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Day 2 of Organization ~ Start Here

Help! Where do I start? How did I end up with three copies of the same book? The last time I saw a pencil, it fell between the couch cushions! Does this sound like you?

Here are 7 simple (not necessarily easy) steps that will take you from harried to humming.

1. Purge. If you’re a pack rat, this may be the hardest step, but one of the major problems that a lot of people have with organizing is that they just have too much stuff. First of all, make sure that you aren’t hoarding actual trash. Second, evaluate whether you REALLY NEED that (whatever it is) RIGHT NOW. “But I might need it someday” is not a good reason to hang onto most things.
2. Make sure you have the proper tools. Repurpose clean soup cans or empty shoe boxes for storage (or purchase cutesy containers). Buy or make adequate shelves for the number of books you own. Be sure that each child has a designated space (desk, container, shelf, etc.) for her school things.
3. Keep like with like. Don’t store paint in three different rooms of your house or glue sticks in every kid’s sock drawer. Collect all of the markers and store them in one spot.
4. Label everything. I love, love, love my label maker, but you don’t need one in order to get organized. A sharpie and some masking tape will do. Label containers so there’s no excuse for anyone not to be able to return things to their proper homes. For younger children, put a picture on the container.
5. Make lists–and keep track of them! Attach the grocery list to the fridge with a magnet, have a notebook or file folder for curriculum lists. Make lists of books borrowed or lent.
6. Put it back. For some reason, that sounds easier than it is for some people. Studies have shown (no, I don’t have documentation, but I remember reading it somewhere sometime) that it takes less time to put 1 book back as soon as you’re done with it than it does to locate, pick up, and return 10 books to different spots on the shelf.
7. Train your kids to keep things picked up and tidy (my sympathies and complete understanding if you’ve got a messy teen; I have one, too!!). Teach them to put toys back in the right bins as soon as they’re done playing with them. Teach them how to properly shelve a book.

These simple changes won’t happen overnight, but you can make them happen. Do one step a day, or one step a week until you’re well on your way to a more organized homeschool.

Remember the conference giveaway! Please be sure to visit the other blogs along the hop:

10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori |  Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool |  Delightful Learning

Brought to you by Heart of the Matter Online.

26 thoughts on “Day 2 of Organization ~ Start Here”

  1. I know I have my homeschool things spread out all over the house. Some in living room, some in kitchen, etc. Just haven't figured out how to group all together yet. No specific room for homeschool is available in this house, but I'm working on tweeking things. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  2. These are very helpful suggestions. We are working hard at #7. I realized that I've got to get our boys helping around the house more and am looking forward to implementing a chore schedule. Thank you!

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  3. Great tips! Sometimes I feel like all I do is nag at the kids to put their things away when they are done with them. I guess I am just an eternal optimist hoping someday it will sink in. Doesn't seem anything I try works. I have designated areas for all of their supplies and school books, everything labeled with my trusty label maker and try to implement regular pick-up times throughout the day. Look forward to reading the rest of this series.

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  4. I have definitely been trying to teach my kids to clean up. My almost 5 year old is really really resisting lately! I'm not sure how to encourage him more!

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  5. Excellent suggestions. I am working on getting all the kids toys purged, containerized and labeled. Then we'll be doing the rotation thing so the old stuff will seem new every few weeks/months.

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  6. I also have a hard time getting rid of things I \”might\” need later! I need to work on that. I have been wanting to get a label maker. Thanks for confirming that it would be a good investment!blessedbyhim4ever@yahoo.com

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  7. The labeling is SUCH A HUGE HELP. I was amazed two summers ago at how much more organized our play space became when I put pictures on clear plastic shoe boxes that stacked on low shelves. Even my toddler enjoyed putting things in their place, and EVERYONE could help with clean-up, no excuses. It also helped with the purging – once a box was full, extras got discarded (after all, how many plastic army men, bouncy balls, and finger puppets does one family need?!). Thank you for the tips!sandsmertz gmail com

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  8. Oh I am so excited about this blog hop and specifically this topic. I am in need of such help in this area. We're not awful, terrible, unorganized around here. Thank goodness for my husband but I think I need the help. I fall into the category #1 warns of. It's scary and I need to go against my natural inclinations all the time. I want to get organized, I really really do. Thanks for helping!

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  9. Ok, so any tips for storing the collection of soup cans and shoe boxes that I am planning to use to make holders to organize all the stuff that needs organizing? I'm sure you'll post some great tips over the remaining 8 days. Thanks for your ideas. I'm going to go throw out those t.p. rolls I've been hanging onto, \”just in case\” :o).

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  10. Your first sentence made me laugh out loud. Whenever we can't find any more pencils to do school we know it's time to clean out the couch cushions! There are usually about a dozen down in there.

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  11. I like your list of tips! First of all I just like lists. =) But they're good tips, too. We do most of these already but it's definitely time to purge again and do some cleaning up.

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  12. That is sooo me….can't find the pencil….I have too much stuff…I need to clean out….I have the \”I might use that one day\” books on my shelf….but it is too much…decluttering is #1 on my list!! Thanks! gcsteacher2@yahoo.com

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