Simple Systems for Organizing Homeschool Materials, Paperwork, and Student Work

by | Homeschooling

We homeschoolers collect many materials, papers, and books over the years. If we do not have an organizational system, we can forget important activities and lose track of our child’s work.

If you want a successful year for your child, I highly recommend an organizational system for your materials. This does not mean your space needs to be squeaky clean, fancy or even overly organized. It means order and function.

This article shows you two simple systems I use to keep everything organized—simple to find and simple to file.

While organization is very personal to each person and family, what I share today is fool-proof because both methods make adding to and finding the materials uncomplicated.

The two systems include binders and file folders.


File Folder System of Organization for Homeschoolers

There are two main file folder systems I keep:

  • One for organizing my teaching materials (which I organize by month since I teach by monthly themes)
  • One for storing my son’s work (AKA a portfolio, also organized by month)


Storing teaching materials

materials storage idea for homeschoolers

This is the system I use to store my monthly teaching materials and decoration. It’s a relatively small file folder box with hanging legal file folders. Each folder is labelled for the month because I can return to the box next year and reuse some materials and decor. It mainly stores the 3D lesson accompaniments I have created and collected over the years. 

educational materials storage ideas for homeschooling

The portable box of my monthly homeschool materials. I am sure that over time, I will have to get a larger storage unit. You can use a filing cabinet or large plastic storage bins that house file folders.


Storing student work

educational porfolio for homeschooling

My son’s portfolio.

porfolio system for homeschoolers

Portfolio organized by month. I include the activities my son worked on/created, plus the monthly observations and planning sheets, for reference (see image below).

portfolio system for homeschoolers

I pull this package out of the homeschool planner, bundle it together, and slip it into the appropriate month in the portfolio. Easy portfolio system!


Binder System of Organization for Homeschoolers

The other system I use for storing teaching activities is the binder system. Organize by season because this works best for the way I plan.

You can organize it by

  • Month
  • Theme
  • Story/novel
  • Type of activity
  • Goal
  • Etc.
organizing paperwork for homeschooling

I have two main binders for two seasons, but I know these will eventually become a binder or two of their own. For now, I keep it simple and as space-saving as possible.

binder system for organizing paperwork for homeschooling

In the binders, I have tabs to separate the seasons. I like to keep the activities I find in one place. Much like the file folder system, a binder allows me to add and remove papers easily.


No matter the system you use, keep it simple to implement and use over time. Putting together an elaborate system that you’ll never use is no use.

Related Article:

What system do you use to organize your paperwork and materials?


  1. Chantal Halle

    Sounds like a good system to me!
    It’s a great idea to use stackable boxes that contain space for legal boxes. Plastic instead of carton can come in very handy, especially if stored in a basement (more humid) or in the case of an unfortunate incident with broken pipes, water heater, etc.

    • Gabriella Volpe

      I love stacked boxes. They are making them more and more user-friendly now. The options are endless … with compartments, without compartments, for hanging file folders, with lids, without lids, with flap lids, and in many, many colors. There is something for everyone. That’s why I say that an organizational system is really personal. There is no right answer – no perfect system. It’s just a matter of going with the easiest system that you will actually use.

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