This past weekend, I had the privilege of completing an in home consultation just a mile from my home in Michigan. This fun and artistic family of four just finished homeschooling for the year. They have a homeschool room with an open door to the playroom. It took five hours, five industrial size trash bags for donation, two industrial size trash bags of actual trash and one piece of furniture moved out of the area to create a more peaceful space. The only money spent was on pillows and a new rug, making it an economical transformation.
As a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, we had many books to contend with; however we were able to sort through and kept most all important items. First we removed twaddle (not valuable books for those of you that are not privy to the Charlotte Mason lingo) , then we took the adult books to an easier area for the parents and the books completed from previous years we moved to another area.
Below is a photo of the school area before we went through the books. There were also two other bookshelves not pictured.
After the books were sorted through, we picked up every object off the ground and put it in the correct pile. The piles were labeled KEEP, TRASH, DONATE, DON'T KNOW. Below is a photo of the playroom area before we started decluttering.
Once the items were sorted into the 4 piles, we then organized them into his & her toys/things. We discussed the flow of the room, the use and purpose and started moving furniture. Below is the after photo of the playroom, which is now the school room. We wanted to capitalize on the beautiful light from the bay window and moved the table so everyone could enjoy nature during lessons. We added a few pillows to the bay window. The photo below is an after picture the mother sent to me the morning after he son woke up and saw the new space. It just melts my heart that he knew what to do and it felt so natural to grab a book and take a seat.
We were able to create areas and sections that flowed better based on the families needs and desires. Below is a before photo of the game area. We utilized the closet and after decluttering unwanted games we were able to store them in a closed off area.
In volume two, School Education, Charlotte Mason she writes about how parents are inspirers to their children. On page 36, she says," How shall these indefinite ideas which manifest themselves in appetency be imparted? They are not to be given of set purpose, nor taken at set times. They are held in that thought-environment which surrounds the child as an atmosphere, which he breathes as his breath of life; and this atmosphere in which the child inspires his unconscious ideas of right living emanates from his parents." To me, atmosphere is not only words and actions of the parents, but also the surroundings in which our children are living. To have a Pinterest worthy home is not the goal. To me, the desire is to have a home that breathes peace, calm and creativity.
School room BEFORE
New play area AFTER
Play room BEFORE
New school room AFTER
I hope this new atmosphere for this family is able to inspire creativity and create unconscious ideas that ripple down from parent to child. Thank you to the family for allowing me to work with them and cultivate beauty.