Homeschool Storage Solutions: Long Term

Homeschooling and storage needs go hand in hand. And depending on your state laws, keeping some sort of homeschool records is a necessity. In our state we aren’t required to keep student work, however we are required to keep annual record of our attendance and hours for each student.

So how do I store and organize everything?

Some simple banker boxes, heavy duty rubber bands, and sharpies can go along way in saving your sanity with all of the storage needs that homeschooling can bring on!

I have three main storage needs for long term. Administrative records, student work (not required, but I keep it anyway), and curriculum. Right now I’m using Bankers Boxes as my long term storage organization solution.

Administrative Records:

I keep all of my annual school records in 1” 3-ring binders. In these binders I keep receipts, lesson plans, and any other legal forms required for each year such as a Notice of Intent to homeschool, Standardized Test Results for that year, a list of curriculum used, attendance, and hours for the year. To see a more detailed view of the inside of my yearly binder, visit my homeschool storage and record keeping post.

During the year I keep this binder handy in our school room so I can easily add any forms, receipts, etc. that we accumulate during the year.

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Once the year is over I bring my completed binder down and add it to a banker box containing my records from previous years. That box is stored on a shelving unit in our basement. That way these documents are easily accessible and easily found in the craziness that can ensue a basement. These would also be the binders that might be required by the state so I definitely want to keep these organized and easily accessible.

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Student Work: During the year, I keep student work in a 3” 3-ring binder that is kept in our school room for easy access. As work is completed I add it to the binder which is organized by subject. (See my homeschool storage and record keeping post for more details on the student work binder.)

Once the year is completed, I remove all of the work for that year from the student work binder and secure it in a bundle using heavy duty rubber bands. I also take the binder spine label out and secure it to the front of the bundle so I can easily tell what year that bundle covers. I also write the grade level  on the front of the box as I add to it each year so I know what is included in that box.

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I then add the yearly bundle of work to a banker’s box for that student. Each student has their own box, or boxes depending on amount of work so that it will be easy to find if the need should arise. If I end up keeping it forever I can also pass the boxes onto the kiddos once they are grown. That way they can be in charge of disposing of the materials since their mama can’t seem to bare to part with it.  As you can see this box contains 5 years worth of student work for Strawberry Shortcake.

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Curriculum:

I also store any unused curriculum in the banker boxes as well. I’ve just found that these boxes are a nice size for books and also sturdy enough to handle the load.

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I store curriculum by subject, and then in grade order inside the box. So for example our math curriculum box has all of the curriculum we use for math Kindergarten through our current grade. Keeping the boxes sorted by Curriculum allows me to easily grab the grade level as needed or see that we don’t have that grade level and I can then order it for our upcoming year.

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I am really preferring to sort curriculum by subject. I used to keep things sorted by grade, but then some things don’t work so well like that, and I found that I couldn’t find things, or might duplicate purchasing something. Now it is much easier to see what I already have for a certain subject, and what I might need to get as well.

 

Homeschool Storage Area:

In our basement, I have a metal storage rack from Target and I keep all of my banker boxes on it. Nothing else goes in this area except for school items. Normally I’d say I keep the shelves more organized with student work on one shelf then curriculum on one, etc., but since we’re planning to move I’ve recently cleaned this area out and put them back randomly so, yeah, it’s not quite in order. But since the boxes are all well labeled it’s no problem to find what I’m looking for.

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So that is how we tackle long term homeschool storage. It’s nothing fancy, but it works well and definitely makes the clutter a bit easier to manage, find things when needed, and is a fairly easy system to keep up with.

Have some homeschool organization tips you’d like to share? Make sure to leave a comment below so others can benefit from your experience!

32 Comments

  • The Mrs. February 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    You’re planning to move?! How exciting! That means setting up a new schoolroom, right? Are you moving to another part of the country or just a new home? (Also, I think you missed blocking out your daughter’s name in the first photo. Hopefully, you’ll get this message and fix it before you get oodles of hits.) As always, thanks for the great ideas. I keep records in much the same way: a binder for each child that is a yearly portfolio and a binder for me with receipts, legal docs and lesson plans.

