How to create an awesome kids homework station

Homes get messy when there’s a lack of systems and storage to keep areas free. I’ve been getting pretty frustrated lately because due to our renovation project and the lack of built-in storage and places to put things right now – I’ve been running around like a madwoman trying to contain all the items a nice built-in wardrobe or cupboard normally would! I’ve been driven mad by this and with a little bit of time up my sleeve (due to the school holidays) – I’m taking control! This is the first in a series of posts on how to get your home in order if you have a lack of storage, whether you are renting or in a renovation like me. First stop is my back to school project – the kids homework station. Prior to creating this beautiful room (which I am now so in love with – I want to use and live in it myself) our living room and second living area was a mess. We were struggling on school mornings because all my kids’ important and regular items were at the end of a long hallway and far from where we would regularly use them.

See below for the inspiration, tips and my experience with building this lovely room for my kids.


How to create an awesome kids homework station

Organise pens, pencils and stationary items


Portable ideas

My home’s hallway is so long I clean my home with a trolley! I love the functional and time-saving ability of a trolley. Trolley’s are also great if you are limited on space or you need to move your office around from time to time, which can be the case in modern space-deprived living areas.

Children need inspiration too

Just like adults, kids need daily inspiration and motivation. Make your kid’s homework station a colorful and happy place to visit. Personally, I didn’t want to put too many distractions in the room and as you’ll see below, I’ve maintained the happiness without the clutter! However, depending on the needs of your child, place wall charts or items according to what they might be studying or focusing on.


Sort similar items or shapes together

My big tip for home organisation generally is to sort similar items or shaped items together. For example:
  • Put crayons with crayon
  • Colored pencils with colored pencils
  • Markers with markers
  • Place long thin items like rulers in one spot for example
  • Place square with square and round with round

You get my drift…


Give each child their own area

I couldn’t really achieve this in the small space I had, however I each child did receive their own seat, which was great! We have to be grateful for the little mercies 🙂 Still, my space looks cute and it is highly unlikely both my children will share the homework station at the same time due to their age differences (10 and 4). Do what works for you and your space.


Create the space away from bedrooms

Kids bedrooms get messy on a daily basis. The goal should be to create a separate space for the homework station so kids will always have a clutter free zone when doing home.


Create a great system for completing and returning notes and homework

This is a great idea, which I hope to implement soon. Mine will include homework only as I prefer to keep kids notes on my desk for when I need to do admin. I keep a folder for each child on my office desk so I can quickly check what needs to be done for them – when I am organising other family administration jobs.


Create an easy to access spot to place homework books

Alternatively do something cute like this. A simple space for kids to place their homework once taken out of their bags.


If you don’t have the space create a simple portable and personlised solution to keep your child focused

If you are very short on space you can easily make your child’s homework more enjoyable by creating a little box like this. This can be placed on the kitchen counter or dining table for when your child is doing homework. Setting up little systems like this will help your child feel focused, happy and loved!


Create a tidy solution for digital devices

This is an absolute must in a modern home. Personally with all the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi an Wireless out there – I’m not sure why there are still so many cords in my house! However, scroll down to see the two simple solutions I achieved with this, which were:

  1. A place to charge digital
  2. A place to dump digital devices, cords and headphones.

Keep items within arms reach

A highly functional kids homework station should give your kids access to their stuff. Make sure the items are within arms reach. See below for some fabulous storage ideas.

Hang inspiration on the walls and change quarterly

Hang some motivation on the walls. Give your children some affirmations and sayings that will stay in their minds and keep them focused even when they are not doing homework. Keep their minds active and inspired daily. I suggest changing the sayings every season – to spark new ideas in their active and growing minds. Note: Work in progress for me!


Keep the space as clutter free as possible and void of other distractions

As mentioned above – keep the space clutter-free. Make sure that the space itself is not too cluttered up with stuff. Keep the design as minimalist and distraction free as possible.


If short on space consider a functional and hidden homework space like this

I like this idea for a small hidden homework space. It works if you are short on space! Get someone handy you know to build it or check out places like Ikea for solutions.


