31 Days of Organizing Homeschool Stuff: Library Book Management

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Organizing Homeschool Stuff

Having an organized homeschool means knowing where you should put things away, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to put things away again. Sad, but true. Here are the little ways I’ve made putting things away easier at my home, and I hope they will inspire you to find unique solutions in your own home!

Library Book Management

Alright, so homeschooling = lots of library books, right? And, everyone knows, lots of library books = lots of library fines.

A couple years ago, I made it a New Years Resolution to have NO library fines that year.

It didn’t happen, but I did learn a lot about why I racked up fines: creative “putting away” by the children, laziness in not making the library stop, losing track of how many things we’d checked out and their various dates, and more. As I encountered the reasons underlying my poor management, I tried out different solutions. We weren’t fine-free that year, but I think I kept my total to about $2.

Then we moved. We moved half a mile from the library. And now I can’t seem to get all the books returned on time again. But that’s all an implementation problem. I know what works; I just don’t keep up with it.

I’ll tell you what works (when I do) for us, in case you’re better at implementation than I am.

  1. Keep a contained home for library books so they don’t get mixed up with your own collection of books. A bunch of our kid books are from library sales, and so have the library labeling. Scanning for the library label doesn’t help. The library books need their own, separate home.
  2. Regularly check your account online. Check it weekly. Get email reminders. Check it after you return books to make sure they got checked back in and one didn’t slip under the car seat instead.
  3. Keep the bag to return library books in the library book bin, and keep the library card hooked to it. Then everything you need for library bliss is in one convenient location.
  4. Make a library stop part of your weekly routine. Turns out, that to return library books on time, you have to actually stop at the library. Make it a habitual part of your route. This is the key I am currently missing, even though the library is embarrassingly close.


  • Type of container: Sterilite Deep Bin
  • Contents:
    • library books
    • library book bag
    • library card hooked to the handle of the book bag

organizing homeschool stuff

Digital Home Organizer and Planner

Also, check out my eBook Paperless Home Organization, which lays out step-by-step instructions for creating a home management organizer & planner digitally. Make that smartphone, tablet, or iPod touch a useful tool of your trade!

During the month of October, you can use the discount code organizing for $1.50 off the $3.99 retail price (pdf only).

Moms have a lot of details to keep track of. Here’s how to make your technology work for you, using only your mail program and 2 free apps.

31 Days in October

You can find many more 31 Days series at the link-up at The Nester. Here are some I recommend:

Simplified Grocery Shoppingmorning timecharlotte mason 101

3 Responses

  1. Ginger
    | Reply

    Good Morning,
    Books, books and more books. I am heading to IKEA today for another bookshelf because we just have so many books.

    Have a blessed day,

  2. Marie
    | Reply

    I tried the container method, but we’d either run out of room and/or the kids would dump the whole bin to find a book and then they’d slowly scatter all over the house. I ended up buying a tiny bookshelf at a yard sale for $5. This way all the books are visible. It’s still not a perfect solution, particularly with kids who like to read books in every room of the house and are not particularly motivated to put them back. But at the very least, I can easily see the titles when I’m checking our account online!

    I think this is such a persistent problem because it’s not one in which I want to implement logical consequences–as in, if you can’t stay organized with your books, we won’t use the library. Just not going to go there. I’d rather hunt down the books myself if all else fails!

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