Today, let’s cover one of the ultimate disadvantages of homeschooling: finding space to homeschool and getting homeschool room ideas that can adapt to your specific needs and area.
You’ve come to the right place if you’ve ever thought:
“HELP! Give me some homeschool room ideas, classroom hacks, and organizing tricks for my homeschool space without breaking the budget!”
DON’T MISS OUR HOMESCHOOL CLASSROOM MAKEOVER VIDEO TOUR LATER IN THE POST!
If you’re considering a classroom a makeover, you’re in luck because I recently decluttered our classroom in a major “I’M SO OVER THIS!” class redo.
(And it was a lot . . . you’ll see in just a little while when I show you THE MOST EMBARRASSING PHOTO EVER.)
I know what you’re probably thinking:
I don’t have the time or patience (or budget!) to take on the whole “how to declutter your home and classroom” trend.
I totally get it.
We put it off for so long that it started to get ridiculous.
Wait until you see my mid-decluttering pic below.
It’s sooooooo . . .
. . . not pretty.
(And, again, SUPER embarrassing.)
You’ll DEFINITELY feel better about whatever you have going on after you see that pic . . .
(I’ll also give you a homeschool room tour of our new space and include homeschool room ideas images that hopefully spark inspiration! So don’t miss it!)
Anyway . . .
With your room makeover, I want you to remember these things:
• You don’t have to learn how to declutter a room in one day!
You can methodically work your way through your space over a few days or a week (or whatever) to make it exactly what you want!
You just need to stay on it once you’ve started!
• Nor do you have to break the bank to have a FABULOUS homeschooling space!
I’ll show you how I saved HUNDREDS on an amazing table that doubles as a student desk and collaborative learning table!
We’ll also cover how to decorate your room with things you already have for FREE!
• And, a homeschool classroom makeover is about way more than a just a table and a classroom wall decoration!
It’s about understanding your needs and goals for the learning space!
(Although, I’ll show you some awesome cheap ways to decorate a classroom that are functional too!)
So, if you’re looking for homeschooling ideas for decluttering, decorating, and organizing your classroom while you stay in budget, you’ve come to the right place —
— no matter if you have a basement homeschool room, set up a living room homeschool, are homeschooling in a small apartment (or only have a super small space), or even need to put a homeschool space in a bedroom.
(Uh huh. You really can!)
There are ideas here that will work for you — whatever your situation!
So, let’s get into classroom decorating and organizing tips, ideas, and so much more!
READY TO SEE THAT EMBARRASSING PICTURE?
BEFORE AND AFTER MAKEOVER PICTURES
If you want a sneak peak, here’s what our classroom looked like when we first started decluttering (don’t judge). . .
Before makeover picture:
(If you look closely under that “BEFORE” header in the image, you can see my piled high desk. Yep. Super proud.)
And, here’s our classroom after picture:
I’ll have more pictures throughout the post, so don’t miss them!
NOW . . .
Let’s get into those homeschool organization ideas, shall we?
I’ll walk you through exactly how I achieved an organized room and some of our MUST HAVE items that were lifesavers!
But first, I want to talk to you about something important . . .
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom
Before setting up your classroom, take time to think about your goals and needs. Understanding your needs will help you prevent (sometimes costly) mistakes when creating a homeschool space. So, before you ask “How do I organize a classroom?” you need to:
- Understand your goals.
- Identify your problem areas.
- Understand how your student learns best.
- Think about what kind of collaborative learning will take place.
- Decide if you want a theme.
- Determine how you are going to showcase art/creations/collections.
- Understand what homeschool supplies you need and where you will store them.
- Think of homeschool classroom furniture you need (and, if you even need a separate student desk).
- And lastly (but importantly), don’t forget about the space that you (as the adult) need!
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Please refer to our DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
Let’s take a closer look at each of those points in how to set up a homeschool classroom to help you better understand what you need (and what you don’t need — which is just important!) and how to organize homeschool room (even without an IKEA desk lol).
Classroom Organization Makeover
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #1: What Are My Goals?
You know how you see those cool homeschool rooms that will inspire you and your homeschoolers, but you try to recreate it and it just falls flat?
That’s because you didn’t consider your goals and needs first!
