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Homeschooling can be a great way to educate your kids. You can teach them about biology by growing your own vegetable garden, for example, or help them master chemistry by cooking in the kitchen. That said, when your home doubles as a classroom, it can be hard to keep it tidy. Additionally, organizing your family’s schedule when you’re both a parent and a teacher is tough. This guide provides cost-efficient tips to help you stay on top of it all.

Visit the Dillon Public Library for a huge variety of books for children and adults!

Declutter your home

Clutter can make it hard for kids to concentrate on their lessons and creates an unpleasant environment at home. Start your journey to a more organized life by decluttering. Becoming Minimalist offers pointers on how to get started, like using the 12-12-12 challenge. Pick 12 items to toss, 12 to donate, and 12 to properly organize. Also, try viewing your home as if you were visiting it for the first time to identify useless clutter.

Digitize your documents

Your family probably has all kinds of important paperwork, from medical records to kids’ school papers and your work files. Instead of having loose papers flying around, digitize them for easy storage. You can use a mobile scanner to make documents digital and then find a free PDF merger tool to add them to one file.

Invest in organizers

The right tools will make it easier to stay organized. For example, large bins are great for storing kids’ toys, while stackable boxes can be used for stashing everything from shoes to electronic gadgets. The Home Edit has a roundup of kid-friendly tips that little ones can use to keep their things in order. For example, encouraging kids to arrange books, toys, art supplies, and other goods according to color can help make organizing feel like a game.

Create a calendar

Staying on top of all of your family’s events and obligations, from birthday parties to doctor appointments, isn’t always easy. Invest in a good calendar system to simplify matters. You can hang a large wall calendar that everyone can access in the kitchen, for example. Another option is digital shared calendar tools like Google Calendar or Cozi. This guide has a roundup of digital and non-digital scheduling tools.

Plan your meals in advance

Meal planning is a great way to save time as a parent. When you’re homeschooling and doing double duty as a parent and a teacher, your time becomes even more precious. Use meal planning to prepare food in advance and freeze leftovers for reheating. There are many easy-to-prepare, family-friendly recipes you can try and the Dillon Public Library offers AtoZ Food America for recipes and histories of the culture and food. If your kids are old enough, encourage them to help with the prep work.

Give kids responsibilities too

Keeping an organized home isn’t solely the responsibility of the parent. Encourage your children to do their part in keeping a well-organized home you can all enjoy together. You can get kids excited about cleaning and organizing with hacks, like creating a chore chart or making the activity into a game. For example, you can have a race to see who can pick up the most toys the fastest.

Make a plan for future organization

Once you’ve got your home nicely organized, of course, you want to keep it that way. Follow best practices for maintaining an orderly home. For example, before you buy something new, figure out where you’ll put it to make sure you have the space. Also, make organizing part of your regular routine by adding it to your family calendar. Cleaning a little bit every day is easier than doing one big clean once a week.

Homeschooling offers many benefits. However, it can also pose challenges—like making it hard to keep your family organized. Try tips like digitizing documents and creating a shared calendar to get a handle on things.

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