It could be your kitchen table. Your dining room table. Your desk. Your ping-pong table. Well, that may be going a bit too far. You probably don't have a desk.
Whatever you have, it was the place you ate breakfast and played board games and "temporarily-stored-the-mail".
But now, it has become your work-from-home/school-from-home/eat-all-your-meals-at-home space. And it can be all of those things with a little organization.
When it comes to organizing the forest's-worth of photocopied papers, the workbooks (because quarantine is the perfect time to learn cursive*) and the myriad of other items your kids' overly-optimistic school sent home with them... AND let's face it, the pile of craft supplies you impulse bought from Amazon, the same organizing rules apply.
Sort first. Store last.
1. Sort First.
Take all of those assignment packets, workbooks and assorted arts-and-crafts items. Pile them up. Play the movie forward. What is realistic for your kid? What is reasonable based on your time constraints? What do your kids actually want to do?
Keep those things and give yourself grace to toss the rest.
Seriously. Just straight up Elsa that stuff and Let. It. Go.
2. Store Last.
Use storage containers you already have because, unless you are planning to continue to homeschool your kiddos post-Covid, this storage situation is only temporary.
Say it with me. "This. Is. Temporary." Ya'll, it feels good just typing it!
Your storage containers don't have to be pretty, unless you want to utilize your new craft supplies stash and turn it into an arts-and-crafts project. You just need to contain the school stuff in a way that is easy to store and keeps it from getting lost or damaged.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Their Backpacks.
If it will all fit in there without getting wrecked, go for it. Give their backpack a home if it doesn't already have one. My kid's backpacks live in our entryway closet.
2. Shipping boxes.
Now that many of us are getting more things delivered than usual, the perfect solution to your school supply storage dilemma may be waiting for you on your front porch! Cut the flaps off of the top of that Prime box, get out the Modge Podge (remember the optional craft suggestion from earlier) and you've got yourself a school stuff storage box. So fancy!
3. Magazine files/organizers.
These things are the awesome-sauce because they allow items to be stored upright, which is always preferable because your offspring can see everything at once and easily access what they want. This is especially handy if your kiddo likes to dump out all the things in order to find the one thing, and then leave all the other things in a sad state on the floor. Been there. No bueno.
4. Three-ring binders.
Just punch some holes and you've got a safe spot for all of those loose sheets of paper, and potentially even select workbooks or workbook pages, to call home. Dividers optional.
5. Literally any sturdy, shallow, rectangular box that will accommodate standard size paper.
Baking pans, small drawers/bins, hikidashi boxes. Just take a walk around your house and see what you find.
We are using plastic dishwashing basins. They are just the right size to house paper without crushing the edges and they have built-in handles. Since only our firstborn has school-related items that need storage, we use one tub for school supplies and the other tub for craft supplies.
Tidy Tip: Don't forget to give your stored school stuff a home! I nest the crafty one on top of the school one and they live on the floor of my bedroom closet. We get them out when it is “school time” and tuck them away out of sight when not in use.
Did I mention that this is temporary?!?!
Y'all got this.
*And if you don't, here is the story of how we put the "curse" back into cursive. Well, not really. I don't curse, but you bet your sweet bippy I almost did when I found MY kitchen table had been FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN.
By my normally delightful 9-year old daughter.
Because cursive is hard, y'all!
Curse you cursive workbook...