It’s week three of the $100 Room Challenge, hosted by Erin at Lemons, Lavender and Laundry, and for me, this is the week that has had the most impact on me personally.
In case you are new to my blog, the $100 Room Challenge features a group of bloggers making over a room in their home while sticking to a $100 budget, sharing progress along the way. And for those who know me, $100 for an entire makeover is a tall order! I pride myself on being budget-friendly when it comes to renovations, but this is taking things to a whole new level!
You see, I have a little bit of a shopping problem. More specifically, I have an online shopping problem! The day the world market literally landed at my fingertips was a dangerous day. In this magical place we call the internet, I can find pretty much anything my heart desires…the problem is, it comes at a cost. And I don’t just mean a financial cost. You wouldn’t believe the awkward conversations I’ve had with my husband…like that time we arrived at home to not one, not two, not three, but four shipping notices on the door (and I couldn’t remember what two of them were for)! Or when I had to explain to him why I was looking up the exchange rate between the Canadian Dollar and the New Israeli Shekels. All that to say, once I have finalized a plan for a space, I tend to just shop around online, find all the pieces I had in mind, and press “submit order”. However, this tends to result in my consistently going a teensy bit over budget, which brings me back to those awkward conversations…
So with this challenge, I was determined to push myself to make a plan for the space the same way I normally do, but then really think about how I could make the accessories myself (you’ll recall from weeks one and two, we already had the desk, paint and trim so accessories were the missing pieces for the project).
The whole reason for creating a homework space for our son was to try to bring some order to the chaos that is our home life Sunday through Thursday (in this house, we subscribe to the eight-twenty rule…meaning we try to treat ourselves on the weekend to less working out, a little less healthy food, and no work – including homework)! Beyond organizing all of his things, I wanted to have a large calendar that would note when he had hockey or music lessons, and what days assignments were due. In my perfect (likely unrealistic) world, having a visual reminder of activities will help him understand why he needs to plan ahead and double up on homework some nights, completely eliminating all arguments. Seems reasonable, right? So off to the world wide web I went and lo and behold, I found the perfect whiteboard. But this time, instead of ordering it (and using up my entire budget and more), I thought about what I liked about it (it was erasable but wasn’t a chalkboard – I despise chalkboard dust, and it had the days of the week already on it) and what I didn’t like (it wasn’t magnetic and it didn’t have any free space for the inevitable doodling my son would want to do). I then began the hunt for a larger, plain whiteboard. I totally lucked out, finding one at Costco for $19.99! And the real bonus? It was magnetic and had a pinboard at the bottom! This eliminated a project off my list as I was planning to make something to hang artwork below the whiteboard. A quick trip to Michaels for some stickers and I was all set for my first DIY project!
Next up, I needed something to organize all of my son’s markers, crayons, pencils and erasers (I am not sure if he is running some sort of eraser gang at school but I buy the standard three at the start of each school year and we end up with somewhere in the range of fifty…all of which “are very special” and cannot be thrown out…).
I found the cutest navy blue desk organizer online and it was only $14.99! Jackpot! Or not. Shipping was $39. Old me would have found a way to justify the cost but $100 Room Challenge me said “I can make that myself”!
This one took a bit more thinking, but I found a wooden wine bottle holder at Michaels for $29.99 and used one of their weekly coupons to get a 50% discount. My husband cut the top off for me and I painted it Hale Navy, using the paint leftover from our living room renovation (which you can read about here).
I haven’t quite finished my last DIY project but there was a sneak peak in the photos above. You will have to wait until next week to see what I’ve got planned for that one!
I have to say, I’m super happy with how the whiteboard and the desktop organizer have turned out and am not ashamed to say that I am patting myself on the back a bit for doing it on my own (and by “on my own”, I obviously mean with assistance from my handyman husband)! I really think that this experience has taught me to think twice before I buy something, and really ask myself if I can do it myself for less (and maybe even get something that is even more perfect)!
Here is a look at my budget so far:
Desk – free, compliments of a failed attempt at ordering a console for behind our sofa on final sale.
Paint & trim – also free, purchased in bulk a year ago when we bought the house.
Whiteboard – $19.99
Gridline sticker – $9.92 (a bit pricey if you ask me)
Alphabet stickers (2 packs) – $10.98
Wine rack – $13.50
Total spent so far: $54.39
Make sure to stop by next week for the reveal! And can check out how all the $100 Room Challenge participants are doing this week using the links below.