An Inside Look at Homeschool Organization for Small Spaces

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My husband and I have a bunch of kids and a small house. There’s no space for a separate homeschool room. So over the years, I’ve developed simple tricks for homeschool organization for small spaces to keep my homeschool functioning and neat in a small space.

A look at homeschool organization for small spaces.

My Secret to a Well-Organized Homeschool

My secret to a well-organized homeschool? Crates.

The system is simple. Each child has their own crate. These crates hold their school supplies and are stored under end tables or chairs.

Each morning, as the kids are ready to start their school day, they grab their crates, head to their favorite spot, and begin their studies.

Almost everything the kids need is in their crates. Even my 1st grader can grab hers and get started with penmanship.

What’s in the crates:

  • Textbooks
  • Literature books
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Working binder
  • Paper
  • Pencil case
    • pencils & pencil sharpener
    • colored pencils or crayons
    • protractors, rulers, & compass for older children
    • scissors and glue for younger children
  • Teacher’s manuals

Crates give me an easy home for our school supplies.

Simple Filing System

Every summer I spend hours upon hours printing and filing almost every single piece of paper we’ll need for the school year.

Maps are printed. The kids’ Student Activity Pages from Tapestry of Grace are printed and filed. My master reading assignment sheets are printed.

The goal is the keep my homeschool as close to open and go as possible.

The filing system itself is simple. I have 36 hanging files labeled Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, etc.

In each hanging file, there were 7 folders, now there are only 5 folders. I have a colored folder at the front with any materials I need for the week. This includes answer keys, lesson plans, and reading assignments.

Each child still homeschooling has a manila folder with their name on it. In it goes any papers that correspond to this week’s studies.

Learn about homeschool organization for small spaces with these four simple tips. You don't need a homeschool room nor do you need to live in chaos. Read to learn more!

As a funny, my second son was rather ho-hum about high school graduation until he came downstairs to see me removing his 36 folders from my homeschool crate in preparation for the next school year.

He stood over me beaming.

Then he gleefully took over pulling his folders out. I guess nothing says graduation like mom pulling your file folders out of the homeschool filing system.

Make your homeschool as close as possible to open-and-go with a simple filing system.


In addition to the crates, I keep a bookshelf for reference books and other homeschool books used by more than one child. I prefer to keep these books available for any child who needs them rather than squirreled away in someone’s crate.

The bookshelf does tend to get rather full and untidy by the end of the school day.

My kids tend to pile the books on the shelf rather than neatly sliding them back into place. It’s a small price to pay for the ease of having one spot for homeschool books.

Here's the shelf I store our general homeschool books, as well as books I don't want tossed into the crates. Library books have been known to disappear in the crates.
Here’s the shelf I store our general homeschool books, as well as books I don’t want to be tossed into the crates. Library books have been known to disappear in the crates.

Homeschool Throughout the House

The kids start the homeschool day diligently at the kitchen or dining room table. The next thing I know I have a teen curled up in the living room reading Frankenstein. Another child is swinging their feet above the sofa while they read upside down.

My youngest has grabbed the counting teddy bears and pattern blocks to set up an intricate game on the floor. Walking around the house now means tiptoeing through the teddy bears.

I do keep the kids from homeschooling in their bedrooms as I’ve discovered bedrooms are black holes. School supplies enter the rooms never to be seen again.

Bedrooms are black holes. School supplies enter the rooms never to be seen again.

Homeschool organization for small spaces requires planning when you have a large family!

What are your best homeschool organization tips for a small space?

homeschool organization for small spaces

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  1. We love bins! Each of my 3 kids has two bins: an independent bin and a one-on-one bin. I use multi-purpose bins from the Container Store and put them in my Expedit bookcase.

    I don’t feel like we homeschool in a small space (our house is about 1700 SF for 5 people–2 adults and 3 children), but it definitely isn’t a huge space, so we still have to keep things well organized.

    And I hear you about the bedrooms being a black hole. We call our kids’ room “The Vortex” instead though because so often the children themselves sneak off to their rooms and forget to come out to complete their work. LOL

    1. Kids sneaking off to their bedrooms has happened here a few times. Eventually we did an informal ban on schoolwork in the rooms. Not only do books get lost, but kids get distracted, lol.

      I love your idea for an independent bin and a one-on-one bin. Currently I’m tossing both groups of materials into the kids’ crates. The youngest children have very little they can do independently while the teens have very little that needs to be one-on-one. 🙂

  2. What great encouragement and inspiration. Thanks for this! Your advice is always so practical. I think having some outdoor space is key to making this situation work well.

    1. Depending upon where you live, outdoor space could be just the ticket! I’ve lived most of my life in areas where it’s either rains or snows during the winter. Doing schoolwork outside rarely occurs to me. 🙂

      1. We have plans of doing schooltime at the beach each Friday (weather permitting) before jumping in 🙂 Hoping it will be motivation to finish up work during the earlier part of the week.

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