    Reply
    • Erica February 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks for letting me know about my daughter’s name, got it fixed! Just moving across town :o)

      Reply
  • Mom of four February 25, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I’ve just started homeschooling and I’m wondering… why do you keep receipts?

    Reply
    • The Mrs. February 26, 2013 at 8:20 am

      I keep receipts because we are reimbursed by a local program for many of our educational expenses. I also keep them because I think it’s interesting to see how much we spend.

      Reply
    • Erica February 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Just in case the government ever decides to give me a tax break LOL! I also keep them to keep track of how much we spend each year. And you can use your curriculum receipts as proof of homeschooling for teacher/Educational discounts for places like at http://www.adobe.com

      Reply
  • Cindy February 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    >If I end up keeping it forever I can also pass the boxes onto the kiddos once they are grown. That way they can be in charge of disposing of the materials since their mama can’t seem to bare to part with it.

    This makes me laugh. I still remember the day–sometime in my 20s–when I hauled boxes full of my 2nd grade worksheets out of my parents’ attic to sort. Nowadays, I often think that I care far more about keeping my kids’ work than they ever will! 😉

    Love the post! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Heidi February 26, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I always love your posts, and this one is no exception! My only thought (other than realizing I have a lot of work to do on my own disheveled mess) is that the big rubber bands may not hold up over many years. I know I’ve had rubber bands and tape and such dry out and crumble and/or fall off. It might be better to go with string or twine. Thanks again for always being so willing to share what you do and how you do it! My family and I have been blessed in so many ways by your printable reaources and posts.

    Reply
    • Erica February 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Good point, I’ll have to consider that :o)

      Reply
  • Eddie - The Usual Mayhem February 26, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I love to see how other people organize their storage! All those matching boxes!

    Ours is stored by grade, so that as one child approaches a grade I can pull the appropriate box out and look through to see how what we have from the previous child will fit (or not) and what to sell off or give away.

    Your kids are a lot closer in age than mine (7-8 year gaps), so I can appreciate how your storage system would work beautifully for your family.

    Reply
  • MommyGio February 26, 2013 at 6:14 am

    My state (Illinois) does not require anything for homeschoolers. Do you think I should keep some sort of records anyway? Where are you moving?

    Reply
    • Erica February 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      It’s up to you, I like to be able to go back and see what all we accomplished too. But I figure just in case laws ever change, I’ll have documentation.

      Reply
  • Bekki4 February 26, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I love in PA. The only records I keep are the ones I put in the Portfolio. So my records for each year per child are about a 1/2 inch worth of paperwork. So much less to store and go through later. Now when we reach High School I will keep much more and those grades are more important for transcript reasons. I figure if the state requires the paper work I turn in and approves it with notarized signatures then there is no reason to keep anything else. After all whats in the Portfolio is the best of their work. I also hate storing something I know they won’t care about later and that I’ll just have to throw away. Sentimental I am not. 🙂

    I am wondering though, why do you keep your receipts?

    Reply
  • Heidi (Dearly Loved Mist) February 26, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I’m always amazed at your storage solutions! (and your cool nail polish!)
    I’m not quite as organized about my homeschool storage, so I won’t offer any suggestions. 🙂

    Reply
  • ryan February 26, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Hey! You kids name is showing on the first pic. Not sure if you noticed but I know that can be a sensitive area.
    Thanks for the organizing posts and you tubes…I love them and feel motivated afterwards!

    Reply
  • Bridgett February 26, 2013 at 7:25 am

    I love your posts!!! I have been doing something similar for a few years now. I use the plastic totes that are around $5. I have one totes for her completed work (sorted by year). It is a wonderful thing to get organized. (I know it takes some time if you don’t start it out like that, but it is worth the time to get it organized. 🙂

    Reply
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