Before you move forward with the fun part of homeschool room setup ideas and planning, you first need to consider the needs and goals for your homeschool space:
- Is it a dedicated space just homeschooling?
- Does the space need to serve dual purposes (like also a playroom or a dining room)?
- Do you need to provide individual learning spaces/desks for each child or just a collaborative learning space (or both)?
- How much time will you spend in there? Is this a place that you use for hours on end each day or do you just need it for a few hours a week?
- How much storage do you need for books and other homeschooling supplies?
- Where will you showcase projects, art, and “collections” from nature hikes?
Before I initially set up our current homeschooling class, I did not even consider our needs or goals.
I just set up a classroom that was cute/cool and then guess what happened?
It didn’t really end up as functional as I wanted.
(And then, it just became a storage area. Hence that crazy BEFORE image.)
So . . .
Don’t make the same mistake(s) as me!
Be sure to consider your goals/needs.
(I would even recommend creating a homeschooling checklist that you can refer to as you go through the process.)
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #2: What Are Our Problem Areas?
Another thing that will be super helpful in your classroom organization makeover is to think about your problem areas.
Again, this was something that I didn’t initially think about before, but on this latest makeover / classroom reboot it was at the top of my list . . .
. . . and it REALLY helped!
Before the redo, our homeschool area issues were:
- Not enough collaborative space so we ended up going other places to do projects together.
- Not enough storage (that we could put things away and not be seen).
- No wall space to hang art or maps or diagrams (or whatever).
- Too much clutter (that we let get out of hand)!
- Nowhere to put creations and collections (which is a BIG deal for my kid us).
- No dedicated space for the musical instruments.
Once I identified those issues, I knew what we needed to focus on for any new purchases and the layout.
If you don’t plan out your problem areas you will be annoyed by your homeschool space, no matter how cute it is and then . . .
. . . you won’t use it.
(Take it from me. This is what happened to us before the makeover with our other room!)
Homeschool Room Ideas Solution: Solved Classroom “Problem Areas”
Identifying our problem areas BEFORE we started the makeover really helped with our classroom organization.
This is an important part of this process because if you don’t know what’s broken then you don’t know how to fix it!
(Ha! I felt like my dad when I wrote that! I even said it in his voice in my head!)
PROBLEM SOLVED: CREATED MUSIC CORNER
One issue was that my daughter’s keyboard and guitars were stashed away and not easily accessible.
I found that this led to her practicing less and less because she didn’t want to deal with the digging out her instruments and dragging them out and then having to put them away again.
So, for the makeover, we knew we needed to carve out a music corner.
We decluttered our bookshelves and then shifted bookshelves down so we had more room for a music corner (and to store the smaller instruments on the newly decluttered bottom bookshelf).
I’ll get into more of how we solved other of our classroom clutter and additional problems throughout the rest of this post (including pictures!), so . . .
READ ON . . .
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #3: How Does My Kid Learn?
This is probably something most people don’t even consider for a multipurpose and homeschool classroom:
Does your child learn best by just sitting and reading?
Then you definitely want to have a comfy reading corner.
Or, does your kid like to move around a lot during learning?
Then you’ll want to leave some open space and also give him/her plenty of areas to move to for working.
Or, maybe your child learns well by just listening to things like audiobooks, so your homeschool area needs to include technology for that?
Or, maybe you have kids with very different learning styles and need to consider that during the homeschool class makeover?
How your homeschoolers organize their classrooms and learning materials will depend a lot on how they learn.
Also, don’t forget to take into consideration your homeschooling learning method / style.
Do you need to set up a Montessori homeschool classroom to do Montessori at home?
Or, do you unschool and need space that facilitates your child’s interests in drawing or video creation or. . .
. . . whatever?
Our homeschool classroom is all about functionality based on our needs and her learning style!
Homeschool Room Ideas Solution: Tailored Space to Learning Style
We do an eclectic mix of homeschooling — some planned courses and some unschooling.
And, my kid moves around and spreads out.
I mean, really spreads out.
So, during the makeover we put a table in the middle of the room as well as a smaller long table (desk) against the wall.
Now, she can spread projects out on the big table and use the smaller table right next to it for her computer or documentation journal.
