So let's move on the why and how.
We've been plugging along fairly well. However, as my children have grown and are pursuing more involved work, we suddenly experienced a lack of floor space. There are few things that would ruin a good run of school work than two rugs overlapping. If only I were kidding. I began to notice this issue around the same time I was planning our accommodations for elementary work for my oldest. I still have two in primary; one more than halfway and one near the beginning. My children are perfectly spaced to ensure nothing ever leaves the shelves. My desire to make a few changes started simple enough. I was going to remove the practical life table and pack away the infant/toddler materials I left out due to nostalgia. But the elephant, or should I say 4 massive desks, in the room kept staring me down. The room lacked identity, and the disparity made it feel cramped and cluttered.
I had always resisted the idea of removing the remainder of our LAN room. The large desks, server rack, and wall units were custom built for the space by my father less than a month after we moved it. They represented a very enjoyable aspect of my life, one which has been non-existent since becoming a mom. I had never faced how much I was holding on to this symbol of my past. It's not like we had systems for the desks anymore. It had become a relic and one that was holding us all back at that. We spend a significant amount of time in that room and it needs to be functional. I finally decided it was time to pack up my action figures and move on. I did take a day to carefully measure the space and draw up a few options on paper. I needed to prove that these changes would address every issue. Sure enough, I came up with a concrete plan, and my husband opted to move quickly lest I change my mind.
But simply making the decision was step one. While we do make educational spending a very high priority, the kitty is a bit sad given some unexpected dental and medical bills. Thankfully, I recently had a birthday and agreed to pitch in my funds. In a sad trend, I still had birthday money from the prior year as well to contribute. My sweet husband agreed to meet me halfway by picking up more contract work. We made a mad dash to the next state to procure our Ikea supplies, which was practically the most time we've spent alone together in years. Then there was no turning back.
Given the size of the desks, we had no choice but to take them apart to remove them. They were built inside the room. It was an uncomfortable feeling at first but I felt relief that my father had no issue with the fact I was going to dismantle them. They will most likely become shelving for my storage closet in the future. It's a fitting end. As the process progressed, I became more and more resolved. When everything was removed, I stood back and marveled at just how spacious the room was. Since the shelves and desks were anchored to the wall, I knew painting would be necessary. I chose a completely different color, and I think it has gone a long way to redefining the space.
Now that the walls are painted and the shelves are in place, I couldn't be happier with my decision. It's getting hard to picture what once was. On the surface it may seem like a simple step to make a space workable. In reality, the last few weeks have been a deeply personal journey of redefining myself and my priories. I hope for many peaceful years in that space.
And now that I think about it, we may have the space to host a co-op now...
Follow me on Facebook if you want to get more detailed updates. I'll talk more in depth about specific choices soon. Also stay tuned for the big reveal in a few weeks. I also have a fun project planned called Spectacular Spaces of Summer, but I'll need your help!
You can always find me at Montessori Homeschooling.