Where Do I Put All My Homeschool Stuff: Tip #4 Hide it in Plain Sight

We ask a lot of our houses, don't we? They provide so much more than simply a place for us to feed and house our families. For homeschoolers our houses also serve as school buildings. And then for many of us, our homes also have other functions. My husband runs a remodeling business, so his office is here, too. Right in our bedroom, to be specific.

I started writing this series after a request from a friend whose home hosts not only the study for her pastor husband, but also the church office as well. With just so much space, she was wondering how to manage homeschool paraphernalia on top of all the usual home stuff plus the church equipment.

With the multi-function needs of our homes in mind, doing what we can to keep our houses still looking like a warm and friendly place to live, here's tip #4:

Hide your homeschool (or office equipment or what have you) in plain sight!

Baskets and pretty bins can be useful for this.

The baskets above, which were ones I already had in the house, sit on a shelf in a little alcove in our kitchen. I made simple liners using these instructions to help them fit into our kitchen decor.

Here's what's hiding in them, from left to right:

- Bags full of preschool learning activities for the visiting grandgirls
- Small office tools: 3 hole punch, scissors, calculator, rulers, etc.
- Pattern blocks
- Counting bears (We've grown beyond these, and the pattern blocks too, but they are enjoyed by young visitors, plus my kids still pull them out when they need markers for game pieces)
- Computer equipment and DVDs
- Picnic basket with plate holder, etc.

Kind of eclectic, isn't it? But we find it handy to keep those things fairly close, and stored this way they are reasonably attractive.

Baskets aren't the only way to hide something in the open. Sometimes you can tuck  things inside furniture which feels like a natural part of the room. Our master bedroom doubles as office space for both Tim and I. With two desks, two computers, a file cabinet, and more in here, after a while it began to feel that every surface was overflowing with something office related. Not exactly the feel I want for our bedroom. A partial solution was to buy a wardrobe which could house paper, printer ink, envelopes, and all sorts of other office stuff.

This wardrobe didn't solve all our office space problems, but it sure helped!

(Here's the funny story behind our wardrobe. We both liked this one which Tim found on Craigslist, When he contacted the owner, it turned out to one of our very close friends!)

A friend of mine uses a big wardrobe to hold much of her family's homeschool materials. She's able to store a large amount of books and supplies, and then close it all up behind her pretty doors.

As you think about locations for your homeschool supplies, particularly the office-y types of things, consider if there are some creative ways you can keep those things readily accessible, but "hidden" - in plain sight!


Lydia said…
I'm wondering where your kids actually do their school work. We seem to have so many desks and workspaces everywhere. I like that they work at the kitchen table but...their computers and cords are all over the kitchen table (this includes Nathan)!!! It just turns out the kitchen has the best outlet set-up. Then do we get rid of their desks? They almost never sit at them. My desk was so important to me growing up but I wonder if laptops have changed that.
Anne said…
My kids do school all over the place. By high school they work much more in their rooms, sometimes even at their desks. :) Our kitchen and living room get the most use though. After I read your comment, I went around and snapped some pictures of what various ones were doing at that time. I'll write a quick post about "where we do school" soon.
Lydia said…
Thanks Anne! I know being able to do school all over the house is one of the benefits of homeschooling (not being stuck at one desk) and I should say that I am grateful that the kids are underfoot and that we have computers to use. :) I'll look forward to that post.

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