Finally – consider a simple box or shelf just for library books

Library books are easily lost around a busy home – so create a spot for them. If you don’t have a caddy like this and are on a budget – do what I did and use a simple bag hanging on a door. I recycled a cute nappy bag to keep my kid’s library life in check.

Drumroll….

Scroll down to view our new amazing home station!

Note – Due to renovation the area had to be temporary!!!

First: Here are my notes from my experience in creating this space…

Note: Your shopping list are the items listed in BOLD – if you’d like to try this…

Challenges:

  • Budget – Less than $20
  • Space – Limited
  • Time to set this up – 2 hours

Stuff I have that can be recycled

Furniture I can recycle:

  • A white desk that is not in use really
  • A few large spare lamps we don’t use
  • White plastic party chairs we have quite a few of lying around in the backyard
  • White bookshelf in the bathroom – remodel
  • A large wooden wine rack I’d like to repurpose

Smaller items for the project:

  • Ample pens, pencils and stationary – just need sorting
  • Several colorful kiddy storage boxes I have lying around in my storage cupboard
  • A set of plastic party cups for organising pencils
  • A set of unused yellow trays for organising pencils
  • Wrapping paper for the walls (they’re currently unpainted due to the renovation)

Items for digital setup

  • Extension cords
  • My child’s laptop and cords
  • Chargers
  • Pouches for housing iPads
  • An area for each iPad for each child

Tools

  • Sticky tape for wrapping paper on walls

Goals – The space needs to:

  1. Be in a quiet place so my child (10 year old) can concentrate on his homework
  2. Another spot for Miss 4 – so she can use it too
  3. House all digital charges and accessories
  4. Provide a spot for library books and DVDs etc
  5. Provide an area for pens, pencils and stationary items – organised
  6. Include a lamp for both guests and desk lighting
  7. Be set up for a computer near plugs for easy access
  8. Be functional enough to not look messy and cluttered when not in use
  9. Be a colorful and happy place for my children to spend time in
  10. Include a wall chart for ticking off weekly homework & reading done (In progress!)

Quiet place

I have two children and I live in a six bedroom house (sounds great – but cleaning is harder!). The living areas of our home are starting to take form but bedrooms are located at the front of the house where the renovation hasn’t started.  I’ve chosen the guest room, which is closer to the living/ kitchen area as it is quiet but not so far down the hall (which is long) my children can still access me for questions. It also has a relaxing view of the park next door.

Multipurpose

I like rooms with a multipurpose. Since guests don’t stay all the time – this room now works as a double-whammy. When we do have guests (usually my mother or mother-in-law) tend to visit out of school days and hours anyway – so in theory, this should work! Plus my guests get a bit of a ‘hotel’ feeling when they stay because they get a nice lamp, desk, stationary and a happy place to relax in!

Do this: (1 hour)

  1. Clean out guest room first
  2. Move large furniture items in
  3. Wipe them down and clean them
  4. Place smaller items on kitchen table
  5. Organise pencils and stationary into containers / cans
  6. Go to guest room and arrange items as you see fit

Result

My simple and functional kids homework station!

Cost: Zero!

The above space includes:

  • Desk and chairs with organised stationary within arms reach
  • Lamp for desk and kids
  • An area for the charging of digital devices for the kids

The above space includes:

  • A dumping box for each child for digital cords, headphones & other random belongings
  • A space underneath to place kids homework books
  • In progress: Filing system for kids homework and papers
  • A recycled cut nappy bag for library books hung on the door

To create your own awesome kids homework station do this:

Copy and paste my notes section – remove my notes and add your own. You’ll have this job stitched up and fast!


Coming up

Stay tuned – I’m getting my renovation zone decluttered one room at a time. I’ll be posting all my projects from summer 2014 / 2015 soon.

Don’t forget to check out my Pinterest Board below for other great ideas for creating a homework station!

Follow Savings’s board HOMEWORK STATION on Pinterest.