Friday, October 28, 2011

Intervention Needed - Where I Plead for Your Help

I'm about to expose a dark secret that I've been keeping from all of you who don't know me in real life. I hope I don't disappoint you.

I've written several posts on how to keep a clean house while living with lots of little people. The truth is, my kitchen stays clean, the guest bathroom stays clean, the living room is usually neat, and the dining room stays pretty neat. We don't let people upstairs where the bedrooms are, so let's not speak of that.

Then there is the 'Imagination Room'. The entire rest of my house can be spic-and-span, and this room will look like a bombed out building. In fact, the picture below represents this room in relatively good shape.

I know. It's a disgrace. A scar. A reality.

We call it the Imagination Room for several reasons. First of all, we never imagined we would have a room that we had no idea what to do with. We never considered that there might be a black hole right in the middle of our house. It's where my sewing machine lives and crafting stuff lands. And I do enjoy the crafty side of life, so there is a good bit of stuff. Joshua's keyboard and sound equipment reside in here. The computer sits on the bottom of an old china cabinet that I have mostly renovated (the doors are off because a.) it allows more air to circulate for the machine. b.) it's a good place to prop our feet when we sit here. c.) I haven't painted them yet. d.) of all of the above. Take your pick.)

Mostly it's called the Imagination Room because I like to tell people to 'imagine it's clean and neat and organized' when they come in my house. That's the cold, hard truth of it.

Another space I haven't shared with you is my school area.

It's the breakfast nook just off our kitchen. It's the perfect size for our school table and the bookshelf. It also boasts the busiest walkway in our home: from the living room into the kitchen, just between the table and the bookshelf. The walkway is plenty big enough...unless there are colored pencils and coloring books and game pieces and folders and books and stuff on the floor. Then it's considered pretty hazardous.

I'd like to tell you that the kids never, ever leave their stuff laying around. I'd like to tell you that they are perfect angels about cleaning up behind themselves. But you'd call my bluff, and that would just be embarrassing.

It only took eighteen months for me to see that the Imagination Room needs to be our school room. I'm quick like that. Homeschooling isn't a short term decision. And I have five little people who will be processing through in the next 20-ish years. So why on Earth would I NOT dedicate an entire room to our educational pursuits?

That poor bookshelf is crammed full and I have baskets and boxes and tubs and drawers filled with other stuff that we use regularly. That bookshelf needs friends. We have flashcards that would greatly help our children if they were displayed at all times but I don't have wall space in the current school room, so they rarely make it out. The world map is hanging on the wall in a different room because, again, there is no wall space in the school area. I don't mind my home bearing marks in different places of our homeschooling, but it would make it easier on the kids if they didn't have to walk back and forth.

Now, with that in mind, I need your assistance. I need to paint the walls of the school room. And I'd also love to hear your ideas for a fun and functional space. The room is 17 x 12 feet with fantastic natural lighting. However, there are no overhead lights. Mr. Bookshelf up there is gaining three buddies and they will run from wall to wall down the 17 foot wall that has no windows. My school table (which I LOVE) is 4 1/2 feet square. The other seventeen foot wall has two windows. One twelve foot wall has a window (pictured above) and the other wall has a four foot wide door that we will be hanging drapes across so that the room may be closed off.

If you need any other info, holler. If you have wonderful things that work for you, or dreams of what you'd like, share it or link to it in the comments. If you Pinterest, please @ me so I can see pictures. If your brilliant and want to come do this for me (just for the satisfaction of creating something and maybe some brownies), bring it!


Heather M. said...

I LOVE TO organize...seriously! Just not my own home it seems. Bookshelves, canvas baskets (easy for labeling and most have handles that help them work like drawers) and its a kid approved start to manhandle chaos or ummmm useful clutter! :)

Ruthe Myers said...

I have some ideas I can share with you. And heck, I'd even come over and help with whatever you need to be done ( for the satisfaction, brownies, oh and I'll throw in babysitting your kids!)

Missi said...

You know what is ironic? You are living my DREAM! No...literally. Last night I actually dreamed that I had an entire room that I wasn't sure what to do with, and at some point it dawned on me that I should be using it as a school room. =D
I don't have any advice, since my school stuff happens at the dining room table, from one book shelf and half of the pantry. However, I really do love the look of Ann Voskamp's school room that we get a glimpse of every so often in photos. Functional, cozy, stimulating, peaceful...