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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Homeschool Room Makeover

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As everyone gears up to start another year homeschooling I thought I’d share about our homeschool room makeover. I hope it encourages and inspires you! 
homeschool room makeover
To start with I want to make sure you know something - our school room was already very organized!  When i said we were giving our homeschool room a makeover I had lots of people ask me WHY?

The why is simple, the room felt crowded, cluttered, and I didn’t enjoying being in our room. Here is our room before: (tour of our school room from 2011-2013)
homeschool room makeover You see everything has a place. We had all the toys, tools, maps, and resources we needed to do school and life. But you see just because things are organized doesn’t mean it is de-cluttered or nice!
I decided it was time to simplify! Time to declutter! Time to reduce!

Step #1 - Reducing our stuff

I went through our books and got rid of ones that we didn’t read regularly. We have a great public library nearby, we can always borrow some. I have to have some good literature on hand to keep them reading, but only books that are GREAT that they will read again and again.

I reduced our toys. Over the course of birthdays, Christmas, and garage sales we had accumulated a lot of toys. They were all nice, but we just had too many. I’ve found kids actually play better when there aren’t too many things {toys} to distract them. So… we went through and got rid of worn, hardly used, duplicate purpose toys. We simplified and reduced our toys by at least 30%. We donated all our stuff to Goodwill – good life lesson for the kids.

Step #2 – Give our Homeschool Room a Facelift

homeschool room makeover
A fresh coat of plaint can do wonders for a room – it will change the way it feels and you feel when in it! And at $30 or so a can, it is affordable too! Think carefully about the color you are going to paint your room.

UPDATE: For those that hav asked our color - Behr Premium Plus Ultra Stain Blocking Paint & Primer in One. Mate  #460E-3 Smokey Slate

What Color to Paint your Room


  • Dark colors will make the room seem dark and drab. You may feel sad, depressed, or tired.
  • Bright sunny colors like yellow, orange, light blue, and light green can make you feel happy and energized.
  • Red can make you feel angry.
  • Blue is calming, soothing. But too dark and it may stifle your creativity.
  • Green will energize you, make you feel alive and vibrant.

Because of the color of our adjoining rooms I was somewhat limited, but I finally settled on this seafoam turquoise color. I wanted a calm, bright, energizing homeschool room.

homeschool room makeover
Moving all of our furniture was a LOT of work! My desk was heavy, as was the aquarium, but we made it work.
homeschool room makeover homeschool room makeover 

I am the designated painter in our house so I taped up the edges and began painting, meanwhile the kids got to watch a Disney movie. It took me a couple hours to tape & paint the first coat. We used the Behr paint with primer built in and found we only needed one coat – score!

Step #3 - Organizing our Homeschool Room

homeschool room makeover

Instead of our old shelves that were practical, but not pretty, we bought and built the Expedite IKEA shelf. {I have admired thise shelf in Confessions of a Homeschoolers beautiful school room {@Erica Homeschooler} since we started homeschooling}. This was the most expensive part of our makeover, but these sturdy shelves are made to last and I’m glad we made the investment!

They were super easy to put together and are VERY sturdy! We got the large 5x5 unit (25 cubbies) and I’m so glad we did. We got white DRÖNA boxes to for some of our cubbies. These boxes are much larger & heavier duty than the canvas ones you will find at Target. Again, worth the investment. I was a little worried at first about white. Honestly the other colors where {ahem} ugly. But months later they are still bright & white – I love them!
homeschool room makeover
We have books, toys (baby/toddler toys & dress-ups are on the bottom shelf hidden in DRÖNA boxes), school manipulatives, puzzles, and more all on our shelves. In case you are wondering, here is a breakdown of the cubbies you can see:

  • Top Left: learning resource learning games (Toddler/Preschool)
  • Top Middle: Widgets, Melissa & Dough Puzzles
  • Top Right: plastic storage box 1 (paint) plastic storage box 2 (misc. craft supplies we use a lot: glue, hot glue gun, pom poms, etc.)
  • From Top Left: Elementary Manipulates & Scale
  • From Top Middle: readers (Kindergarten to left of blue box holding magazines, 1st & 2nd grade to the right)
  • From Top Right: plastic storage box 1 plastic animals; plastic storage box 2 Disney character sets
  • Middle Left: Melissa & Doug Food sets (pizza, cake, sandwich flannel set, tea set)
  • Middle Middle: Puzzles (25 and larger – lots of different ones!)
  • Middle Right: Vet Hospital (Minnie’s favorite toy), Box #1 View master , Box #2 Magnetic Dress-up Dolls, Box #3 polly pocket type Disney Princess dolls
  • Next Bottom Left: Red spine means Spanish books
  • Next Bottom Middle: Board books
  • Next Bottom Right: Baby Toys (easy to get to, not heavy if pulled off shelf, and accommodates all the brick-a-brack!)
  • Bottom Left: Girl Dress-up clothes
  • Bottom Middle: Boy Dress-up clothes
  • Bottom Right: More Baby Toys



