Decluttering Your Homeschool for the New Year
The New Year is right around the corner. Can you believe it?! I still remember when people thought the world was going to end in 2012. Yet here we are – ringing in yet another year on this planet.
If you’re anything like the average homeschooler, you’ve probably acquired quite a few additions to your homeschool. Not only books, DVDs, CDs and curriculum materials, but all manner of decorations, doodads, and whatchamacallits that brought you joy and filled a purpose when you bought them.
Now these “necessities” take up valuable space in in your home. Now is the perfect time to work on decluttering your homeschool and making room for next year.
Here are a few tips on how to make this process flow more smoothly. Before I jump into the homeschool specific side of things, the other day I shared my 30 Day De-Cluttering Challenge to inspire you.
Ok, now that you have that, where do we begin with decluttering the homeschool stuff?
Envision the Result
I find it helpful to do a visualization whenever I set out to achieve any goal. I do this by first thinking of why I need or want to achieve that goal.
For example, many people find that decluttering their homeschool helps everyone in the family not only gain more focus, but get through the school day with less stress.
After determining my “why”, I try to envision exactly what my life will be like once I have achieved my goal. With a decluttering goal, one may visualize a home that is perfectly organized, clear of things that don’t serve a purpose and where everything has its own permanent spot.
You can also take your visualization exercise even further by imagining a day in your life after your goal has been accomplished. For example, you could envision what it would be like to wake up in the morning and move throughout your day when your homeschool room is completely clutter-free.
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This exercise helps me to get a clear idea of why I’m pursuing my goal, what it entails and what the end result should be. It also makes it easier to implement all of the steps, as we will discuss later.
Pick a Day
Once you have a clear objective on why you need to declutter and what it will look like once you’ve finished, it’s time to create an action plan. Set aside a day to declutter. Put it in your planner or on your calendar if you must.
Stick to that plan the same way that you would stick to an interview or a doctor’s appointment. Remember, there is a reason that you wanted to declutter. It’s time to make it happen! (HINT-New Year, New You, New Homeschool minus the clutter!)
Schedule a Donation Pick-up
Now that you have a decluttering day set aside, I recommend scheduling a donation pick-up. More than likely, there will be things you need to get rid of that are still in good condition, but your family just doesn’t need anymore.
Rather than throwing those things in the trash can, donate them to a local charity or organization. One great option is the Boys and Girls Club of America. They often will send a donation truck to pick up your items. You simply arrange for a pick-up and have your items sitting on the porch, packaged in bags or boxes. They will do the rest and even give you a donation receipt for tax season.
If you can’t schedule a donation pick-up, plan to drop any still usable items off at places that accept them. Some places to check are libraries, schools, and thrift shops.
Toss and Go
On the day you have chosen to declutter your homeschool room, grab boxes and bags and get ready to work. Have some bags set aside for donations and other for throwing away.
Pick up everything in your homeschool room and decide on the spot: keep, donate, or trash. If you want to keep it, find a place in the room that will be its home. This is where it should be paced whenever it is not in use.
If you are going to donate it, place it gently in the donation bag. Everything else goes in the trash. Once a trash bag is filled, throw it in the garbage immediately so you are not tempted to remove things.
Resist the temptation to let emotions get in the way of getting rid of things that no longer serve a purpose. My husband is quick to remove bags of trash so he never has to move those items again.
Photograph or Gift Things
Some things in your homeschool room may be difficult to part with. One example is artwork. We cherish the thing our kids make for us. Rather than holding on to every single drawing and macaroni necklace, why not choose the top 10 percent of things to keep and then photograph the rest?
That way, you can keep the pictures of your child’s art without having to keep the physical item. You could also send drawings and other art projects to out-of-town family members who don’t see your children often. Soldiers overseas may also appreciate receiving care packages with your child’s art enclosed.
Once you have finished donating, gifting, trashing and organizing everything in your homeschool room, you should be 100% decluttered for the New Year. Congratulations!