MAKEOVER TIP: REPURPOSE TO SAVE MONEY: We already had these awesome swivel chairs rom before, and they are so functional with our new room!
(I love when that happens!)
We can work at one desk and then just swivel around to complete projects at the big table!
Now, she has enough room to move around and work on large (or even multiple) projects and it doesn’t feel like we’re messing up the entire room (like before).
(You’ll see pictures of our collaborative work spaces and student desk in the next section, so be sure to SCROLL DOWN for the classroom makeover pictures!))
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #4: What Kind of Collaborative Learning Takes Place?
When thinking about how to set up a homeschool classroom, consider what kind of collaborative learning you will be doing with the kids or that the kids will be doing together.
For example, are there times when all the kids need to be around a big table, or times that you are working side-by-side with your child?
If so, take that into consideration.
Here’s what happened to us:
In our other room layout, I set up our classroom area where I had a desk on one wall and she had a student desk on another wall.
Whenever we were working on something together, we never had enough room.
So, we just moved to the kitchen . . .
. . . or wherever we could find room.
Which is actually fine, but we had a dedicated space. SO, it was ridiculous that we weren’t using it.
After some time, we just stopped working in the classroom because it was such a hassle to work together or on big projects that required research books or other items spread out.
Homeschool Room Ideas Solution: Created Collaborative Learning Space
• ISSUE: Not enough collaborative space so we ended up going to other places to do projects together.
Like I mentioned before, I previously had a small desk on one wall and she had another small desk on another wall.
This didn’t work for several reasons:
- We didn’t have enough collaborative work space, so we ended up lugging our stuff all over the house to find places we could work together (which actually created clutter ALL OVER our house).
- Neither of our desks were big enough to work on a computer while also having reference books or other materials on our desks. (And, I work from home, too, so this was a BIG issue.)
We solved this by creating two collaborative work spaces during our makeover.
I bought a thin computer desk (meaning: not deep) that can seat both of us and can be our main desk areas.
It might not look like it from the picture, but there’s plenty of room for two chairs and both of us to sit and work on separate projects or work together.
Our Homeschool Table
I also bought an old table off of Facebook Marketplace for the middle of our room . . .
. . . for CHEAP.
I had in my mind exactly what I wanted the table to look like (and the color) for our new room.
At first, I started looking to buy a new table.
(What a mistake THAT was . . .)
They ran into the hundreds (sometimes a thousand and more) dollars.
(And, that was so not in my budget.)
Plus, I couldn’t find the exact blue-ish color that I wanted, so I turned to Facebook Marketplace.
If you don’t know, Facebook Marketplace is kind of like a garage sale for your area . . . except online.
I had set in my head that I didn’t want to pay more than $100 (at the very high end), because I wanted to refinish a used table for our color scheme.
Then, I found THE EXACT TABLE that I had been imagining in my mind.
And, it was on Facebook Marketplace for only $75, so I snatched it right up and my husband refinished it.
It is the PERFECT collaborative work space and looks super cute in our homeschool area, too.
BEFORE AND AFTER MAKEOVER PICTURES : HOMESCHOOL TABLE / DESK
It’s not shown in the pictures, but the ends of the table also pull out and pop up for an even bigger space to work!
Here’s the workspace from above.
You can see our smaller (computer) desk on the right hand side against the wall/window and we put the table in the center of the room.
Even when we are working on separate projects, the space I created is such that I can just turn from my work and help her with something next to me or at the table behind me.
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #5: Do I Want a Theme?
This is the time to decide what kind of theme or aesthetic you want.
Do you want a bold, colorful classroom?
Do you want a calming, nature-themed classroom?
Or, do you want a farmhouse classroom theme (like Joanna Gaines would create)?
It’s also fun to get input from the kiddos during this step!
Homeschool Room Ideas Solution: Created a Calmer Aesthetic With Uniform Colors
I wanted a calmer, more uniform look for our classroom (with a tiny bit of a farmhouse feel thrown in).
Other than that, I didn’t really want a theme (aside from blues, natural browns, and whites — clean and natural looks).
If you want a theme, decide on that beforehand (or you’ll be wasting money from your budget if it doesn’t work)!
