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As we are entering our fourth academic year in our homeschooling, this year is our third year of major cleaning up in our physical homeschooling classroom. If you don’t have a physical homeschooling classroom, you should have had some boxes, shelves, or any other storage to keep your children work and your homeschooling documents. It is the time to prepare the homeschooling classroom and administration renewal.
I would like to put this step as the first action you need to do to welcome the new academic year. You might also do this to close the semester and open the new one. Beside a reason to clean your area an storage, here are some reasons for decluttering to start the new school year preparation:
- You need to see the amount or area of space that you can use for the next school year.
- Empty space will make you think better as you will get more idea about what to put later on.
- You will have time to look back your homeschooling outcome during the previous years so that you will be inspired to fill in the new school year with better things. I can say that you are learning while decluttering.
Planning to Declutter the Stuff
First of all, I would like to make a list of the areas of cleaning to make sure that I don’t miss any area. You might download some forms to help you cleaning the areas of schooling or house by clicking this picture:
There are a couple of pages helping you decluttering and rearranging/redecorating your homeschool classroom. There are 5 columns in the Decluttering planning sheet:
- The area of cleaning, eg. children private lockers, workboxes, book shelves, experiment storages, stationery, etc.
- Items you plan to remove or rearrange based on the decluttering area.
- What you want to do with the stuff
- The number of boxes you provide to store them. You might also write number of box out of the amount of used boxes, like 1/4, 2/4
- Notes for you to notice your stuff
In case there are some things forgotten in the planning, you might insert things around or add up new pages if a page cannot cover your list.
Prepare Some Tools for Working
It is better to prepare some tools to help you declutter your classroom rather than looking for something in the middle of working
- Trash bin or large box to make it simple.
- Boxes classified on to where and what you what to put the stuffs later on
- Permanent markers to mark your box.
- Paper with tape or post it paper for you to write on the box in case you don’t want to write directly.
- Both damp and dry cloth
- broom and dust pan
- ladder to climb on higher shelves
- Get a space for your cell phone or wireless so that you are going to save your time answering the phone call.
- Special time sloth to make sure you are not annoyed so that you can concentrate
- You might also need a timer to remind you to do other things.
Decide what action you want to take for the decluttered stuffs.
You might have some options to think before you clean up and re-arrange your room. Here are the alternatives:
- Give or donate the stuff to others
Rather than keeping a lot of things that don’t either make money or give benefits to us, it is better to donate them to others. Other people will get more benefits of any unused copy of notebooking pages, lapbooking templates, and workbook/worksheet of your youngest child. Short crayons and coloring pencils might be useful for others. Of course, it doesn’t close the possibilities to donate some good condition text books to others.
- Selling your stuff to others
Some online sites like Amazon has some second hand selling features that you might use to sell your stuff. You might also have some garage sale and invite some homeschoolers to visit.
- Lend your stuff to others
You might neither want to sell or to donate your stuff to others as you might still want to use the stuff one day. Rather than keeping your textbooks and make them old in the storage box, it is better to lend them to other homeschooling family with some condition to keep it safely. You might swap with other family too.
- Keep the stuff in your storage room or container
Some stuff might be too precious for you to put it away out of your house. I am not going to give, trash, or sell my children’s notebooking pages. I would like to put them in a thick binder and store them in a special bookshelf. Some files might need to keep for administration requirement. Please make sure that you don’t loose them.
- Use for younger siblings next year
If your have some children homeschooled in a house, it is possible to use the same materials for younger siblings. You just need to recondition the stuff to make sure they are appropriate for being used in the next year. You might need to fix the plastic cover, the binding, etc.
- Move your stuff to a new place
You might have a better place for storing your stuff so that you might use them more effectively and more efficiently. If you have already a plan where to move them, just write down where they suppose to be moved so that they can be placed directly on the new area as soon as they are packed.
- Repair some stuff
Some stuff might need to be repaired. Rather than purchasing new things, it is better to fix the mechanical sharpeners if they are still fixable. The hole punchers might need being oiled. The cutters and the trimmers might need being sharpened.
By planning decluttering the old year stuff, I hope you can get better ways to prepare your next steps of homeschooling new year preparation. To read more about the series of 5 Days of New Homeschool Year Preparation, please click the picture bellow: