Tuesday, March 31

storing *stuff*

When you begin homeschooling, you often don't think about all the *stuff* that will accumulate through the year. There's papers and projects and workbooks and other *stuff* that builds up throughout the year. Initially we had a big box in which everything got thrown into which I realized was a HUGE mistake when the box began overflowing and I had to sort through the entire mess figuring out which item went with which child. YIKES!

Then I found a cardboard storage box that worked well and bought one for each student. During the year items were put into it and the box easily held a few years at a time. When all my children were at home, I just kept adding more boxes. Let's just say that the little storage room in the garage where they were stored became quite FULL. YIKES again!

When the older ones began graduating, I took on the task of sorting through these boxes. It really was quite an amazing journey that spanned from before pre-school with their early scribblings through high school. It was fascinating to watch their handwriting mature, their thought processes in essays they wrote grow, and their creativity found in everyday work. And even more amazing was that I really could be discerning enough to pick through all those things to narrow the work down to one folder per year which all fit into one storage box. When our homeschooling years wind down in about twelve years, I should only have nine storage boxes kept in that room with some miscellaneous projects on shelves.

I still use this system today, but have learned NOT to wait until they graduate to begin sorting through all the boxes. Instead, I go through the process every few years.

Because I already have all the boxes which are still in good condition, I will continue to use this storage method for the lower grades. However, nowadays with rubbermaid type containers so popular for storage, I believe that would be an excellent way to store all the different things that come with homeschooling. My hope is to transfer each child's permanent schooling *stuff* into a plastic container which will serve as protection from possible water or, um, chipmunk damage while being kept in our garage storage room.

The key is to find a way to store all these homeschooling materials that will work the best in the space you have. And learn to be discerning about what you keep as there will be LOTS of *stuff* through the years.

Tammy ~@~


Luke said...

My wife and I have been trying to sort through all of our school "stuff"... it hasn't been easy. This sounds like a much more manageable plan [smile].


Christin said...

My biggest problem is trying to figure out what to keep and what not to. I try to encourage my daughter (6) to send some of her things to grandparents so they could treasure them, too. So that helps.
By the end of this year, I will be doing a lot of sorting of my own! I want to be prepared to tackle it "as we go" through our new year, next year.

mom said...

Christin, I have to let things sit for a few years before I go through them as I tend to be a, um, sentimental saver :-) After some time has passed, it seems that I'm much more discerning about keeping a more narrow sample of their work and favorite projects.

Tammy ~@~

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