Schoolroom Organization

Over at Get Along Home (my blog, which you should be reading), a friend asked about school room organization. Well, in this house, it’s easy. I put my shelves the way I want them, thusly:


Then I threaten anyone who dares to disturb my beautiful handiwork with whatever dreadful consequences I can come up with. After which, I watch in dismay as this happens:


There are, of course, ways to stop the mess from getting out of control, and I’m learning that shock collars are quite effective if I just spend half a minute after lessons straightening things up, my shelves–even our whole house—stay a lot closer to the first image than the second in appearance. Organization has never been a strong point of mine, but I am getting better at it!

We don’t have a school room, and I’m both happy and not-so-happy about that. Happy, because who wants to spend all day in one room? That would be kind of depressing, unless it was a really big room with lots of sunlight and puppies. But I’m also unhappy about our lack of space, because that shelf I’m showing you, along with two white-boards, a bulletin board, a small table for my computer and papers, and our printer stand are all in our dining area. People have to eat in the middle of all that. I’m actually afraid to invite people over for dinner, it’s so unappetizing.

I can’t imagine having a whole room devoted to school stuff. Actually, that’s not true. I can imagine it. I often do. I daydream about not having a giant shelf and filing cabinet full of puzzles, games, and curricula making my bedroom look like we’re planning to audition for Hoarders soon. Having all of my bookshelves in one room—a room to which I can close the door when company comes over, so they don’t see what the one year-old did with the magic markers while I wasn’t looking–sounds wonderful.  Sigh. Someday!

Next week, I’ll be talking lesson organization–also not a strong suit of mine, but I read lots of blogs, so I have ideas.

How about you, homeschoolers? Do you keep a room just for school supplies, or is your school stuff all over the place like mine is? I’m looking for help. If you’re a brilliant organizer, or just a more experienced homeschooler than I am (that would be pretty much all of you), leave a comment with your tips for organizing supplies and keeping things tidy. Or tell me your frustrations so I can sympathize! If you’re really feeling froggy, snap a few pictures of your neat and tidy (or comically messy) home and email them to me , along with your questions and comments so I can share them with the rest of the Mom Squad readers.


  1. We have a school room and it is a real challenge to keep it organized. At least once a year at my blog I post before and after makeover pictures. The before usually consists of lots of paper piles and stacks of books I acuquire at used book stores, garage sales and homeschool book fairs. I have a book and paper addiction.

    I actually did a video tour of how I organize things in my school room – it is one of my Squidoo lenses and you can see it here:

    I love your blog and your great sense of humor. I find humor essential to getting through a school day with boys.

  2. I have a fairly large playroom that I originally used as our school room during school, using an existing desk in the room to sit at. About 2 years ago our little ones were taking over the school time, climbing on the desk, snatching pencils/papers, etc. So, we now use the kitchen counter for school, but I still have a closet in the playroom dedicated, in part, to school supplies.

    I use the black plastic shelves from Lowes Hardware to hold our stuff. My dilemma is getting a good system for toting the supplies needed for the day’s school to and from the kitchen counter. Last year I used a bin that help the little things needed, pencils, sharpeners, flashcards, study cards, etc. My daughter actually goes to a school 2 days a week and we do the other 3 at home, so she has a backpack with all her school work that holds the rest.

    This year I’m thinking of still using the bin, but storing it in a kitchen cupboard, then restocking it at the end of the week. I would love any other examples of how people do it, though, as I think my disorganization leads to frustration on my part, as well as my daughter’s.

    • Ruth – after reading this post about 1 year-olds with magic markers, i realize that you should share with Cindy the boys’ exploites with purple permanent paint!!!

    • Ruth, have you thought about using workboxes to keep each week’s work organized? I haven’t tried it, but it sounds like a good idea for what you’re doing. BTW, thanks for the workbook! David loves it–mostly because it wasn’t my idea, probably, but whatever works!

  3. Thanks, Cindy. I almost cried when I saw the first picture. I was able to pull myself together when I saw the second one. 🙂 That is the hardest part for me. I want my girls to enjoy using all of the resources that I pull together for school, but that tends to result in the second picture. I am constantly working on finding the balance between giving them freedom and keeping my sanity. I am looking forward to reading other people’s ideas.

  4. We’ve lived in many places over the years and had many different types of areas for school – we’ve had a school room, we’ve had a teeny, tiny apartment where we had everything crammed in the “dining room” (and I use that term loosely!), but for most of the time we’ve just used whatever part of our house that we felt like and stored things wherever they fit. In the house we live in now I have two large bookshelves that fit nicely in the laundry room and those contain all of our school things. It’s nice because it’s out of the way and nobody sees it unless we want them to. 😉

  5. I don’t have a designated school room, either, which I prefer. But I’m with you on trying to corral school stuff when it’s spread out everywhere! Here’s a post I wrote on one way that works for me:

    And here’s our school spaces around the house: (I took strategic pictures to hide some of the mess and clutter, lol!)

    It’s reasonably organized, but I could definitely do better overall. I just haven’t figured out how!

  6. I live on a boat. A big boat but still a boat. Organization and simply finding enough space is extremely challenging for me. I am not a naturally organized person (an understatement) each child has a desk in their cabin with shelves for schoolbooks over it. My “teacher’s desk” is between their two cabins. This is where I grade and generally try to be available. Under the bunk behind my desk – incidentally a very tempting nap spot 🙂 – is where I keep extra supplies – extra exercis books, last years books, art, music, secret chocolate stash etc. In the center of our boat, down a hallway is the chart table where I keep my computer and printer- usually where I am when I should be at my teacher’s desk 🙂 I also keep some craft items here, lap book supplies, extra pencils, stapler, paper. It is a little complicated to say the least but it gets better ever time I come up with a new idea. The teachers desk that folds out is incredible helpful! Try to visualize it. Check out my blog if you need help 🙂 I don’ mean that th w I sounds 😉