Organizing Homeschool Books Where You Use Them

So this year I have one child in primary school, one in middle school and I’m homeschooling my oldest who is in grade 10.  The homeschooling is new to us this year.  As in we’ve never done it before.  She’s actually doing it through an online Christian school and she has teachers other than me (thank goodness for her!).

This post is about how we go about organizing homeschool books, binders and notebooks.  Originally I thought she might use the dining room table to work or even the desk in her room.  But now that we are into it a couple of weeks we’ve realized that those two locations, while great places to work, aren’t where she prefers to park herself.  Nope, instead of a good old fashion table and chair for schooling, she prefers the coziness of the couch in the living room.  I think it’s because she’s closer to me here and loves to be entertained by the singing and dancing I do..ALL.DAY.LONG.  She’ll never admit it of course, but I know that’s why.

So as you can imagine it didn’t take me long to start twitching over all her books left lying around on the couch and coffee table.  It was still a room to sit back and have a coffee with visitors after all.

Once I realized this is where she was going to work everyday, I quickly went into organize mode.  Find a place to store the supplies when not in use so this momma didn’t go crazy!

My philosophy is if you can’t fight it, figure out how to make it work.  Store stuff where you use it.

So I did.  In fact I knew exactly what I was going to do.

Six years ago I blogged about the most awesome basket I found that fit right underneath my coffee table and way back when this was the perfect solution for storing baby toys.  Now my “baby” is almost 7…wah!

Over the years, as my family’s needs have changed, this basket has served many many purposes.  It’s been used to hold things like puzzles and games to couch blankets and crochet projects in progress.  I love this basket!  It was purchased at a grocery store of all places.

An afghan I was working on a few years back:

Well now this basket has evolved again and has most recently become our homeschooling basket.  Books and binders are stored where we use them but out of eyesight which is a win-win all around.  Love it when that happens!

Do you have an evolving basket or bin?  Where does it live in your home?

Filed under: Clutter Control, Kid Stuff, Living Room, Organizing Basics, Organizing Solutions, School Stuff


14 Responses to Organizing Homeschool Books Where You Use Them

  1. 1
    Alli says

    I have a basket like that. When I first got it, I used it to hold our (then) toddler’s books. As he got older the books moved into his room, and I used the basket to hold the bath towels in the linen closet. When we put our house on the market, I moved it to the living room and used it for a quick way to clean up toys before showings. And now, in our new home, I’m using it to help corral recyclables during the day, instead of trekking out to garage multiple times a day. It’s been such a versatile organizing tool, and well worth the investment!

  2. 2
    Tam H says

    I have had a small rectangular plastic transparent pink bin that I have owned as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, it held bows or toys, then in high school, it held my photos. I took it with me to college to hold my scarves, and now years later it holds my baby’s small toys. Every now and again I consider getting rid of it, but then I repurpose it. It is so durable and useful, it would be a shame. Now I feel like I have to keep it forever as a rememberence that I have been an “org junkie” since I was a little girl 🙂

  3. 3
    Hilda @ From Overwhelmed To Organized says

    I love your “if you can’t fight it, figure out a way to make it work” philosophy! I’ve been frustrated too many times fighting losing organizing battles and I’m finally starting to just figure out how to make something work instead. Much better!

  4. 4
    Becky L says

    There’s always something useful for a basket. I like your new purpose for the basket. I think I need to do that with our adult daughter that’s going on-line university, studying criminal justice. I just bought her a plastic crate basket from Big Lots. I’d love to have you come and reorganize our office that’s almost her office since she still has stuff all over and I can’t get to my spot. It’s about time to junk the papers that are sitting around and put stuff in a big storage bin, which I need to empty of some clothes my mom’s not gonna wear. Long story. So anyway, um have a great weekend! Good for you to home school. I did it for years and you can too….I’m sure you are better than you think you are, I know how that goes! :0) Hugs!

  5. 5
    hsmominmo says

    I adore your coffee table basket, and have followed it’s many lives here on your blog! Makes me want to run out and get a coffee table, so I can have a basket under it just like Laura!
    And I love that your daughter’s favorite study spot is close to mom. What a terrific companion for you.
    I cannot even begin to name all the boxes and baskets and bins in our home that have evolved from one purpose to another.
    I have 2 of the plastic 3-drawer-units that started out as a dresser for a new baby, became my traveling bins for packing toddler clothing on vacation (they fit perfect in the back of an SUV), and now they house my many sewing patterns.
    As always, you inspire and motivate, thanks!

  6. 6
    My Personal Estate Agent says

    I love storage boxes, especially ones which are stackable and that can be stored in one another. I love things to be organised too, makes thigns easier to find!

  7. 7
    Jen says

    My son does his bookwork in the living room too. We also homeschool. We have a tall narrow shelf beside the couch, which now that I think of it, is really just for his stuff. The homeschooling books are on the top shelf with the dictionary, pencils etc. The shelf beneath is for his building blocks, and various toy figures, and the shelf beneath that is for lego. I too gave up trying to get him to play with these things in his room, and I’m so much happier I got this shelf in here. It makes vacuuming a lot easier. 😉

  8. 8
    Morgan Tyree says

    Great solution for book storage. I am currently homeschooling my three kiddos and am always tweaking our systems. We use a closet to store their books and I love the MEAD Notebooks that hold all of ther individal workbooks.

  9. 9
    Jack Tyler says

    I have one at the top of my drawer where I place my pencils, notebooks, and other stationery that I often use. My mom bought it for me, because she said she didn’t want to see my things scattered on the floor because i like studying on the floor best than behind the study table.

  10. 10
    Jill says

    I love it when we find solutions like this!!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.