How is it possible that school is going to start in just a few weeks?! I’m not ready to turn in my swimsuit and sunscreen for sweaters and gym shoes yet, but here we are already into August. I know a lot of you have ALREADY started school and you know what I’m talking about. There is a certain really fun buzz to the fresh start of a new school year. And in my own casa this is a very special year because my baby is going off to kindergarten! So for the first time E-V-E-R I have all three kids in school full-time. It’s going to be a crazy first week back to school for this mama y’all-thrills and tears and everything in between. And that’s all for me. My kids will be just fine.
But with the back to school season, every day these sweet kiddos seem to drag home backpacks full of permission slips, sports schedules, reading materials, etc. (plus broken pencils, special rocks, and a multitude of “don’t throw this away” treasures) And if I’m not careful my kitchen counter stacks start to pile up, and I find myself frantically searching for the ______(fill-in-the-blank with whatever important item it is) five minutes before the bus leaves. About two years ago I added two areas into my home that rocked my world.
A Command Center:
Mailboxes, a homework Inbox, Charging Station, Mail Station: all in about 36″ of space! Be still my heart. To find out all of the details about my own mudroom (plus how I handpainted my concrete floors for just a few dollars), check it all out HERE:
To keep us even more organized, we added six lockers (one for each family member plus one for Jasper our Labradoodle). If a mudroom is in your future, check out my post 10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Locker (plus see more mudroom pics):
The second area was:
A Homework Center:
I created a triple kid’s homework desk from an inexpensive Ikea set, and added individual spaces for all three of my kids to do homework, play, or create their crafts (but as one reader asked: NO, they don’t all work there side-by-side like good little soliders, my kids are C-R-A-Z-Y!), but we all love that little space in our home because it is so darn functional.
But there is another Mom after my own heart, who reached out to me last month wanting to create a shared
Home Office + Homework Center + Command Center
for her own brood of three! She wanted to get a jump start before the school year started so she could start of the season organized and with a place for everything. She requested a budget-friendly homework station that was neutral with a rustic style. Like many homes, she had a rarely used small room off the front of her foyer that she wanted to make better use of. We had a lot to cram into the space, but now she has a Home Office where all five family members have a spot to work. And best yet, everything has a place.
Most of the items came from our all-time favorite Target! We kept their existing back desk (#1), but added in a long Ikea desk with two workstations for their kids. In between the “grown-up” and “kids areas” is this low shelf (#7) where you can load it up with baskets to store school and office supplies. On one wall we created a Command Center with individual hooks (#15) and wall mailboxes (#18) for each kid so they know EXACTLY where to put their gear. I’m a huge fan of using an inbox (#3) with kids. The kids put all of their papers to be signed, homework to be reviewed, etc. in one basket so Mom or Dad don’t have to dig around looking for it! Then anything that needs to go back to school goes in the second drawer, or “outbox” so kids know exactly where to go for it. I swear this has saved me HOURS of time, my little inbox has been a miracle worker at our home.
And updating lighting can make all of the difference in a space. She hated her builder basic “boob” light so I found a rustic, but inexpensive new fixture (#4), and I’m currently in-love with these plug-in sconces (#16) -no electrical work needed!
But how you lay out your space is just as important as what you put into it! A Floor Plan showed my clients where to put every item for the best, most functional layout. It can be a bit overwhelming to JUST see a Mood Board (what do you do with all of those pretty new items?), so adding in a Floor Plan and Step-by-Step directions makes the process like a paint-by-numbers page!
I always create two versions of every space for my clients, and they are made to be mixed-and-matched so they can choose their favorites. So Version #2 still kept in all of the same elements, and same design style, but with a second set of options to choose from:
In this option, her Command Center is still on the wall, each child has a vertical column with a:
Backpack Hook + Bulletin Board + Mailbox
Plus this version has all of the storage, desk space, and other options as the first version. I hope this gave this smart cookie Mama tons of choices to create the Home Office/Homework Station/Command Center of her dreams. If you need help whipping your space into shape, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat about your project! Or you can check out how all of my Room Packages work right HERE.
I know you are extra busy this time of year, so save yourself oodles of time and stress and just let me custom design your room top-to-bottom for you. Then order your entire room in an hour without ever leaving home. Use your extra saved time to take a bubble bath (or carpool to hockey practice, I know how real life works!).
Or if you just need some extra ideas to get your project rolling check out all of my freebie Mood Boards, Guides, Shopping Lists, and more located in my FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY!
Cheers and Happy Back to School season friends!