Becoming organized in my home and business is an ongoing process. Each year I continue to learn about my strengths and weakness while making adjustments in my life. Also having a family can challenge anyones organization because you can not always control where those school paper, socks and toys are dropped. Being completely transparent, over the last few months I have felt increasingly unfocused and realized my office setup aka the “Rejoicing Room” was causing my problems. It was a functional office space but not for my needs. I had reminders of unfinished projects and bills in my view while working on my business. There were many craft supplies and tools stored inefficiently and it was difficult to work on my planner at the desk. The biggest obstacle was the battle for desk space between my computer and craft/planning projects. I realized I needed an office and craft room makeover.
I took the plunge to declutter my business and craft supplies. This was difficult because I looked at each item to decide why I would keep it, donate or throw it away. There are many supplies and uncompleted projects I removed because I was more excited about the thought of the creative project than actually completing it. When I organized my closet I went through a similar process of declutter clothes 5+ years ago that held great memories but didn’t work for me anymore.
When you are looking through your craft supplies, home office or any area of your house, prepare yourself to be brutally honest. Are you really going to use those punches and ribbons? Are you keeping those glass bowls on the top shelf because someday maybe you will be able to use them? Security, acceptance and fear can be a reasons we keep so many unneeded items in our lives.
After I went through my office I began grouping similar items to begin looking for redundancy so I could further streamline my area. Then I began sketching out my dream office area and looking at pictures. I am very visual so if my supplies are not visible and easily accessible, I am likely not to use it. As you can see in the before picture, many of the supplies were in reach but were not visible or needed to be taken out of containers.
In planning my new workspace I wanted a home for everything, so I could have a clear desk space. The important items for my desk was tools (scissors & punches), decorative (washi, stickers and ribbons), craft paper and business files.
Once I determined which items I would use the most I drew out rough sketch. I chose to use the Elfa system because we have used it for nine years in four different homes; condo, two rentals and our current home. What I love about the elfa system is the flexible functionality, I can easily make changes as my needs grow. Quick note, I recently became an affiliate for Elfa, however I have used their organizing systems many years before I ever joined their program, I am only sharing what I know works well.
This is where I made my mistake. Being experienced with Elfa system I didn’t write down the measurements to ensure all of the items could work together in my design. I did not have enough hanging standards, order the wrong shelves and choose the wall utility board instead of the square utility board. Sigh. Unfortunately my hurriedness in completing my order (because the kids were screaming:) resulted in an extra drive to The Container Store for more supplies. So learn from my lesson and draw out your design.
This took a little longer because of the long drive to The Container Store, however for most people this can easily be completed in a day or less. You can check out my post on our closet makeover for the steps used to install an Elfa system. It took a little trial and error to move around the boxes and hooks but I began to find the right balance. Again what I love about the Elfa system is easily moving shelves, boxes and hooks to restructure my desk if needed.
Below are quick snapshots of how my husband and I set up the office area.
Honestly my productively level has jumped dramatically. Decluttering, reorganizing and simplifying my office has reduced the distractions. I am no longer distracted by those unfinished projects, bills or the not having my planning tools easily accessible. Also it is easier for me to create and “rejoice” by working on my business and planners.
If you wish to create your own craft or office area using Elfa, checkout my detailed review and installation of our closet for more information.
So what would you love to organize in your house? Your office, laundry room or garage? Please share in the comments below, love to hear!