Introducing our {De-Cluttered} Home School Room

homeschool room makeover
Here is our room. Now it is neat & de-cluttered too! Do you feel calm and ready to learn?

homeschool room makeover

Our corner with our Ikea shelves has a loveseat. We use to have a full size couch, but this fits better in the space while still giving grown-ups a spot to sit while kids play or to read together. Reading is a BIG part of our day!
Notice the empty wall space to the right of couch and left of bookshelf. Having open wall space it important to having an open, inviting learning space.

The table serves as a coffee table and activity table for our kids. Underneath are train tracks & Duplos for the kids to build with. This is a great multi-purpose space. My Mother-in-law found this at a garage sale. NOTE: I plan on painting the top white when I get the chance!


homeschool room makeover  homeschool room makeover

Instead of our large multi unit kitchen we got a compact all-in-one. The kids still love the kitchen so we still needed one, but this one has lots of storage space and takes up a minimal amount of room. The kids love all the cool sound effects & lights in our new set! In case you were wondering we have the Step 2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen and we LOVE it! I highly recommend it!

Again, notice the empty walls which make the room feel bigger and cleaner! I included a picture so you could see how the room runs into the front entry way.
homeschool room makeover

Our reading nook is by lots of natural light. We got both of these cute chairs cheap at either a garage sales or freecycle and they are very popular in our house. The shelf was a cheap find at a garage sale. I stock the book shelf with library books on the topics we are studying, easy readers, and rotating picture books to keep the kids reading.

where we've been map - kids activity
Above our reading corner is our United States map. Notice all the pins on our map – these are places we've been. We are trying to get the kids to all 50 states before they leave our “nest”  The kids love looking back at it and pointing out the places we've been. It is also going to be great for our study of the United States this year!

homeschool room makeover

My desk is also in our homeschool room. I keep my lesson plans on my computer and print off lots of sheets, reserve books from the library, and look things up online. It also allows me to blog while the kids are playing or doing independent seat work. The filing cabinet holds the kids work they’ve completed this year, school memory pages, and all my printable games to help the kids in their studies - all sorted by grade.
Notice that I have only a picture or two on the top of all my surfaces. Even though it is tempting to store things there, I know keeping them mostly clear makes the room feel bigger, and less cluttered!
our workboxes

Our workboxes are still working out great! Basically these are a great way to help us keep organized and keep any projects or books organized.

Kids in Kindergarten on up have a box per subject. They bring out one box a time and have all the workboxes, extra reading, lapbooks, manipulatives, etc. they need for that subject.

Toddlers or Preschoolers have one box a day. I add several fun activities to help them learn and keep them entertained while I “do school” with the older kids. You’ll find puzzles, simple worksheets, learning resource items, counting mats, and more.

On top of our workboxes I have our most used school books – draw write now, Learning Year by Year, Books to Build on, Judy early Learning Books, scratch paper for the kids to color, and coloring books.
homeschool room makeover

You can see our pet fish and our dinning room that feeds into our school room. We actually do all our seat work at our dinning room table. We are fortunate to have a separate table in the kitchen where we eat. Unless we have friends over for dinner, this dinning room table is reserved for school. We do try to keep it cleaned off.
Clean, uncluttered surfaces are more inviting to learn at!
homeschool room makeover We love this holder we got at Target dollar section. It has a separate, organized spot for our markers, bingo markers, crayons, colored pencils, pencils, scissors, etc. You can get a similar one at IKEA too. This is the only thing allowed to be on our dinning room table. Everything else goes back in the correct workbox after we finish the subject. 
By keeping the house clean as we go we always feel comfortable inviting neighbors in at a moments notice.

So, what do you think? I love reading your comments!

Curious about what other homeschoolers homeschooling space looks like? Check out a whole bunch of homeschool rooms here!

Additional Resources

free homeschool forms



45 comments:

  1. I absolutely love what you have done in the space...very inspiring:)

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  2. u have done such a great job with your room.... keeping clean is my problem...although i dont homeschool 100% i do it on afternoons and weekends...would be doing it full time during our summer break starting tomrrow....

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  3. Oh how I wish I could pull half of that off! I have such a hard time finding free time between the farm, the house and the kids - unless its 2am feeding with the baby and I can't go back to sleep! Hats off!