FRUGAL TIP: Repurpose and re-use what you have. (Don’t forget about how just a coat of paint refreshes things!) We already had those dark brown bookshelves (on the left side of the room) that didn’t really match our new natural wood color scheme. However, I flipped them and put them back to back to look more like a cabinet and they look just fine with our new color scheme.
FRUGAL TIP: Don’t underestimate how an inexpensive rug can complete a theme and freshen up a tired room! Check out our 37 Unique Classroom Rugs To Rock Your Learning Space (Without Breaking the Bank)
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #6: How Can I Showcase Things?
My daughter is a hoarder, er, collector.
She has collections from nature walks, classes, parties, craft days, art time, camps, and any other thing she does, sees, or participates in.
Which is . . . fiiiiiiine . . .
. . . but we have almost zero wall space in our class and did not plan well for display areas on shelves, etc. before we did the most recent room makeover.
So there were always piles of things laying around.
Don’t be like me.
Think about where you’re going to put “stuff” and how you want it to look on display.
(READ ON for one of the most GENIUS ideas I ever had for storage . . .)
Homeschool Room Ideas Solution: Created Space to Showcase Collections, Art, and More
I’m not going to lie, I came up with one of my favorite homeschool hacks EVER during this phase!
Like I mentioned, my kid has a ton of “collections” (that’s what she calls them) and a lot of things from nature walks and things she finds outside (and many other things).
One of the issues was that these collections were always just laying around.
There never seemed to be a dedicated space for them.
And then . . . LIGHTBULB MOMENT.
I realized I could repurpose a cute spice rack with clear jars to put on the wall.
(REALLY. Don’t judge until you see it BELOW . . .)
Now, she can store, organize, AND display her nature finds (and more) without them junking up the place!
Whenever she wants to look at some of them (or all of them), she just takes the jars out, plays with the stuff (or looks at it under her microscope), and then replaces the lid and puts them back in the rack when she’s done.
CLUTTER PROBLEM SOLVED!
SHOP THIS LOOK:
Classroom Wish List:
I’m also trying to figure out if I can squeeze out some wall space somewhere for this (they have a natural one that is cute, too!):
For things that don’t fit in the jar, we just place them in a cute wire basket on top of the shelf.
I just repurposed a cute (inexpensive) metal desk basket (it was for pencils and desk supplies or something).
Also, I gave her dedicated space on top of the bookcase for nature finds that don’t fit into the jars.
Plus, she has dedicated space in the cubbies.
I put repurposed and (purchased) empty jars on the shelves and she fills them with things that are meaningful to her.
Right now, the jars have sand and shells from our annual beach house trip, a marble collection that she’s adding to whenever she finds a marble, and even some dirt from our family farm in Virginia.
It’s important to give kids room to place their own things to make the space more personal and meaningful!
It will be a place that they have invested into if they have some of their “stuff” around.
The last thing I did to solve the NO PLACE TO DISPLAY THINGS issue was to create a space to hang art.
I got a double duty chalk board and bulletin board that has a rope hanger across it. (You could easily create this on your own!)
She clips her crafts and art up, changes them out whenever she wants, and also creates on the chalk board.
(And, the chalkboard helps out when we need to draw out concepts.)
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #7: What Homeschool Supplies Do I Need? (And, Where Will I Store Them?)
There’s NEVER. ENOUGH. STORAGE.
Anyway. . .
Before you start your makeover, think about what homeschool supplies you need and, more importantly, where you will store all those supplies.
Here’s what we did . . .
Homeschool Room Ideas Solution: Cute (But Functional) Supply Storage
After we solved the collaborative space issue and the display issue, the other major thing we needed to tackle was the storage issue.
Our homeschool space is right inside our front door.
(I mean, right inside — like, if you come to our front door you’ll be able to see inside our classroom.)
The room is open with no doors.
(I have no idea what the room was built to be? A sitting room? Who has that these days?)
Since the classroom is SO VISIBLE, I wanted to be sure that:
- The room was cute since it’s one of the first things you see when you come to our house, and
- That we had somewhere to stash all the crap away from sight and a way to organize the room.
To solve this problem, we ordered a simple, tall cabinet with doors.
We can store books and also a bunch of other stuff that we use (but that doesn’t look cute sitting out on the shelves).
