Homeschooling Without a Schoolroom: Bins


Let me sing the praises of bins.

I love bins.

They keep like things together. They corral messes. They make things easy to grab and go.

When you homeschool across the whole house (and sometimes out of doors!), storing things in bins makes life easier and lesson time smoother. Keeping things corralled and together makes it simpler to put it away out of sight and to move it to wherever work is being done.


Homeschool bins for papers

Using plastic filing containers with hanging folders is a great way to keep a stock of various sorts of papers at hand. They can also be used for filing completed work away or for holding work for the coming week or term.

A bin can be pulled from a high shelf and replaced easily – much more easily than paper in their plastic wrap.

Homeschool bins for blocks of time

My favorite way to organize bins is by “blocks of time.” There’s a bin for our twice-a-week “elementary lessons” in the afternoon with the books and supplies we use then. There’s a bin for the Kindergarten & 1st grader’s lessons that happen 3x a week or so. There’s a bin for the 6th grader to contain his materials and another one for the 4th grader. There’s the crate with a hanging folder for each student’s math workbooks and drill pages.

When I dedicate a chunk of time in our school day to a particular set of lessons

Homeschool bins for out-of-rotation books

Bins, of course, are great for storage. We have a lot of books in our house, and one coping strategy I have is to box up (or bin up) the books on the periods of history we are not currently studying. This way, about 100 books are kept out of rotation and are fresh and exciting again when I pull them out.

Links about particular homeschool bins I use

I’ve written before about particular bins I have set up, and you can see more pictures and detail in those specific posts:

I even have bins with bins inside, but you probably aren’t as crazy as I am.

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What sorts of homeschool bins do you have set up?

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  1. Oh yes! Bins within bins… of course! I have used bins for my nearly 20 years of homeschooling! I use them for many of the things you listed. One I hadn’t thought of was for coloring books. My thought always was, “Coloring BOOK…. books belong on shelves, hence, a very untidy landslide of coloring books taking up valuable shelf-space. Thank you for the tip. They are going into a bin….a couple of them, actually: one for history and the other for, well, other.

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