Homeschooling is a challenging proposition no matter who you are. Toss in the added challenge of traveling full-time and living in a tiny space, and you can easily end up with an organizational disaster on your hands.
As unschoolers, we have far less of the traditional curricula and school supplies to keep track of than some other families. That said, those items are almost certainly replaced by the constant stream of art supplies, science experiments, and bits of nature that are always flowing through our home. These things, coupled with all the books we pick up at Goodwill and the other odds and ends picked up for projects, create a serious amount of clutter no matter how much purging and organizing I do.
Luckily, there are solutions to the school clutter problem. Whether you’re trying to keep up with all the pencils and notebooks or attempting to keep the half-baked ideas of your six-year-old scientist in some sort of order, the options below should prove to be helpful.
TRONES are super cool storage bins from IKEA that have been an absolute lifesaver for our family. Technically, they are meant to be for shoes, but we use them for just about everything but—including (but certainly not limited to) roadschool odds and ends.
Wondering what’s so cool about a plastic storage bin? Well, these bad boys aren’t like any other bin I’ve ever seen. They actually mount to the wall, ensuring they don’t fall over during travel. To open the bins, you simply swing the front of the bin down to reveal its contents, which are brought down along with the door, making those contents super easily accessible.
The bins are relatively slender, so they fit in small spaces and don’t get in the way, but they hold a surprising amount. They also have a small lip around the top, meaning small things that are accidentally left on top don’t (usually) go flying around the rig when moving day rolls around. And no, the doors don’t swing open during travel either.
The one negative thing I have to say about our TRONES is that they get dirty easily. That said, we (stupidly) purchased white bins. The black ones likely wouldn’t have the same problem.
I’d recommend TRONES to anyone, but especially those who are living in RVs, and especially those RVers who have kids. These bins are perfect for holding books, notebooks, puzzles, craft supplies, games, or pretty much anything else you put inside.
This is actually a want for me, as I have yet to get a peg board up on our wall. That said, I know I will love, love, love it once I do. Peg boards are ideal for holding small things of all shapes and sizes up and out of the way while keeping them accessible. This makes them the ideal storage solution for arts and crafts supplies.
When we get our peg board, I plan to hang up cups with markers, crayons, and pencils inside. I also hope to add a container to hold paper, and a string and clothespins across the bottom for displaying finished works of art. I have no idea how all of this will hold up during travel days, but I will get back to you as soon as I know.
Here’s the thing: When you live in an RV, table space is limited. This is where lap desks come in. These things are awesome because they can be used virtually anywhere, meaning your child can have their desk with them in the car, in their bed, or out in the campground.
This obviously makes doing schoolwork or projects a lot easier because nobody is fighting for table space, and if you purchase a lap desk with storage, your child’s most important supplies can be with them at all times.
One word of caution: Make sure to buy a good, sturdy desk, preferably one made with wood. We had a cheap plastic one for a while, and it just wasn’t sturdy enough for getting any real work done.
I am a huge fan of pocket organizers. Seriously, these things are amazing.
Shoe pocket organizers are ideal for small things like pencils, erasers, manipulatives, googly eyes, pom-poms, and glue sticks. Meanwhile, hanging pocket file organizers are the bomb when it comes to keeping papers straight or storing a few favorite books.
Pocket organizers are great for use in your RV of course, but they’re also awesome for use in the car where they can be hung on the back of a front seat and used as storage to keep all of those car entertainment items from ending up on the floor.
Of course, you will want to watch how much weight you put into your pocket organizers, meaning they aren’t the best solution for holding your entire book collection. However, all in all, these are an amazing option every roadschooling family should consider.
FLISAT Wall Bookshelf
Need more book storage than the pocket organizer can give? The FLISAT bookshelf from IKEA is an excellent solution. This bookshelf is small, sturdy, and wall mounted, keeping books off the floor. Also, because is has a rail across the front, it holds books in place during travel.
Unfortunately, in the past, we’ve had a hard time getting our hands on one of these popular shelves. If you have a similar issue, you might consider the BEKVÄM spice rack from IKEA. This rack can do the exact same job as the bookshelf, and it does it just as well. It is a bit smaller, meaning it won’t hold as many books, but it’s also cheaper, so purchasing two is an acceptable option.
There you have it! My favorite roadschooling organization solutions for staying semi-sane while traveling full-time and attempting to work, learn, and live in about 250 square feet. I’m still here to tell the tale, so something must be working!
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