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    1. I don't have a baby.... give yourself some grace =) I miss those 2 am feedings (gasp, I know =)

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  4. I am in the process of creating a special space and I feel like I cannot fit it all into the room. Your changes are so simple and I love it. Great job!

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    1. thanks - I do think simple can make a big difference.

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  5. I'm in the middle of cleaning and organizing our schoolroom. We just took a huge load of books and toys to the Salvation Army. I don't have room in the budget to buy new storage and things for the room, but I'm really inspired by what you do with yours.

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    1. So glad it inspired - happy reorganizing =)

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  6. I love the color you chose and your bookcases!

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  7. Beautiful and best of all it looks easy to clean up! I am trying to figure out how we can best blend school and living space in our small house. Luckily it's only preschool for now!

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    Replies
    1. It is tricky isn't it! Enjoy those early years!

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  8. Looks great, girl!! I know how much work it is re-organizing everything. :) Those Expedit shelves are wonderful and you are going to love them!

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    1. Thanks! I am so tickled you commented on my blog =)

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  9. Your room looks amazing!!! I also love Erika's room, but yours is equally as lovely ( I also love Jolanthe's room). I love the colour you painted!! Could you come & do my room too????? ;)

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    1. Aw, thanks Renata! What a sweet comment!! Made my day.

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  10. Loooooove it!! It looks soothing, and a wonderful place to spend the day.

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  11. I so wish we had a school room. Right now half the stuff is in the babies room and half is in the living room and we do work at the kitchen table.

    I want to paint my kitchen that exact color! Can you tell me what brand and the exact name of the color so I can just go down to lowes and ask for it? Please email me the brand and color at colorado.dreamranch@gmail.com
    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. It is Behr Premium Plus Ultra Stain Blocking Paint & Primer in One. Mate

      #460E-3 Smokey Slate

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  12. I have the same question as Adria! I LOVE the color and would love to paint my homeschool room that color. I've been trying to decide on a blue....I know its Behr but would you mind sharing the shade? My email is annie.seay@gmail.com
    Thanks! Your room turned out great=)

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    Replies
    1. No problem - It is Behr Premium Plus Ultra Stain Blocking Paint & Primer in One. Mate

      #460E-3 Smokey Slate

      Delete
  13. Love it! Our room was originally BRIGHT orange. Like, really bright! It looked fun but was not relaxing and I didn't like it at all. Last Fall I painted it a soft mint green and now it looks bigger and we all love it! Paint makes a big difference!

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  14. I love it. The room is peaceful yet exciting.
    Blessings, Dawn

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  15. Love it - don't you just love the Expedit shelving??

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  16. LOVE it!! You're room is now so peaceful and calm, super job!! :) Can you come help me with mine? Lol!

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  17. Gorgeous makeover!! We just moved into our home this past fall. I hope to paint our schoolroom next month. The drab olive gray is very uninspiring!!

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  18. Wow, what a great transformation!! Love your home school space!!

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  20. We went with this color too. Congrats on the make-over and the-almost-beginning of a new year!

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  21. Nice room! Love how organized you are, I'm posting my room tmrw!

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  22. Wow! Definitely feels calmer from the photos, awesome job! :)

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  23. Awesome makeover...love the ikea shelving....thanks for sharing

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  24. I love your room makeover! I have a question about your wall map (the one in which the pins are on places you have visited). Did you frame it yourself? Where was it purchased? Thanks :)

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  25. I love how you put pins on the places you've visited -- I might have to copy that idea. : ) And your reading corner looks so cozy.

    Have a wonderful year!

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  26. It looks beautiful. I love how your showed the transformation. Fun to read! :) Blessings! Cassandra @ TheUnpluggedFamily.com

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  27. It looks beautiful! I am just learning that picking up throughout the day helps keep our house inviting and we are all more willing to learn. :)

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  28. So the travel map . . . . . did you adhere it to a cork board? I want to do the same with my girls because our plan is to visit as many states as possible also. I love the idea of having it out and memory invoking!

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  29. Oh WOW!! Will you come over to my house and organize my school room for me?? I always feel overwhelmed when I think about decluttering our school supplies and toys. I have an 8 year old, 4 year old, and 1 year old, so I feel like I have to keep everything right now. Love the post! Such an inspiration!! God Bless!

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  30. Wow that looks great, I've admired Erica's shelves and her whole room really too. I hope its working well for you.

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  31. You're room looks great, so open and organized. I have an Expedit as well and I love the storage it provides while also looking nice. Have a great school year!

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