We have a very small kitchen, with a very small space at one end that gets the most use out of all the available space in the house. It is our dining room (room? HA!), our family art space, our sit-and-chat space, my office at times, and our dedicated homeschool and project space. That’s a lot of responsibility for a wee little space. What you see in the pictures ? That’s the size of it in its entirety. There are no hidden corners or bonus spaces of any kind.
It’s been getting used even more lately, what with Hawk coming to the table and working for longer periods now that he’s getting older and more interested, so I figured it was time to reassess the space and see if we could make it work better for us without spending a single, blessed dime. One of my biggest complaints about how it was until now was that while we had four chairs at the table, one was pushed against the wall and wasn’t useable unless we pulled out the table, which we were doing each evening when Jack joined us for supper.
I didn’t like that at all. I think it’s really important to have a space at the table (both literally and figuratively) available for each family member at all times. When one of us not here, we still hold his or her space.
The “without spending a single blessed dime” part of this room revamp is key, being as that’s how we ended up enjoying a month in Mexico last year.
So, while the temptation was to get a table that is better suited to the space, different shelving, or various boxes and bins and containers that would make all my small-space troubles go away, I ripped apart the space and worked with what we had.
What did I do for zero dollars that resulted in a much more user-friendly space?
- moved the shelving to the opposite site
- turned the table against a different wall
- brought out a table leaf for extra work space
- tucked a shelf under one end and another in the corner for my most-used art supplies so that I can work on commissioned illustrations while the kids are working on their projects
- designated one corner of the top surface of the open shelves for science-y goodness of all sorts (Microscope! Dying pet fish! Skeleton! Weird ephemera! Rotting specimens!)
- did a very thorough culling of the almighty and accessible creative supply station on the open shelves
- went through and reorganized my Mama Cabinet, which is that cupboard beside the fridge where I keep things that need an element of control. (Glitter! Glue gun! Paint! Extra staples!)
- swept, mopped, boogied to Macklemore’s Thrift Shop (which my children are now singing … oops)
For some of you, these changes will seem quite small, and perhaps not that meaningful, but for my fellow homeschool space nerds, and those of us in the subcategory of small space dwellers, you understand. I know you do. We’re kindred spirits, right?
And for those you you in the further subcategory of Not Well Off In The Least, you get it most of all. Come on over for tea, I’ll make space at the table. We’ll talk.