When we started “homeschool preschool” with Ru, most of our learning took place organically around the house and backyard. Our kitchen floor seemed to be the most popular. However, as I looked towards kindergarten and juggling two kids’ learning needs, it became clear that we needed a dedicated space for our whole family to work. So, the homeschool room was born!
I was always planning to convert the girls’ old nursery into an office space, but it had really just become a storage dumping ground with some computer desks in the corner. I felt overwhelmed even considering the idea of tackling the mess, but I knew the amount of work couldn’t even compare to the improvement in our quality of life to all have a clean and organized workspace!
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Tackling the Mess
I started by cleaning out the clutter bag by bag, box by box. The huge task moved so much faster than I’d imagined. I’m not 100% onboard with the Konmari Method, but the book has dramatically influenced the way that I look at clutter. I am getting less sentimental in general, but more sentimental about the things that matter!
Making a Plan
The next step was taking an honest look at the space and evaluating what I could truly do with it. I’ve been dreaming of a Pinterest-perfect, DIY, built-in workspace for years and thought this could be my chance!
However, the reality was that I already had everything that I needed for the space to function. I couldn’t justify spending time and money fixing something that wasn’t technically broken.
Getting It Done
So, instead, I set out to make the most of what I had. This included repurposing the girls’ Pottery Barn Kids table and chairs, some hand-me-down desks, and chairs from our bedroom. I also collected some other items from around the house.
Over the last year or so, I started collecting educational tools from the Dollar Tree and Target. It was shocking to see how much it added up to when I put it all in one place! I also raided my old classroom supplies that have been stored in the attic and found tons of useful stuff!
By the end of the project, I sat down to reflect on my spending. I realized that our only *new* purchases for our homeschool room were the rolling storage carts and a few supplies. I never dreamed that I’d put together a space that works for all of us and only spend $75!
Inside Our Homeschool Room
Without further ado, here it is! I’ve included links (or sources) for some of our favorite items in each picture too!
Here’s the entrance to our homeschool room! It’s complete with our “first day of school” frame hanging on the door and our Walt Disney World silhouette portraits. A bit off topic, but I think this is the coolest souvenir keepsake. The top silhouette is from when I was a little girl and the bottom one is my girls recently!
I’ve had a few people ask me about my toolbox! I’m sure it looks really out of place to most! When I decided to condense our homeschool room and office space together, one of my concerns was about securing dangerous crafting supplies from little hands. My girls love to create, but I wanted to keep them safe. No reaching in for a pencil and pulling out an Exacto blade!
While I was pondering this one weekend, I visited my husband in the shed… and that’s when I saw my old toolbox sitting there, already half empty waiting for me! It felt like the perfect solution for a few reasons. The toolbox is obviously made for tools, so it’s heavy duty enough to withstand the bumps of a classroom space. It also has a locking mechanism, without having to drill and put a garish lock on another kind of cabinet. The toolbox also rolls, so I can easily relocate it in the future, without worry about it tipping over. And it is bright red to add a nice pop of color to an otherwise boring wall. Win, win, win, win, win!
The Girls’ Areas
This is the girls’ primary learning area, comprised of their desk area and our learning rug area. The learning rug area is the heart of our daily activities, centralized around their Melissa & Doug rug, along with a playful dinosaur floor pillow from HomeGoods. A black and white basket keeps plush learning tools, cars for the rug, and the books for the week organized! The walls currently feature posters from Dollar Tree, along with felt animal heads, a map, and sounds chart from Target.
This area is centered around their Pottery Barn Kids table and chairs. I chose this table long before we decided to homeschool, but it’s perfect for our new purpose thanks to the drawers! They each have a laptop to use for games or schoolwork. I also have clear Rubbermaid totes under their desk with all of their learning tools sorted by subject. In the future, the bins will be moved into the closet, if or when we get it cleaned out!
I framed their desk with curtains from Target (here are some similar ones from Amazon), along with some thin window sheers to let in lots of natural light during the day. I also like that they can see out into the world while they work! We chose to hang a bulletin board above their desk, so we can display and reference past school work as we go! I also moved two canvas from another room to decorate the upper wall space too!
I purchased two of these rolling carts from HomeGoods, one for the kids and one for me. It’s a great place to store workbooks and frequently used supplies, so I’m not digging for them. I chose a cart over a bookshelf, because it allows us to work in other rooms easily too!
My Work Area
My desk serves many purposes and it shows! I use this space to do lesson planning, run my travel business, and also do hand lettering. I organized my lettering tools in various glass containers and some old bamboo bathroom organizers. Some of my favorite Secular Saints candles, part of my Women of NASA LEGO set, and a Smasher of the Patriarchy trophy are also on display.
This is also where I use my other rolling cart. My hand-me-down desk doesn’t have any built-in storage, so I needed a place to organize (or at least pile) all of my paperwork. I keep folders, binders, mail, and client gifts all stowed here.
I’ve had several people ask about that binder sitting on my desk, so I’m actually going to dedicate a whole separate post to its contents! It basically contains all of the details of our entire school year!
So, that’s the tour… for now! Feel free to ask questions in the comments or share any of your tips for setting up a functional family workspace!