Today I want to talk about the need to declutter your homeschool. I’ve taken some time off from blogging because in general to redo our homeschool room. When we moved into our new home designing the homeschool room was not high on our priority list when it came to where we were going to spend our money. We needed other furniture and to finish other projects to make other rooms functional first.
So for our first homeschool year at the new house we used a table that used to be in our basement for folding clothes, two cheap cabinets that I bought at our old house to hold homeschool supplies, a couple rolling carts and a small bookcase I purchased off of Amazon for books. We quickly outgrew those storage units and it wasn’t long before I had piles of books and other supplies on the floor. To make matters worse we even had the treadmill in the homeschool room as our original plan to put it in the basement was foiled as it wouldn’t fit through the doorway and there was limited places to put it (for now it’s in the sunroom after our homeschool room remodel). I even had to put our nice new color laser printer directly on the floor as we had no stand to put it on.
I had planned to redo the room at this time last year….and then Richard found out he was going to be laid off and we had to stop any house plans immediately and save all of our money as we didn’t know what the future held for us. So we continued homeschooling through the mess for a second year. After Richard’s job situation was resolved a few months ago, I finished designing and ordering everything we would need for the space. I knew I would be using Ikea for the furniture, but didn’t anticipate the long wait due to the pandemic to get that furniture. While I ordered in mid May, I didn’t receive my order until the 7th of July.
Knowing that I wanted to be able to get the room in order as soon as I received the furniture, I start on a massive declutter of our homeschool. I’d like to say I had it all done before the furniture got here, but that would be a lie. We were still homeschooling at that point and there was only so much I could do ahead of time while we still needed to work in the space on a daily basis.
When I did get through it all I was shocked at the amount of stuff I had allowed to accumulate. Old curriculum and teaching aids that should have been sold years ago were taking up valuable space in our homeschool. I still had items left over from our first year of preschool! It’s no wonder why I had to have stacks of things on the floor because there were boxes worth of old supplies in the cabinets that should have been sold earlier.
Not only did it mean we ran quickly out of storage space, it also meant that I couldn’t find the things I needed when I needed them. I can’t tell you how much time I have wasted looking for that one teaching aid that I knew I had, but couldn’t find. It’s frustrating and an unnecessary waste of time. I am normally so organized in other areas of my life but allowed the homeschool life to get out of control. And why? Well many reasons.
I let myself be swept up by nostalgia, with worrying that if I got rid of something I might need it again some day…or the worst reason…well I spent money on this and we haven’t used it or used it to it’s full potential so I HAVE to use it before I get rid of it. I mean really, if my child already knows how to do XYZ do I really want to create busy work just because I feel it is wasting money not to do so? Isn’t that just then wasting time, which can be just as bad, and irritating my child (and sometimes myself as well)? Is it really that important to appease my thrifty self? No. These are all horrible reasons to hang on to homeschool clutter.
So I urge you if you are a new homeschooler and haven’t gotten to this point yet, to do a yearly clean out. Declutter your homeschool supplies at least once a year, at the end of your school year, and really take a hard look at each item you keep. I had gotten rid of some old curriculum some time ago, but just kept moving things around or lying to myself that we would eventually use something until it was completely outgrown. Take the time to de-clutter and then sell or pass on those items.
Now I’m off to figure out prices to see about 5 boxes worth of curriculum and supplies…Thanks for reading!