When I first started to declutter my homeschool supplies I noticed I was spending less time preparing for our lessons. The bulk of our time was actually doing the learning.
Instead of digging through stacks of my organized curriculum, or rummaging through a closet of supplies, I was finding my materials quickly. Cleaning up was quicker with a leaner closet and more space to put our things away. It was just so much easier to ask Emily or Andrew to grab the jar of colored pencils, because the pencils were the only thing on top of the filing cabinet.
For years I thought my problem was in the organization of my curriculum and every year I would spend hours “re-organizing” by new categories with the hopes of finding a more efficient system. It wasn’t the system. It was the quantity of materials. The problem was that I had too much mediocre curriculum crowding out the really great materials and wasted too much time. By decluttering and minimizing my classroom collection, I started keeping only my favorites or best lessons. Thus, we started homeschooling at a higher quality level, one lesson after another.
Another advantage, we just don’t crisis clean as often; instead, we have more time to play or head out on a spontaneous field trip. Less stuff to clean around, less stuff to put away, and more space to store our school supplies.
It doesn’t happen over night, but by tackling one shelf a day and sorting out the mediocre, slowly the schoolroom transformed itself into this really engaging and creative space for learning.