After a busy year of teaching, homeschool workbooks, projects, experiments, and homework are likely to be found in nearly every corner of your house. With a more relaxed schedule this summer, now is a great time to clear up the spelling tests off the refrigerator, the volcano model in your son's bedroom, and the scattered teacher's guides on your dresser.

By organizing your homeschool now, you'll get caught up and be well prepared when it's time to head back to school. Make your house sparkle and save yourself some stress by starting your summertime homeschool organization project with these helpful tips:

1. Clean up one room at a time. Make your way through the house one room at a time. Start gathering similar items and make piles, so you can sort through what you need to keep and what you don't.


2. Pick a spot for materials. Everyone has good intentions of keeping textbooks in the same place, but sometimes, homeschool materials seem to grow legs! Designate a spot it your house to place all your homeschooling items or organize items by child and let each child have his own storage area.

3. Find what needs to be recorded. If your state requires you to record grades on specific homework, it's good to save tests and quizzes. Make a binder for each child or go electronic and scan documents to save them on your computer. Accurate records are especially important if you have a high school student who needs a transcript.

4. Choose what homework to save. You may love your preschooler's butterfly wings, your 7th grader's essays, and your teen's history research paper, but you can't save everything. Make a personal portfolio for each child. Then, let your child choose what to save and limit the items. For large projects, take a picture to save the memories before tossing it or sharing it with someone else.

5. Donate used materials to other families. Instead of letting unused materials and completed textbooks gather dust and take up space in your house, share them with other homeschool families. After all, do you really need to keep those beginning readers and flashcards?

6. Recycle school supplies. Before you buy more school supplies, take inventory of what you already have. You'll be surprised how many stray pens, pencils, and notebooks you'll find around the house. Reuse what you can and throw away what's empty or unusable. Top erasers can double a pencil's life!

7. Take breaks and enlist help. Don't stress over your to-do list. Fit it into your daily schedule and take periodic breaks to prevent burn-out. Plus, be sure to enlist help from your kids before they run outside for summer fun.

8. Get a head start on next year. Most homeschool parents are orderly the first few weeks of the school year, but as the year goes by, their rules about messes too often become lax. Curb the clutter this year by enforcing your children's organization already this summer.

Have your own helpful tips for organizing your homeschool? Share them with others in the comment field below!