The Beginning of my Office

I have been busy organizing some of the areas in our home.  I’m working out some of the kinks with our systems, and having a ton of fun doing it.  The last couple of days I’ve spent working in one area that I’ve been longing to get started on: my office/craft space.  Right now there isn’t much in it.  It truly is a blank canvas waiting for me to put my mark on it.  And there in lies the danger, because space without purpose or use can easily become a disorganized mess of random, homeless items.  It becomes a black hole drop zone, where these items seem to be pulled, and if you let it, hopelessness will set in, and it will stay that way.

I didn’t want that for this space.  Not only because it’s where I’m going to be working from, but also because it’s connected to our living room.  There is no door to close to hide away the mess. So when it started to look like this:
and this … (sorry about the blurry photo, always take multiples, just in case!)


… and this …



… and this…


… I knew it was time to really start thinking about how best to use what I’ve already got!  No more waiting, just jump in and get it done.
The first thing I needed to do was to start thinking of this space as my work zone (even though I don’t have a desk set up yet, and technically work from the dining room table still).  Making this my work zone had to really sink in.  So, with the main purpose in mind, I began to sort.  I removed everything that did not belong, anything that had been placed down until I found the right home for it.  No more drop zone!  I’ve staked my claim, clearly and firmly.  No-one is allowed to just “leave” something in my space.
To help curb that temptation  (especially for me, because I’m the biggest culprit when it comes to stuff like that) I removed the clutter magnet.
Bye bye bookcase.  As much as I love books, the bookcase was collecting and attracting clutter.  The books were impossible to keep neat, and it was just too convenient to place items on top.  Further more, it really didn’t belong in my work zone.  At least not with all the books on it.  A little shuffling around and it’s now found a new home in our family room.
Mickey isn’t staying, he’s going up into Liam’s room, but the bookcase is.  Right now it’s housing VHS tapes (very retro I know!  and yes, we do have a VCR so they do get watched!)  board games, puzzles, playing cards, a few of Liam’s toys and the WII peripherals. The empty shelves are slated to be filled with the boy’s books, one shelf for each of them.  Because our family room is open to the kitchen and eating area, it truly is part of the heart of the home, and I love the idea of the boys having access to their books here.  Maybe they’ll be more inclined to curl up with a good book.  I’ll share more of the family room later on this week.
Now, I bet you’re wondering where the other books are?  Well, after some serious thought and consideration, I dumped neatly stacked them all in our bedroom.  I have a plan for them for in the future  and it involves them being upstairs in our room, so I figured I would store them there for now.  More to come on that next week!
With the book case removed it looks really bare.  Eventually, the buffet will be moved to that wall, and be for holding craft supplies only, but that’s another story for another day.  On the other side of the space this is how I left things looking..
Sooo much better.  No more cluttered mess to sift through to find what I’m looking for, and plenty of space for works in progress (well maybe small ones)  I have scrapbook paper and long term storage files on left side of the buffet, and on the right is the cart that used to be Liam’s craft cart.  Now it’s home to my HMB, planner, and other binders. Under them my camera and all the cords and peripherals that go with it have found a new home.  Those white storage boxes make it really easy to grab what I need.  You can’t really see it, but behind the camera box is a second one full of CDs that don’t get used too often.  The drawers are holding spare notebooks and odd bits of stuff that is slated for a craft in the near future.
Inside the buffet you find this:
I didn’t really change too much in here.  From top left we have paper samples, stylus and tablet for the computer, then craft stuff.  Bottom left to right is envelopes, greeting cards and extra file folders; my “work” caddy, and then extra printer paper and some writing work.  Right now, I’m working with what I have and taking notes on items I want to pick up later on down the road, things like document boxes, nesting containers, etc…
The drawer is holding often used (but not needed daily) items.



I opted for loose categories here.  Nothing set in stone until I know what I’m going to use most often.  Again, I’ve got a list going for items needed to help the drawer function to the best of its ability.  Drawer organizers, non-slip shelf liner, etc… Also, I know that this isn’t going to function as office storage in the future, so I don’t want to invest too much time or money into it.
 The star of the show, by far is the work caddy.
I found the caddy at the dollar store of all places.  I knew it would come in handy, I just wasn’t sure for what, so I only picked one.  (I’m going back for more because I’ve already thought up a hundred more uses for it!)  Then one day I was feeling frustrated that I hadn’t yet figured out what to use for a desk.  Setting up on the dining table is fine, but it usually means grabbing a bunch of stuff, setting is all up, then taking it all down and putting it away.  And that’s about the time when inspiration struck.  I have a cute little caddy that would be perfect for holding  pens, notebooks, sticky pads, glasses, and index cards! And I was right!  They  all fit neatly inside this little beauty.  The best part though, is that whole thing has a home in the buffet for when it’s not in use.
I just grab and go, and then grab and put away.  Easy, efficient, tidy and neat.  LOVE it!!!  It is amazing how something so simple has made such a huge difference.  No longer am I trying to keep everything I use often on top of the buffet.  This has greatly reduced the visual clutter in this space, and increased my own productivity, it’s a win win all around!
There you have it, a nice, tidy start to my office space.  Well, as office-y as it gets for now.  As I said above, I’ve got big plans for this space.  I’m hoping to hop back on here tomorrow to share them with you.  Want a sneak peak?
(sorry bad lighting when I took this) This is a masterpiece Liam made at school.  The colors are perfect and the artwork is fun and precious.  Liam was thrilled when I asked if I could have it for in my office, and it’s become my jumping off point.  I can’t wait to find the perfect way to display it.  Until then, this is where it sits, to remind me of my vision for the space, and because it makes me smile!
Those curtains are soooooooo coming down, just as soon as I have something to replace them with.
Anyone else been busy with organizing projects?  Anyone else slowly working on creating a special place in their home, or decorating an area of it?

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