This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand® for IZEA Worldwide. All opinions are 100% mine. Take a homeschool room tour and check out our homeschool room setup! It is full of homeschool organization for small spaces ideas!
A few months ago we moved into a bigger place and left the world of apartments behind!
We now rent a 4-bedroom house with an office and it is seriously amazing! With seven people in our family, homeschooling, and working-from-home, we definitely needed the upgrade!
We decided to make our fourth bedroom our designated school room for homeschooling and continue to cram all five kids into two bedrooms like before.
Best decision ever! I love having a designated school room! It means we are no longer doing homeschool at the dining room table or on the couch. It means our homeschooling supplies are no longer staring guests in the face as they sit in the living room to visit with us.
However, even with a designated school room, it is not the biggest space, and it has to fit myself and 3+ homeschooling children in it at the same time.
Also, because we are renting, we are limited in the following ways:
- We cannot build cabinets or attach other more permanent storage items to the walls
- We don’t want to put much up on the walls so as to not damage them (so we get our rental deposit back)
- We don’t have a ton of money to invest in storage, bookcases, supplies, curriculum, and so on nor do we want to spend money on these things. We prefer to keep it as minimalistic and simple and decluttered as possible.
- My children like to destroy things… Or I am worried they will always break things (like one of our cabinet doors was broken off after moving here)
All of this means our homeschool room is NOT super pretty or colorful as it has nothing on the walls. But, I assure you I’ve done my best to figure out homeschool room organization.
I want to do a homeschool room tour and share with you all the little things we’ve done in our new home (and in our previous apartment) for homeschooling in a small house, and what our current homeschool room setup looks like as we enter into a new school year!
Homeschool Organization for Small Spaces
In our last home, we did not have a designated homeschool room or area really. We just had our main living area and did school work at our dining table (which is a pain since you HAVE to clean it off before lunch and dinner).
In our living area, we bought two small cabinets, put some magnetic baby locks on them to keep the toddler out of their stuff, and put some other items in the back of our downstairs, under the stairs, coat closet (mostly homeschool storage and crafting items).
In our new home, we still use the same two cabinets (though one is missing a door), one for arts and crafts supplies and one for their homeschool curriculum.
Homeschool Room Organization for Arts & Crafts
The arts and crafts are minimal. I don’t craft much, but have some construction paper, scissors, gel pens, colored pencils, washable crayons (so I don’t have to remove crayon from walls later), washable markers, some watercolor paints and paper, coloring books, glue sticks, stickers, notebooks, and pads of paper.
We do have additional crafting supplies and materials like acrylic paint, tissue paper, rulers, buttons, ribbons, wrapping paper, fabric, sewing machine, hot glue guns, and so on in the room’s closet, mostly on the top shelf where kids can’t just get into it.
As you can see in the above picture, we’ve installed magnetic door locks on them in order to keep a baby and/or toddler out of it, and put our electric pencil sharpener on top of this cabinet.
Homeschool Curriculum Organization
We currently homeschool three of our five children. Our twins are in third grade this year and our son is in Kindergarten. Our 3-year-old daughter is often lurking around in the room during school time and may get some preschool things here and there. This means we need homeschool curriculum for 3-4 children ready to be pulled out each and every day.
In years’ previous, our homeschool has mainly consisted of math and English. This year we’re adding in regular History and Science lessons which means additional curriculum at the ready.
To help keep everyone’s homeschool supplies organized, make efficient use of our cabinets, I made some DIY magazine holders from large, empty cereal boxes and some fun Duck tape!
Duck® brand duct tape is known for its quality and innovation and they now include a vibrant assortment of Color Duck Tape® like purple, fluorescent green, pink, orange and yellow, and floral. They also come in fun Printed Duck Tape® designs and prints like herringbone, cacti, mermaid, neon floral, and marble.
The kids had fun picking out who would get which pattern or color for their curriculum box and they loved helping me with this project! They helped me measure and cut the “Family Size” cereal boxes (or bigger) down to our desired size.
From top to bottom, my magazine holders were 11.5 inches tall. I measured out two inches across at the top and then angled it down to 5 inches tall at the bottom.
I did the tape lines (cause I wanted them to be as neat as possible) and wrapped the box in Duct tape using one long strand from the inside of the box all the way around to the inside of the box on the other side of the box.
Once all the lines were done, I put an extra piece of Duct tape over the jagged edges on the inside of the box to ensure all homeschool materials would slide in and out easier and it would look prettier.
And bonus! My kids and I experimented and figured out how to use the Duck tape to make pencil holders and an eraser holder on the end of the magazine folder boxes so they will always have a pencil and eraser handy!
To make these, we laid two pieces of Duck tape slightly overlapping on top of each other, both with sticky sides up. Then we put a small strip (big enough to hold 2+ pencils or an eraser, which for us was the size of the roll of Duck tape) face down in the middle of the sticky-side up Duck tape. We then trimmed down the edges, leaving the overlapped sticky tape there to adhere to the magazine holders.
There are several reasons I am very excited about these Duck tape DIY magazine holders as part of our homeschool room organization!
Not only are they bright and colorful (yeah!) but by putting each of my children’s daily curriculum, workbooks, and notebooks in these magazine file holders, I’m making it super easy for them to grab and go! It keeps the cabinet less cluttered and confusing. It clears up space on our table work surface when we are actually doing school, and keeps everyone’s stuff together and not on this shelf and that one, or in that place and the next.
