Top 10 Ways to Curb Homeschool Curriculum Clutter (Besides Just Throwing It Away)

Living a clutter-free homeschool lifestyle seems unobtainable because of the massive amount of homeschool curriculum along with paper, projects, and arts and crafts that go with it. Is it even possible to curb homeschool curriculum clutter?!?

Top 10 Ways to Curb Homeschool Curriculum Clutter (Besides Just Throwing It Away)

Having used many organizing methods, look at these top 10 ways to curb homeschool curriculum clutter that have worked for me.

ONE | Use Part eBook-Based Curriculum

Using part of the curriculum as ebooks allows us to share between devices and there is no limit on how many ebooks you can own. Not only does your home benefit from having less in it, but having curriculum at your fingertips when traveling or living overseas without packing books is a bonus.

TWO | Use External Hard Drives

When living overseas, I freed up more room in our home by transferring some of my kids’ books to an external hard drive. I purchased a slim hard drive connected by a USB port with a 3 terabyte capacity.

THREE | Take Photos and Create a Slideshow of Projects

When my boys were really young, I kept every single craft they did and perished the thought that I would throw away anything. Many years later, after overflowing crafts of three kids, I had to redefine my priorities. Capturing a project through a photo and creating a slideshow on your device is an incredible organizing tip and a super fun way of sharing it with family and friends.

How to Quickly Curb Homeschool Clutter

FOUR | Keep It ‘Hanging’ Around

I laugh at myself now, but when five of us lived in an 800 square foot cabin, I used open-topped picture frames in our bathroom for changing out art work and writing assignments my sons had completed. Keeping school work hanging out in the open made my sons’ work part of my home ‘decor.’

FIVE | Use Google Drive

Google Drive is another way to store my teens’ work and books. At the high school level, where a lot of the writing is typed, my sons could upload their documents onto a shared file in Google Drive. I could review their writing and put it back in the file. An unexpected benefit of this type of sharing is that it gets my sons used to collaborating, which is the way a lot of colleges and businesses now communicate.

SIX | Buy More Multi-Level Resources

Another sanity-saving tip in keeping clutter to a minimum is to pay a little extra for a multi-age curriculum. When space has been limited in my home, I have cleared out the clutter by making multi-level resources priority. Money spent on resources used year after year has been well worth the investment.

SEVEN | Store in 3-Ring Binders

Instead of waiting until the end of the year to put away clutter, train your child to put his completed papers away right then by assigning each child a 3-ring binder.

Too, by adding punched holes to Ziploc bags, I have added small crafts and stored them in binders. Ziploc bags are perfect for organizing small crafts, reading cards or flash cards that your child is using right now or that you may need to store for a longer time. Being able to see through the bags has helped me to clear out clutter when we’re finished using the materials.

Cutting Down on Homeschool Clutter Causes

EIGHT | Tear Out Pages From Textbooks

Another tip to help reduce the amount of curriculum clutter is to tear out pages from textbooks and discard the rest of the book. I’m not talking about a new book but a used textbook. When I first started homeschooling, I discovered that my local public school would throw away textbooks they no longer used.

Picking up the textbooks, I would sort through them and tear out pages I would need for the new year and throw away the rest. Storing only the pages I would be using in page protectors allowed me to easily organize and sort what I kept.

Having several topics alphabetized in one folder or binder, I still have lots of space on my bookshelves for curriculum.

NINE | DVD-Based or Streaming Curriculum Reduces Clutter Considerably

When my older set of boys entered high school, they had an extensive amount of subjects to do, and I wanted to avoid out-of-control curriculum on my bookshelves.

Instead of buying all physical books, my high school boys did part of their work out of physical books, part online, and the other part with DVDs.

Allowing my teens to organize some of the curriculum on their devices kept my house clutter-free.

TEN | Utilize Your Local Library

Libraries are treasure troves of not just electronic documents but free classes, which help to meet curriculum requirements. We made regular trips to the library to learn about other cultures, watch puppet shows, learn about photography, and learn how to make glass.

Today, many libraries are continually adding more e-books not to mention audio books. Knowing that I could return the ‘clutter’ to the library helped me to keep it corralled.

Throwing away clutter is absolutely necessary, but having these 10 tips at your fingertips to curb curriculum clutter keeps you from being overwhelmed by all the stuff needed to homeschool.

Tina Robertson

About the author

Tina Robertson celebrated the graduation of Mr. Senior in 2013 and Mr. Awesome in 2015. Because of her love for new homeschoolers, she mentors moms through her unique program called New Bee Homeschoolers. She loves all homeschoolers, though, as she shares her free 7 Step Curriculum Planner, unit studies, lapbooks and homeschooling how-tos. She can't sing, dance, or craft, but she counts organizing as a hobby.

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    1. Hey Georgiana,

      Super and so glad you find that tip useful. Too, another nifty tip is to save just one part of something.

      For example, I have a medieval costume from high school that I was so proud that my mom made for me.

      My dad made the gold crown. I LOVED that costume. Instead of keeping the whole thing, I kept just the fabric covered, “gem studded” button.

      Even keeping one small part of a project can be done easily and in a whole lot less space.

      Thanks for being here and enjoyed your comment.

  1. I LOVE the idea of using plastic bags to store crafts in binders. I never thought about that before, but it would work perfectly! Also, I think an easy way to help cut down on clutter would be to use an online program for certain subjects. We really like Time4Learning, and it helps so much to minimize the clutter. Also, I completely agree about Google Drive. It is the BEST and I use it all the time. I love how well it works for collaboration and the ability to just send links instead of attachments! And all that space for storage…so helpful!

    1. Hey Tialla, so glad you find the tip useful.

      Too, I have used large Manila envelopes because I can fold them in half and punch a hole in the side and put it in the binder. Because a lot of them come with metal clasps or a string and button type closure, all the junk stays inside.

      Plus those tan envelopes are ugly so I can use them for something..

      Great to have you here!

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