When we bought and renovated our home 7 years ago, one of the first ideas I had for our family room was to create a homework station for my 3 kids.
I had no idea back then how relevant this work space would become as we navigated the world of at-home learning during a global pandemic!
With so many kids learning and working at home, and with my own kids returning to school this week, it felt like a good time to share the details of this functional space in our family room.
In our previous home, we had a teeny tiny built-in desk space off the kitchen, that was kind of useless. When I saw the big blank wall in our new family room which adjoins the kitchen, right away I had the idea to create a kids homework station, with a spot for each kiddo. Basically a bigger, more functional version of our previous kitchen desk built-in.
I created this desk area using the same cabinets from our kitchen renovation and I went with a sturdy grey quartz counter material to serve as the desk top.
I love that this desk area is so central, and that the kids can be doing homework or crafting while I am in the kitchen cooking. This space has worked hard for us and continues to be super functional. The only downfall is that it does tend to be a dump zone and it can get out of control fast. I put a few systems into place to try and mange the clutter. I very much believe in the saying "a place for everything and everything in it's place". When clutter starts to pile up on this desk it's either because I haven't had time to put things away, or the items that have been dumped there don't have a home.
Here are the most valuable organizing systems in this space:
These cabinets are home to craft and school supplies, technology items, tools, office supplies, and lastly - photos and old camera equipment that frankly needs a purge session.
The drawers in the base cabinets hold all of our family files, stationary and printer supplies and then each kid has a "junk drawer" where they can shove whatever they want.
When the drawer gets full, my kids know it's time to purge old and unwanted items, like that container of dried up playdoh or the ziploc bag of slime they made 2 months ago.
Everyone in the family has a designated slot in this wall mounted file organizer from IKEA. I have a filing system for the kids school work and mementos - I have a folder for each school year that is part of a memory box. I keep the current year's folder in the hanging file organizer. When they bring home a special assignment or piece of artwork that they want to save, I pop it in there and at the end of the school year the whole folder goes back into the memory box in their room.
I love how easy cork boards are and that might be why we have several of them hanging over our desk area. This girls are more into this than Kallum, but I let them post whatever they want on these boards, and I think it's fun for them to have their artwork up there on display.
Buckets for school supplies
By far the best organization system we have in place are these hanging buckets, again from IKEA. We try and keep them organized by item, although it is not uncommon to see a marker in the pencil crayon bucket...disgraceful I know!
Being able to access all of our commonly used supplies is something I appreciate daily. These buckets are also great because you can take them off of the hooks and move them around. The kids sometimes prefer to work at the counter, so they can bring which ever bucket they need with them, and then (ideally) put them away when they are finished.
Having this kids homework station built as part of our renovation was awesome, but you don't need to use kitchen cabinets like I did. A very similar look can be achieved using affordable IKEA desk components, just like with my desk area in our living room.
This coming week on the blog, I will share the components you need to create your own kids homework station with my favourite "tried and true" items from IKEA.
Hope your back to school transition has been going okay, it's going to be a different year, but I am trying to stay positive and optimistic that it's going to be a good one for our kids.
Thanks for Reading!