In Day 3, I revealed the awful pictures of what I was starting with for a schoolroom. I hope if you’ve been at this home education thing for a while you were able to sigh with relief that you weren’t starting from that point this year – or if this is your first year of educating your kids at home you were able to see how possible it is to overcome overwhelming odds to set up your space.
Each of our challenges for facing a new year are unique.
Today’s bite size piece was deciding to turn the closet into a book nook for the kids.
The original plan for this space was to convert it to a hallway-accessed, built-in shelving unit because we don’t have a linen closet. And our bathroom is tiny (in a cozy, we love this house no matter what sort of way).
So, I let my mind explore the idea of using this under the staircase closet as a special kid-sized area and also started brainstorming what we would do for bathroom storage. (I created this Small Bathroom Solutions board as a result, and we’ve actually accomplished some of these. Setting goals for using Pinterest really works.)
As the idea continued to form, I knew it was going to be a big hit with my kids. I was convinced that I just had to create it.
And out with all the random things as seen here, in order to first move in our small 2 shelf bookcase.
First, I hold myself to the cardinal rule of my own creation – Thou shalt only move an item to its home, or it must move out of our home. I can’t tell you how many times during each of our 11 moves (in 10 years) that I’ve driven myself crazy by busily shuffling things from one flat surface to another.
So busy, but never getting anything done.
Constantly “rearranging” but never giving an item an official place in our home.
It was enough to make me motivated to reach out for this book and change.
As each item was moved out of the closet it was carefully given a home somewhere else, or it was thrown out or donated. I’ve learned to just go with my gut because another one of my crazies with moving is indecision. (Again, thank you Tsh. This podcast is a gem.)
Second, I grabbed the small shelf to see if it would fit, and with that in place I was free to start unloading my kids’ favorite books. In went pillows, a small ottoman, a pretty curtain to cover an unfinished wall, and 2 lamps. Oh, and the guitar – of course!
Finally, I revealed the space to the kids and the magic took over from there. Books and pillows in a small space with a cave-like, secret hiding spot feel? WIN.
All the what if we really need storage? And where will we put hairdryers and towels, extra toilet paper and toothpaste-questions paled in comparison. It didn’t matter. So what if I have to run down to the basement for extra toilet paper or reach into the over head cupboards in the schoolroom for my hairdryer (that I only use an average of once a month anyway)?
My kids’ affection for our home and their cool space has just gone through the roof.
And I now am completely convinced that creating spaces with purpose within the home is a non-negotiable. When I first read through Organized Simplicity the winter of 2013, I had no idea how to see the purpose of a space – I was instead the master of multitasking spaces way beyond their design.
Now looking back I see the huge difference of asking too much from a space, by hoarding and cramming too many “good things” into one place.
So, do I sometimes think this closet/storage space turned Kids’ Book Nook is a waste of useable space? Not at all.
The joy our whole family gets from it is irreplaceable.
What space in your home brings the most joy to your kids? How can you make it even more enjoyable for everyone?
If you’ve missed a day, check out the index of posts: click here.
- Why we all need a thing (but not all the things.) :: Kara Anderson on having a space. Why it’s important. It’s a good read.
- When You’re Sure a Space is Hopeless :: The Nester’s redo of a room is sure to help inspire you if you’re faced with a challenging space too.
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, For Kids :: The Modern Mrs. Darcy applies many of the tips and tricks of the KonMari-style with her kids.
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