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Organizing & Decorating a Homeschool/Playroom on a Budget

>18 January 2011
 
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Here’s proof that decorating and organizing a kid’s homeschool room or playroom doesn’t have to be expensive to be cute and orderly!

Almost everything in this room has either been given to us, or purchased second hand for super cheap, including all of the teaching resources. Toys, books and games are all either given to the children as gifts from family, or picked up for pennies at yard sales, on Craigslist, and in thrift stores. Even the educational posters on the walls can be found at the dollar store. Let me show you around…

On the first wall I have most of the toys and school books organized. The bookshelf on the right was my husband’s grandmother’s. It was originally a dark wood, but a coat of white paint really brought it to life.

Imagine my delight when I spotted the other two matching bookshelves on Craigslist for $30!! Sure, they were bright orange, but the style was right and a little primer and a coat or two of white paint made this a perfect set for my playroom.

This bookshelf holds our homeschool books and binders, and a few toys and puzzles. I love using baskets and colorful metal buckets to hold smaller items. The red tin bucket holds all of our flashcards and card games. I found it at a yard sale for .50 cents.

The sturdy wicker basket holds a marble maze game. Don’t be afraid to take games with lots of small pieces out of their box and store them in a nicer container. I picked these gorgeous baskets up from the clearance shelf at Target for $10 each. A little bit of a splurge, but I’ve used them for several years in many different ways, so they were definitely a worthy investment. I’m always on the lookout for nice baskets for cheap!

The middle shelf is where most of the toddler toys and board books are, within baby’s reach.

This shelf holds most of the educational games. (I love using fun teaching games during lesson time.) The basket helps keep all of the legos in one discreet place.

This is our art center. The easel/chalk board was snagged at a yard sale for $3. And the art cart I found at Goodwill for $15 (an awesome deal considering these things retail around $100). I labeled each drawer on the art cart so that the kids know exactly where to put everything back: craft paper, coloring books, paint supplies, sponges, stamps, playdough accessories, etc.

I turned one of those plastic food storage container things (that I’m sure almost all of us have had at one point) into a rotating art supplies caddy. It hold the crayons, colored pencils, paint brushes, etc.

And over here is where we do our board work during “school”. A lady gave the dry erase board to me about six years ago, when Jada was still a baby and long before I ever had anywhere to put it. But I dreamed of having a proper homeschool room one day, so I kept it in our storage shed until two years ago when we bought this house. It needed a little cleaning, and a coat of paint around the trim, but other than that it was perfect. What a blessing that was!

The only real splurge in the play room was the alphabet area rug. Which I just had to have. I found it at a local discount carpet warehouse, and paid around $100 for it. It was still a lot of money to us, but I’d searched for months for a used one and had no luck, and when I saw this one I fell in love with it. Still though, $100 isn’t that much considering what most rugs cost.

I know I promised to show my daily homeschool lessons organizer, but that’ll have to be another post.

So, there you go! All in all, we’ve easily spent under $200 to make this room into a fun place for the kids to play and learn. The secret to truly frugal decorating is patience. You can’t expect to be able to go out one day and find everything you need at the price you want it. It takes time. My house is constantly evolving and changing, and getting better as I am able to find things that I like for really cheap.

Use what you’ve got, get creative, and wait for something you’d really like to have to come along at an unbeatable price!

(This post reminds me that I need to update our before-and-after home remodel pictures!! It’s changed a lot in the past year!)

Do you have any money saving decorating or storage ideas you’d like to share? I love to see what others are doing to keep their homes in order and looking beautiful on a budget!

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13 Comments »

  • Laryssa @Heaven In The Home said:

    Kendra! It’s beautiful!

  • Carmen at Old House Kitchen said:

    That room looks like so much fun! Great job!

  • Kristen said:

    Love it- and so jealous! We don’t have a whole room that I can devote to homeschooling and play- so until we do, I will have to keep dreaming of an amazing room like yours!

  • Deanna said:

    Look at all that gorgeous molding in your house! I love a house with good bones.

    Great room….It is almost more fun to do it on a budget. Kinda of like a game :)

    I hope God blesses your many hours in that room, training your children.

  • Pam W. said:

    I love it!! Your taste in organizing/decorating mirrors my own. Although my kids attend/attended a great parochial school system, as a former kindergarten teacher, I supplemented a LOTt at home, especially in the younger years, so we were at least part-time home-schoolers! I miss those days when the kids were young and we had all of those kinds of materials around that are in your photos. I also have those times when I miss teaching kindergarten, but I know that I’m right where I should be right now, at home, working as a self-employed part-time writer. Enjoy this time in you and your children’s lives–time flies faster and faster the older they get. I can’t believe mine have almost overnight turned into 20, 18, and 14 year-olds!

  • michelle said:

    While I don’t have kids, I do love the idea of homeschooling. It was neat to see the space and how it was decorated. One thing that caught my attention was that it seems bright and airy, a good place to play and learn.

  • Ann said:

    Really looks nice! It is so nice you have a play/homeschooling room! We are on the kitchen table for school work, and I always thought it would be nice to have a different place so we didn’t have to clean off our school books to eat lunch!

  • Natalie said:

    Kendra,
    I have the EXACT same rotating container organizer. I’ve been gradually losing the containers with giving out left overs or leaving them at work. I was wondering how I could repurpose it! Thanks for the idea. You are such a wealth of knowledge!! It’ll be a while before we homeschool, but I’ll store it for future use!

  • April said:

    I love it!!!

    We use our classroom during the spring, summer and fall. It is in our basement, and the basement is only half insulated. This summer we should finish the insulation and they it will be usable year around.(Our basement also has a 2 car garage and it just lets in too much cold air this time of the year, as right now it is below zero outside).

    During the winter we rotate between the living room, office and kitchen, and loose a lot of our organization.

    You did good, girl!!

  • Judy Over said:

    When hubby built my kitchen cabinets he used mar lite. we used to let the kids draw on them with dry erase markers. when they got too bad we would use rubbing alcohol to clean. you could cut a piece of marlite for the drawing board and frame it.

  • Lauren said:

    Awesome! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  • Stacey said:

    I FINALLY FOUND THE FOOD CONTAINER ROTATING CADDY-THING-A-MA-BOB!!! Just scored it (with 20 containers & all lids present!) for $2.99!!! My whole purpose of wanting one was to organize our art supplies just like you did! Thanks for the constant source of inspiration!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Yay, Stacey!! LOL! So glad you found what you were looking for :)

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