Small & Simple Solutions: Dining Room/School Room

We currently rent a 3-bedroom, one-bath home.  There are six of us living in said home, and we also homeschool and have regular visitors, because we loooove having friends join our circus.  In this series, I will share some small & simple solutions I have found for making sense of lots of people in small spaces.  Nothing earth-shattering or Pinterest-y, but perhaps helpful as you make sense of your own homes!

Today’s edition: Dining Room/Homeschool Room.  It all starts at the front door.  Similar to a hotel, we either welcome you during available hours, or politely send you away during school hours or napping babies or ‘quick, I see a traveling salesman walking around the block’.  (Plaque and paint markers from Walmart).



And here is where all the action takes place.


Millions of meals, snacks, tears, laughs, school projects, arguments, hugs have gone down in this little rectangle o’ love.

About this room: our children are not yet fit for ‘real’ chairs, so we bought these great aluminum chairs from Ikea.  Foldable, washable, and in my favorite color.  Grownups use the wicker chairs, which I purchased this winter off of Craigslist from a man who, in broken English, told me as we stood in the snow that he was selling everything he owned and moving to Florida.


I snagged the curtains from the Ikea ‘As Is’ section for $10.  There were only 2 panels, so I cut them lengthwise to make 4, then tied them back with leftover twine that will make a serious reappearance later on in the guest room.  If you’re just now learning about the ‘As Is’ section of Ikea, you’re welcome!  Your life has been changed forever.

Next up: our school room cabinet.


Bottom orange bins are a desperate attempt to keep Judah mildly entertained with a rotating selection of toys, top shelf contains all the books I imagine we’ll read daily but typically don’t, and that little blue box holds the items that have held their attention most through the years.  It usually serves as our table’s centerpiece and sometimes buys me 30 more minutes of sleep in the morning.


Thanks to a friend who recently turned me on to the endless wonders of Dollar Store containers and thus forever securing my fate as a container-holic, our school cabinet is more organized, colorful, and transportable.


With endless options of craft supplies on the market, I’ve chosen to stick to the 4 I least hate cleaning up.  The rest they’ll just have to play with at a friend’s house 😉  *Note that glitter is not and never will be included in our supplies.


Above those 3 cute little heads hangs an old curtain rod that displays art work and each week’s school lessons, but not right now because it’s SUMMER!!!!  This curtain rod contraption has proven very useful since (1) it doesn’t take up counter-space and (2) we can review school while they’re eating, which is constantly.


So there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed this first installment of Small & Simple Solutions.  Next up: the Kitchen.  Stay tuned!

7 thoughts on “Small & Simple Solutions: Dining Room/School Room

Add yours

  1. Oh, how I wish I had had such helpful suggestions while child rearing…Makes my wheels turn now to be creative with my own junk….Can’t wait for the kitchen!

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