5 places to store homeschool supplies when you don’t have a schoolroom

Homeschool storage

If you’re anything like me, when you cruise around Pinterest you drool over some of the adorable homeschool rooms people have set up in their house.  Complete with world maps, cute painted desk chairs, and color coded art supply organization, it seems as though these rooms would make any kid love to learn.  The reality for most of us is that our “school room” doubles as the breakfast nook, dining room, or living room.  And while I did have a balloon model of the solar system that the kids created hanging on my breakfast nook window for a couple of weeks once, dedicating the decor of my main living areas to maps and timelines just isn’t going to happen.

For us, the kitchen table is where school takes place.  I tried once to use our spare bedroom as a classroom, but it’s upstairs and just didn’t work for me.  The kitchen table is convenient, large enough for the kids to spread out, and best of all, it’s on the 1st floor. 🙂  The only problem with it is that I hate clutter.  I can’t stand to have things out on my countertops that aren’t making coffee or decorative, and where possible I prefer things to be behind closed doors.  That makes finding a place for all the art supplies, experiment kits, school books, teacher manuals, paper, pens, and pencils a real challenge.  Homeschool supplies can require a lot of storage. However, in my desperation to keep everything put away yet still convenient, I managed to find lots of nooks and crannies to squirrel things away.  I bet if you started looking around, you can find the same types of spaces in your own home.

Here are the five places I keep our homeschool things.  All are right by our kitchen table, and took just a little re-arranging to make them work.  I hope they inspire you to get creative with your space (at least until you can get the color coded art supply organizers and cute little painted desks)/  😉

spare shelf for teacher manuals A spare shelf in a kitchen cabinet

I cleared out some old cake decorating supplies that I wasn’t using anymore and was able to consolidate them down to less than half of the cabinet.  This left me with quite a bit of room to keep all of my teacher’s manuals.

 

 

Inexpensive end tables

Our kitchen nook has no room to store any of the kids books.  It is open to our living room, which seemed the next logical place to store them, but we don’t have any bookshelves or tall storage that would work.  I went shopping at our local Sauder and found these end tables that were perfect for holding lots of books.  Target, Walmart, and consignment furniture stores are also great places to look for items like these.  I bought one for each kid and have them in 2 places in the living room.  I love these because they are deep enough to hold their big binders, they have a shelf that’s adjustable to give us storage for laptops and library books, and they have a drawer to hold even more supplies.  We use the drawers to hold notebook paper and art supplies like colored pencils and markers.

Now you see them….

…Now you don’t!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A spare kitchen drawer

I had our serving pieces and knives for our silverware in the drawer closest to the table.  I found that without much trouble I could incorporate those into the other drawers in the kitchen and free this one.  I used the existing silverware organizer I had in there to separate our pens, highlighters, pencils, mechanical pencils, scissors, protractors, compass, and erasers.  The kids can reach this drawer while still sitting at the table so it’s super convenient.

silverware organizer for pen storage

Behind decorative items

I have this copper plate on a stand and a decorative box that I keep on the end of the counter by the table. It’s the perfect place to hide the ugly pencil sharpener and hole punch, and there’s an outlet back there too, so we can keep the sharpener plugged in.  It helps that they are black like the countertop, but even if they weren’t, you can’t see them hiding back there unless you go looking.

Don't see them?

Don’t see them?

Here they are!

Here they are!

In existing furniture

This lovely dresser has been in our kitchen for 10 years holding dish towels, aprons, and my collection of individual salt and pepper shakers.  It has 2 deep drawers in the bottom that were mostly a random collection of junk.  After cleaning and purging, I was able to clear out both drawers and put them to better use.  In the top one we keep our science experiment supplies (I love the ones from Nature’s Workshop that provide almost everything you need for Apologia’s Sciences.)  In the bottom drawer we keep our larger art supplies like construction paper, popsicle sticks, and felt.

Deep drawers work perfect for the science supplies.

Deep drawers work perfect for the science supplies.

 

What creative ways do you have to hide your homeschool things in plain sight?