Do It All: Work From Home, Do Schoolwork & Create Art in 1 Organized Office

Balancing kids' schoolwork and parents' office work in the same space can be tricky. If you add in creative projects and supplies, it tends to get even messier. But keeping all of these related things together in one spot (instead of scattered throughout the house) makes sense for a lot of reasons.

So let's talk tips for setting up and maintaining one space and one place for it all. If you make it organized and creative, this could end up being the most used space in your entire home.

Separate parent and kid areas

Having a space to call your own is important. Plus, there is nothing more annoying than trying to work surrounded by someone else's papers/old drinks/pasta glued to paper projects. In my office we have designated areas for each family member and we stick to our spots. We keep our favorite pens there. Our chair height is the way we like it. Painted projects can be left in our spot to dry. You know, the important stuff.

We also have things simplified so in case someone (me) gets annoyed and can't concentrate that day, someone (me) can up and leave to work in a different room for awhile. So having a home base for your items is important, but getting mobile with them could also be an important part of your home.

Set up daily supplies within reach

If each person in your home has their own space to work, they should each have their own set of daily supplies. When dad's on a work call, it's no fun to hear mom screaming about who stole the scissors again. So have everyone select a few pens, pencils, a notepad, tape, scissors, and whatever else they need about them for their own. Then set up their desk drawer or a tabletop caddy for personal use and put an end to the office supply fights right now.

Separate school/office work and creative work supplies

Storage works best when things are categorized, not thrown around haphazardly. Imagine trying to cook dinner if the forks and cups and pasta sauce were all in the same cabinet - yikes. So take some time to sort all of your supplies into categories that make sense for you. Then take it an extra step and separate out the activities you do into different drawers or cabinets or desks. Put the office supplies in one place and the crafts in another. Put the printer ink and printer paper near the printer, and then put construction paper near the crayons and markers. This will also cut down on distractions when you open a cabinet or drawer as related items only are stored together, not something else fun and shiny.

Organize the desk by left/right sides and top/bottom ease

If you have both left and right handed people in your home, chances are they like things set up differently (even where the soap goes in the bathroom). So optimize everyone's space by putting what they use the most by their dominant hand. This minimizes the need to reach across your body for things and essentially be too lazy to get them. Then optimize your space by placing the things you use most in the top drawer closest to your dominant hand. As your use goes down, so does the placement, so least used items live in the bottom drawers.

Store bulk supplies nearby

That leads to the things you don't use on the regular because they are extra supplies. For example, 25 extra pens can be stored across the room in a cabinet or closet for when you need to refill your pen cup. 25 pens in your pen cup right now makes for a lot of extra searching when you need a pen. The same goes for 10 notebooks with different pretty covers, specific holiday only craft supplies, or 5 extra bottles of glue. So find your favorites and store the rest elsewhere for future use.

Use consistent bins so everything is interchangeable

Fancy containers are pretty but pricey. If you have a lot to store, a simple clear shoebox is an easy way to make everything look streamlined and purposeful. Plus, you always know exactly how many will fit in each cabinet if you stock all the cabinets with the same container. Furthermore, if you want to rearrange items and bring new hobby supplies closer to your desk, it's easy to switch out bins and replace them.

Label everything so all family members can find what they need

Has one of your family members ever asked you where the ketchup was while it was right in front of their face? I thought so. The solution is to to label everything so you can be the parent that just points to a cabinet while on a phone call and doesn't miss a beat. Bonus: it'll get the little kids reading faster if you include pictures and words together on your labels.

Solve problems

If you have a desk without drawers:

Try using desktop boxes or organizers to keep supplies close at hand without crowding your surface space. The organizer can even be used as a table divider so no one's work creeps into another person's space. Or you could try an old school milk crate at your feet to keep it all corralled and close.

If it's too loud with multiple people in the room:

Use headphones to play classical/calming music or white noise to drown others out. If it's more visually annoying to you, create a privacy divider so you are tempted to focus on what others are doing instead of your own work.

If it keeps getting messy:

Maintain your space by taking 1 minute to clean up before you shut down for the day or transition from school work into creative time. Otherwise glitter will end up on an important office document. Or glitter left out (from the day before) will seem much more fun to jump back into the next morning when it's school time. bring back the school clean up transition times that your kids know so well and have forgotten about. Play a song if needed to ensure they are cleaned up by the end and read to begin something new.

Lastly, give yourself grace

Working with others (adults or kids) and sharing your space isn't always easy. But it can bring a collaborative feel to your home when everyone is on the same schedule and same plan. So set up your area as best you can. Try it out and adjust seating, where supplies live, or timing if things don't go smoothly. Then see if you and yours can get more work done and be even more creative if you have an organized space to work in.


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512-815-2138 |

 PO Box 7752, Round Rock, TX 78683

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