If you can’t tell, many of these things were problems for us this past school year so I am super excited about using these (and hope they really prove to be beneficial!).
The things we aren’t using daily are in the cabinet below, ready to be used and roughly organized by subject and/or age. This includes things like math wrap-ups, flashcards, workbooks, and dry erase boards.
We also have our scriptures and piano books in this cabinet.
Organize Old Curriculum
Each year it is important to go through your homeschool curriculum and supplies stash and figure out what you need to keep, what you should try to sell via local Facebook groups, ebay, or Half Price Books, what you should donate somewhere, and what you should toss.
My recommendation is to only keep what your next child will use and to remember to pull it out when they get that age! If there is something special in a book, rip it out and save it but then toss it away! It’s highly likely you won’t pull out most of this stuff during the year anyway as you’ll have your daily curriculum taking up most of the time and focus.
All the homeschool curriculum I wanted to keep and store, I stacked in a pile and put on the top shelf in my closet… fancy-like… and have some in a storage tub (loose papers and workbooks).
Homeschool Room Books & Bookcases
As we build our library with more great books, it’s important to have a bookcase (or two or more) in your school room. We have both reference books that we can pull out for lessons and extra learning, but also short chapter books for my big girls to read each day.
We have a little chair in the middle this year where I plan to encourage my three-year-old to sit and quietly look at books or color while we’re doing school time.
We don’t have a ton of books, as we still like going to the library to check out helpful books and resources there (for free) too, and I don’t like having too much stuff, so the book buying is kept to a minimum.
I also have a small, hard “basket” at the top of my bookshelf where I usually place random items I pick off the floor (like LEGO pieces, crayons, small toys, markers, etc) to be put away later.
A Place to Work
When it comes to doing school work, all you need is a place to sit and a flat surface to work on. There is no need to have individual desks, or a designated school table. We schooled at our one and only dining room table for several years and though less convenient, it works.
In our new rental home, I wanted a table IN the school room so we wouldn’t have to run back and forth to the homeschool room for supplies or other things we needed. I wanted everything to be a step or two away.
We decided to go with a folding table instead of a solid piece of furniture. The reason for this is so we can use the room for other things as needed. Guests, piano lessons or recital, playing games, or lying on the floor all require space that a large solid table would not afford us as readily and easily as a folding table!
Along with the table we picked up some stackable padded chairs. All can easily be placed in the corner so other things can happen in this room.
When it’s time for school or arts and crafts or games, we set up the table and chairs and sit around it all together and work. There is still plenty of room around the table to have access to things too, but not a ton.
Piano & Piano Books & Audiobooks
Our twins are taking piano lessons now so we have put the piano in the school room as well, though mostly because this room is at the front of the house, away from every other room so it’s not as loud when they play on it.
They don’t currently have a lot of piano books and papers, so they mainly stay on the piano itself. Additional hymn books and such are kept in the curriculum cabinet right next to it.
We also recently put in a Google Home Mini in our school room which is great for doing things like setting timers for reading or school time, listening to audiobooks on it, playing music, and asking questions that come up during our homeschool lessons!
Homeschool Room Games and Puzzle Storage
Puzzles are great for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids and adults too! I personally love puzzles (even if I can’t do 2000 piece puzzles much due to a lack of a designated space for it for several week) and we have quite a collection of them.
While some puzzles we have kept in their original boxes, many many kids puzzles have ended up in various sized Ziploc bags and kept in our soft red bin.
I am generally not a fan of these storage cube bins as when I’ve used them in the past (for homeschool stuff and arts and craft supplies) I found that they eventually turn into a “wasteland of crap” and everything gets completely unorganized in them. Totally not practical for frequent use! But, they are perfect for holding puzzles in bags of various assortments.
I also decided to go through all of our puzzles and better organize them using some more Duck tape!
The kids and I assembled the puzzles, took pictures of them, put Duck tape on the outside of the Ziploc bags, trimmed the excess on the edges, printed off the pictures we took of the completed puzzles, cut those out, and then used packing tape to tape the picture to the outside of the bag. We labeled them with a name (made up by us) and how many pieces make up the puzzle.
This also helps us know if we are missing pieces and where each piece goes and for harder puzzles, what the puzzle actually looks like! Total homeschool organization win!
We don’t have a ton of board or card games (something I want to work on improving over the next year) especially not kids games, and few are “educational.” But, what we have mostly fits on a small bookcase in our closet.
We keep other odds and ends stuff like math manipulatives and dry erase boards next to our curriculum cabinet. Some school supplies are in my office drawers (tape, bigger scissors, permanent markers, tacks, rubber bands, etc) as well as printer paper and our laminator.
Some papers and crafts end up taped up on our walls (so fancy again aren’t we?) for a while and then are taken down and replaced with new projects.
We did recently purchase a small dry erase calendar that we also taped up on the wall. Throughout the year we may end up putting some items on the walls, but only if we can easily put them up and down and hopefully not damage the walls.
Extra erasers (we bought a giant container of 100 erasers) are kept on the top shelf of my closet as my children have already proven they will just take out all 100 of them and playing with them like they are roads and drive cars on them and I don’t want 100 erasers exploding all over the room all the time (or for them to be chewed on or stabbed by pencils…).
And that’s the homeschool room tour! I hope you enjoyed learning about our homeschool room setup and how we do homeschool organization for small spaces. My hope is that it will encourage you in your homeschooling to keep things simple, practical, and organized.