Thursday, November 25, 2010

Homeschool Challenge

Homeschooling is a daunting many changes to a mom's life are involved, but what I immediately think about is the physical change within a homeschooler's space.  How will you have a classroom in your home without LOOKING like you have a classroom in your home? Exactly the sort of challenge that I love!

Arlene decided to make her dining room her classroom when she planned to homeschool this past Fall.  Here is what it looked like while it was still a normal dining room.

She bought 4 shelves from Ikea and sent me some pictures.  I gave a suggestion for how to hang them, and then once her handy hubby had them up, I went over.  She got out all her stuff and we started sorting.  Her daughter is in Kindergarten this year, so Arlene is just starting her journey.  We wanted to make sure that she had lots of room to grow.  We used those fabby Martha Stewart baskets that I love so much to hide the not so cute items that she needed in her new classroom. Other items we just put on shelves on their own.  Still other things needed to be edited out...some to another space, some to the garbage.  For the upper shelves, we placed decorative items with the knowledge that as Arlene needs more space, she can always switch them out with school supplies.  Finally, there was the question of books and manipulatives.  In a traditional classroom, these take up a lot of space!  So we got matching baskets to line up all the way across the floor. Some were empty but we knew that they would gradually fill up as time passed and supplies got added.

The result?

A classroom disguised as a dining room!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Closets Closets Closets

With new carpet and freshly painted walls, my friend Dianne was ready to tackle putting her belongings back into her closets.  Between her master bedroom, spare room and computer room, she had 3 spaces that she was using for clothing, office supplies, odds and ends, and some pantry items.  After studying her pictures, we made the decision to purchase a storage unit for the computer room closet, as well as some super cutie Martha Stewart boxes to use as needed.

Can I just take a moment here to say that the MS fabric boxes with the two tone trim and little label spot are so handy and great looking!?  Love them!!  I even convinced my husband to buy some.

Anyway, my goal for Dianne was to help her to get all of her and her husbands clothing into one closet. She had previously been storing her stuff in the spare room.  We sorted her items into winter and summer, packed the summer away, and then loaded the winter into her master closet. Some things that had been hanging we folded and stacked up top which helped open up more space on the rod so that everything fit easily.  We gave her purses a home on top of the shoe racks.  She even has space for more shoes - yay!


In the computer room we sorted items into boxes and ended up with several empty shelves.  The spare room closet was able to be completely cleared except for the vacuum.  Imagine, two nearly empty closets!!  Now that all of Dianne's belongings have homes, she'll be able to maintain her new spaces easily.

Computer Room Closet
The first three closets went so quickly and were such fun, we thought we'd tackle her entrance closet as well.  


I think the results speak for themselves.  And the best news?  Dianne was so inspired that the next day she took on her computer desk and whipped it into shape all on her own.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Art Closet

It only seems fitting that the launch of my new blog should feature a project done at my friend Ellen's house, since she is my super talented blog and business card designer.  As you can see, her children's art closet had developed a few piles.

So, we pulled everything out, sorted it into categories and then gave every single item a new home.  Ellen wanted to use what she had so all the boxes, containers  and the standing drawer unit you see were items that were either in the closet already, or in another room, not being used.  Every container and drawer got a label, so that the kids would have no excuses about putting stuff away.  The kids like to display their masterpieces so we put up a clothes line for them…even the cutie little clothes pins were items just laying around looking for a job to do.

Latest report is that this space is now being maintained easily by the kids.