Here’s what it now looks like in our homeschool area with the storage cabinet:
We had the small, white, rolling drawers from before, so I just repurposed it here (but, any rolling drawers will work if you need them).
We also use those foldable, cloth shelf cubes (that you can get almost everywhere now) to house different supplies.
These were another repurpose because my daughter used them at our other house in the basement.
I hand labeled each cube with cool labels that we tied onto each cube with twine.
(It carries over that natural theme we have going on!)
Now, at a glance, we can see what is in each cube.
Plus, the cubes are awesome because if she wants something (like PlayDoh or crafts or paints), she can pull out the entire cube, use the supplies, and then put them back away when she’s finished just by sliding them back into the shelf spot.
I left a couple of them empty and labeled them with her name. She can use them to stash whatever she wants and has a place to put things away whenever she doesn’t know where to store her stuff.
SHOP THIS LOOK
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #8: What Kind Of Classroom Furniture Do I Need?
Your homeschool classroom furniture will be the most expensive part of your class room makeover. So, you definitely want to be frugal when shopping for a student desk, tables, storage cabinets and more.
It will be easy to break your budget just on this area!
My recommendation is that you start with thrift shops or Facebook Marketplace (like I explained earlier) or determine what you can repurpose.
BEFORE shopping, determine your needs and measure your room.
HELPFUL TIP: Measure out your new pieces of furniture on cardboard and place it in the room or place painter’s tape on the floor of the room where the new furniture will be placed. This will help you see how much space an item will take and even if it will (or won’t) work before you purchase it.
Homeschool Room Ideas Solution: More Desk Space!
We already knew that we need more desk space.
(That was one of the main issues with our old room layout.)
Like we covered in the Collaborative Learning section, we refinished an old table from Facebook Marketplace and then purchased a new (cheaper) desk / table for against the wall and easily created two desk space areas.
How to Set Up A Homeschool Classroom #9: What Kind of Space Do I Need?
A few years ago, we decided to downsize . . . which may or may not be one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made.
(But, that’s for a different post.)
I’ve worked from home for 17 years and in all of our houses (six houses and counting now) I’ve always had a home office . . .
. . . until now.
And, when we first moved here, I didn’t consider how much space I needed to spread out.(I do a lot of academic/research writing where I have multiple reference books open at one time.)
So, I quickly became annoyed with our dual purpose homeschool classroom / office.
It just didn’t fulfill my needs.
Homeschool Room Ideas Solution: Created a Multi-Purpose Office / Homeschool Room
We ditched the individual student desks and instead went for long table spaces. This allows me to spread out for research and my daughter still has plenty of room, too.
Also, the tall cabinet with doors allowed me to hijack shelf space for some of my reference books and I can close them away and not have them stacked around like they were before.
RECAP: 10 EASY Tips for Creating An Amazing Organized Homeschool Classroom
- Identify your goals and problem areas before you even start decluttering!
- Get rid of the stuff you don’t need or use regularly (no matter how cute it is).
- Think outside of the box for organizing. (Remember how that cool spice rack made a great collections wall hanging?)
- Go for function over fun. (The fun will come on its own!)
- Get at least one piece of storage furniture (or dedicate a closet) where you can “shut away” the stuff.
- Give your kids a “space” to display whatever they want.
- Use morning baskets (or weekly baskets) to organize each child’s work. Each child gets one basket (or bin) and is responsible for keeping their weekly work put away in there.
- Use bulletin boards and twine to display favorite art pieces. File the rest away (or take pictures to preserve them and toss the actual pieces).
- Roll your posters, diagrams, maps, and pictures into tubes and place them in a basket (leaning against the wall). It saves wall space, is functional, and is SUPER EASY even young kids to do!
- Get rid of even more stuff . . . REGULARLY! (Plan a time once a month to do it again! RINSE. REPEAT.)
Homeschool Room Tour: Classroom Decluttering, Decorating, and Organizing [VIDEO]
Here’s a tour of my homeschool classroom and tips on how I incorporate our eclectic homeschooling:
What are your biggest homeschool room and organization challenges?
Let’s discuss in the comments!
(I tried to put where I bought/got things, but if you see something in our pics that interest you, just let me know in the comments. I’ll try to remember where we got it! HA!)