Monday, February 20, 2012

A Family Home Office

I don't know why I read home organizing books and magazines because they almost always convince me that the way my house is set up is not conducive to our needs. I always want to rearrange furniture, gut cabinets, and change rooms around. Eric knows the look I get when I have a new home idea and my Dad knows when the phone rings and the first words out of my mouth are..."Hey Pop...how simple is it to build {fill in the blank}.

So I guess I should have warned Eric and my Dad when I bought a copy of this the other day...


I love everything about this magazine, but one section that really sparked my interest was the section on organizing Home Offices. It says, 

"All of us work from home, in one capacity or another. For some, this means telecommuting one or two days a week; for others, it's the everyday business of running a family. Whether your work takes the form of creating spreadsheets or scrapbooks, writing a personal blog or logging the household budget, it's best done in a dedicated place."

I just love that line..."The business of running a family." I really feel that captures my day job these days. Yes, I am a Stay-at-Home-Mom, but in many ways I feel like I am actually running a business around here. I have schedules, spreadsheets, important meetings, budgets to follow, daily/weekly/monthly responsibilities, TWO bosses (named Addison and Blake) and a colleague that technically works another full time job so he can't always help me with the "family business". And on top of running the family, I am also busy with my hobbies that will hopefully turn into another business that actually makes money. Ha! Oh...and did I mention I'm a teacher?

I think anyone, whether they work from home or not, can justify the need for a "dedicated space" to take care of business. Right now, I have about 10 dedicated spaces. I have two spots for my crafting stuff in the basement, a computer cabinet in our bedroom housing my office supplies, a calendar system in the kitchen on the fridge, a mobile office (a.k.a. a tote bag) with all of my school stuff floating around the house, a shelf with file boxes in the top of Blake's closet, and a small desk nook in my bedroom for our computer. I also have our Home Management binder on a shelf with cookbooks in my kitchen/family room area.

Seriously friends...this is just NOT working for me. No matter how hard I try to organize these many different spaces...the fact is they are all different spaces. The other day, Eric asked for some blank computer paper, a pencil sharpener and a ruler. I had to send him to our bedroom and the basement before he came back up to the kitchen to get a pencil. He just laughed and shook his head.

And now I'm shaking mine too. 

Luckily, the solution to this problem is simple...create ONE dedicated space for our working home office. But the BIG question is...where?

We are very fortunate that we have 4 bedrooms in our house. Addie and Blake each have their own, which leaves one extra for a home office or spare room. We had both at one point but I sacrificed it to make a playroom two years ago. At the time, it made perfect sense. Our unfinished basement was perfect for playing, but not for a young toddler and an infant. They needed a smaller, safer place to play and crawl around. It was perfect and the kids spent a LOT of time in there.

But things are different now. Now that the kids are older, they LIVE in our basement. It may be unfinished, but it has carpet, a TV with cable, TONS and TONS of space for riding bikes, scooters, roller skating and jumping in the bouncy house. The kids don't want to be in their playroom when they can be in the basement. In fact, the only purpose the playroom serves at this point is a place to store toys. The kids either go in it to grab a toy and drag it to their bedroom or another part of the house, or they go in to trash the place. I don't find them playing in there like I used to and that would be fine if I didn't have another purpose in mind for the room. BUT I DO!!!

And this isn't going to be as simple as taking out the toys and putting up shelves and a desk. This is going to take some major planning because the playroom is actually going to become Blake's new room so that him and Addie are across from each other and can share their bathroom. It just makes more sense to have our home office across from our master and next to the guest bath.

So yeah...to make this happen, I actually have to redo two rooms with a VERY small budget. I am going to have to reuse and repurpose as much as I can. LOTS of DIY projects in my future and lots of help from my personal carpenter :-) Here are just a few of the features I hope to achieve in there to make it a family space, and not just my own playroom (even though that would be AWESOME!)

1. Two Work Spaces


I love the idea of having one workspace for the computer, and one for crafting or coloring :-) Addie loves "writing in her calendar" or "making lists" while I work at the kitchen table so I can see her loving this space, especially when she starts getting homework!!

Cube Storage


I love cube storage for some many reasons, but mostly because you can customize it to your needs. You can use fun baskets, boxes and magazine holders and keep everything neat and tidy in each cube. Also, cube storage is pretty inexpensive and easy to make. Me likey :-)

I also plan to incorporate:

* Our Large Chalkboard
  * A Gift Wrapping System, like this over-the-door one:


* A fun, easy to use calendar system and chore chart for the kiddies
* A filing system for our paperwork that makes sense!!

Yep...LOTS of work ahead of me!! I don't plan to start this project until we get closer to summer because if I am going to paint, I need to be able to have windows open. Plus, planning everything out and doing all the DIY projects will take some time too. Anyone have any great sites or books they recommend for inspiration? I will be doing some serious looking around on Pinterest but if you have any other great places to look let me know. And of course, if you have a family home office of your own and have any great tips for me...be sure to post a comment!!

1 comment:

  1. I love the over the door gift wrapping station. Could you share the link where to buy it?

    ReplyDelete