children, this was my full time job for 3 years.
We homeschool in our dining room in a small home. I love creating a beautiful but functional space for our homeschooling. To do this, we have a lot of display pieces that are beautiful but also help us stay organized, like a baker’s hutch and open shelving. See a full homeschool room tour of our space.
Baskets! I love collecting baskets of all shapes, sizes, and styles for storing homeschool resources.
I can’t choose just one! My top three would have to be:
1. Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson
2. For the Children’s Sake by Susan Macaulay
3. Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
Get a vision for your homeschool before you start. Erase everything you know about education and build something fresh in your heart and mind about what childhood should look like and what success really is when it comes to education. Build your home education from the foundation of what your family’s values and goals are, not from what you experienced in education or what others are doing.
Q&A with Britani
Britani is a former public school teacher turned homeschool mom of 3. Follow her over on Instagram @britaniw5.
This is our first year homeschooling, we are about 4 months officially in.
I try to make the most out of our dedicated homeschool space by having what we will use most easily accessible so I can grab what we need and either get started in that room or take with us to a different location in the house/outside. I like using small totes that have everything I’ll need for the day, etc. I’ve also found it helpful to have things dedicated in our school space for the littles to play with or do while I’m working on school with my oldest.
My favorite organizational item would probably be my rolling cart – I have a drawer for each day with supplies we need. I can grab that drawer and go. It’s nice to organize everything I think we will need for the week beforehand so I’m ready and don’t have to try to entertain the kids or make them wait on me to gather everything together when they’re ready to start.
My favorite homeschool book I’ve read is The Call of the Wild & Free by Ainsley Arment. It’s the book that really cemented the idea of homeschool for me and showed me that it can look different for everyone, there’s no one “right” way, and really stretched my mind outside of the way I feel like I’m programmed as a person who went through the public school system as a student and taught in public schools for 6 years.
Be flexible and lower your expectations as you start out. I’ve had to humble myself and realize that school doesn’t need to take up a ton of time, especially for younger kids. They’re learning through life, so taking the pressure off myself to feel like I need to “keep up” with what everyone else is doing, what public schools are doing, etc has been helpful. I think working together as a family and determining what’s most important to the parents as an outcome for their kids’ education, looking at your kids interests and building on those, etc will help build a healthy homeschool environment and keep everyone in check as far as what should be focused on, what’s most important, and is easier to get rid of that pressure and sometimes guilt of feeling like you aren’t doing enough.
This year is currently our 3rd year homeschooling.
I just went through a big re-organization and upgraded storage. Everything definitely needs a place and needs to be functional because our area is used for multiple purposes.
Bookshelves, it really helps seeing all the books we have and not constantly be looking for them in storage which is what I was doing before.
That’s a tough one but either For The Children’s Sake or The Read Aloud Family both were some of the first books I had read for homeschooling.
Don’t be afraid to start new things and change anything that isn’t working for your children and you. Homeschooling has so much freedom!
Q&A with Allison
Allison is a homeschooling mom of 2 littles, with 1 on the way! Follow her on Instagram for ideas and encouragement for the little years @homeschoolinglittles.
I use a rolling cart to keep the most used daily items close at hand. Workbooks, art supplies and other materials are stored in magazine holders by category on a bookshelf in our schoolroom to keep things organized. I use rope baskets to store blocks, learning toys and wooden toys for the sensory table. I rotate read aloud books and keep just 2 baskets on a low shelf in our schoolroom for easy access.
Definitely the rolling art cart that I use to store the daily curriculum and books. It helps corral everything so I am always ready to go the next morning instead of running around searching for a particular book.
The Call of the Wild and Free by Ainsley Arment. I didn’t know any other homeschoolers before I started down this path so it really helped me feel part of a larger community and feel good about our decisions. I refer back to it all the time when I need a little pick me up!
God has equipped you to educate your own child. There is no other teacher who knows them better and loves your children more than you. There will be wonderful days, tough days and everything in between- it’s all worth it.
Lastly, I love this quote from Sarah Mackenzie in her book, “Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace”,
If you’re on LTK be sure to follow along and there’s even a post with supplies to organize your homeschool room. Love this post? Be sure to check out my homeschool tips for homeschooling with littles!