If your house is anything like mine was during our homeschooling years, keeping all of the materials organized was an ongoing battle. We were lucky we had a dedicated classroom with desks, file cabinets, bookcases, and storage bins, but there were times when the room got out of control. These are 3 things we used that helped tame the chaos just a little.
Stacking paper trays – We used a lot of these in our classroom. Each child had a set of stacking trays on their desk, and each tray had a designated purpose. The top tray was for completed work that needed my attention. The other trays were used for storing books and papers needed for the day.
I also had a set of stacking trays to store graded papers ready for filing, worksheets for immediate future use, and the rest of the trays held various types of blank paper.
Stacking plastic drawers – These were invaluable in keeping things neat in our classroom. The kids each had one of those small, 3 drawer units on their desks to store their school tools like pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, small rulers, flashcards, etc. We used the larger-sized ones to store just about everything else from construction paper to a variety of subject manipulatives.
What was so nice about these is that they can be found in a variety of sizes and can be configured to fit in a corner even with a slanted roof as we had in our classroom. And even though they are usually clear so you can see what's inside, we labeled the drawers to quickly find what we needed.
Index file boxes – We used a lot of index cards in our homeschooling. We made our own flashcards, used them to create mini reference charts for our subjects, and of course, we used them for note-taking. So, index file boxes were a must-have. They are also great for storing crayons, chalk, and other small things you like to keep together.
Here is a picture of one corner of our classroom from our early homeschool days around 2005 that shows how we used these tools.