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!

34 Comments

  1. I forgot to include why I use plastic totes. I have found that the plastic totes keeps the moisture and any mice that may get in (gotta love living in the country). You also don’t have to purchase a shelf since you can stack them onto of each other….

    Bridgett
  2. I live in Texas and there are NO requirements at all (kind of nice but scary at the same time). I keep a binder of the lesson plans and attendance just for my own records. Then I keep all of the completed work in binders. Right now the work is split in to days completed 1-180 and not subjects, but my oldest is in 1st grade and my youngest is in pre-school so things still blend together a lot. Binders are put up on a shelf in my closet (for now) and curriculum are kept together by school year (LOTW, Pre-K, K, 1st Grade) and anything not in use is stored in a drawer in my TV stand for now. Anything being used is put on the book shelf in our room. Easy Peasy.

    Cameron
  3. Thanks so much for sharing this. We are coming up on the end of our first year homeschooling, and I was wondering how to store all of these things. I also live in IL and have no requirements, but still want to keep some things, just in case! I love that you divide by subject that makes so much more sense than grade.

    Sasha
  4. Great post!! Do you take the school work out of the binders and rubberband them because you do not want to buy new binders each year? (Those larger ones are more expensive.) I do a lot of the same things that you do but I have been debating leaving the work in their binders. If it is all binded together, what are the odds of ever going back and looking at the sweet, sentimental stuff? Do you take that stuff out and have a school memory book for them?

  5. We went digital. We are using homeschool tracker plus it allows you to add attachments. So when a worksheet is complete we scan it as a PDF or we take a picture then import it in the software. Saves a lot of boxes and bags which I have a garage full of from previous years. Until we scan it all in we keep everything in 2.5 liter zip lock bags in a box or plastic tote. The software will allow you to view and print the finished, scanned work. And I heard about the software from this blog. Thanks.
    Also I wanted to add that some colleges, schools, employers, etc. may request samples of the completed work even if your state doesn’t require records or portfolios. What if the child goes to a college in a state that does require a portfolio?

    Penny
  6. Gosh, I just keep getting more and more impressed by everything you do!!!! We are just completing our 2nd year and now I am going to store all their work bound together like that. While I don’t think I would ever impart it onto them unless they ask…..only because my own mother did this with my school work and I didn’t even go through it, just threw it out. LOL I am guessing they would do the same. At some point you are going to need your own separate room just to store all the records!!!! And that frightens me a little. eek!

    carisa
  7. I keep a record online of what the kids are learning and attendance with the church covering we use. I also take oodles of photos of their activities and blog about it. So I only keep the really good work the KIDS want to keep…. everything else goes… we don’t do a lot of desk work anyway. Sometimes I use the already written on worksheets again to print on the back another worksheet or material. Hey, got to make the most of my money. So yeah, no crazy storage here and I got 4 kids… ages 10 to 3 y.o. I think sometimes things can get a bit OCD. 🙂

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