Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day
Home Office in a Closet: Country Living

It is great to have a well organized home. However, my home is often overrun by paperwork — from my own stuff to kids school papers to bills. I haven’t yet got all my “new house” systems and organization in place, so I am ready to start feeling more organized. While having enough rooms in the house for everything would be nice, how do you get creative with every day storage needs when you are short on space?

I’m realizing that it was one thing to feel organized in a large home, but now that my house is about half the size of my old one, it isn’t as easy to stash things out of view as it used to be.

For most of us, we need to make the most of the space we have. In spite of our limitations, we still want our homes to be attractive, personal and inspiring. Time to get creative, so let’s look at some inspiration photos for ideas.

I love the home office in the closet above! It is so pretty and organized!

Desks can be expensive, but if you need one to corral your office stuff you can make your own to suit your needs. Desks can be a clutter magnet, but if you make yours pretty it helps!Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

My own personal desk is actually two file cabinets with a desktop for a surface. I find that works well for me, and is definitely something you could make pretty easily. Even old ugly file cabinets can be spray painted to give them a fresh look. Another suggestion is to buy or find table legs to attach to an old door. Or, use an old table fixed up with a new paint color. Instantly personalized desks!

For storage, you can take several old file cabinets and give them new life with paint and new knobs. Instant credenza! Or, find an old dresser and give it a fun new paint job. Dressers are perfect for extra storage just about anywhere!

Frame a white board with wood to create your own custom message area to organize your thoughts, lists or calendars. I love having several bulletin boards and message centers in my own home out where I can see them.

Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every DayFinding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

With a little color coordination and creative storage containers, you can store all sorts of supplies right out in the open in just about any room of the house. Every room might have hidden or out-in-the open storage possibilities! You can cover storage boxes or even shoe boxes with paper to coordinate to your decor. Baskets also work well to corral papers and supplies.

Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every DayFinding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every DayFinding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

Use tables with skirts or curtains to coordinate with your decor and help hide some of the clutter. Find wasted places under counters, shelves, or tables to claim some space for storage. Perfect “creative concealments!”

Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every DayFinding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

In small quarters, you can utilize any corner to hide some every day things! A skirted table in a dining room can hide file cabinets or shelving, and a coffee table can be topped with cushions to create both a charming seat and a place to stash supplies.

Finding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every DayFinding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every DayFinding Creative Space for the Stuff We Need Every Day

What stuff do you have trouble stashing at your house?
Are you getting in the mood for some spring organizing?

Organizational inspiration from:
Better Homes & Gardens,
except top photo
Country Living, this post revised from April 2008

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

No pain, no gain, right? Isn’t that how the saying goes? Redecorating, remodeling or re-arranging is sometimes downright painful! If it isn’t the mess involved, the frustration of the decisions, or the expense of it all, it is the emotional torment or battle that can go along with change. But, as with everything that is worthwhile, you sometimes have to suffer a bit for the cause. Isn’t that the truth?! I am suffering just a bit right now because of a little project I am working on. Ok, I’m suffering a lot. Sniff! I’ll tell you about that in a minute. I’ve got to grab my Kleenex first.

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

Some of you (at least all three of you who were reading my blog back in August!) will remember that I announced my exciting plans for a new master suite! The entire third floor of our house is going to become our retreat from the world! A bedroom for my hubby and me, an office for me, a boutique style closet with chandeliers and storage galore… Sound dreamy? Well, I’m still dreaming. Life happens and I have been too busy to actually get that project going.

How you girls manage to whip out so many home-improvement projects — like repainting all of your furniture — showing us how you did it step-by-step in photos on your blog and still manage to cook something for dinner in your cute little apron is a mystery to me! I seem to run out of hours in the day before I get to do anything pretty around my own house. And if I do manage a little project, I forget to feed my son dinner. Oops! I usually realize it when he is eating his sixth bowl of cereal. Bless his little heart, he finds his own meals sometimes.

Here is what transpired over at my house this week. My son came up to me while I was at the computer desk the other day saying (in his most serious and concerned seven-year-old tone):

“Mom, could we please clean up this room? There are piles over here, piles over there and it just doesn’t look good. It looks terrible in here.”

Ha! Out of the mouths of babes. Even my son recognized the problem! I need my own office! I need file cabinets! I need shelves! I need my own room to work in! I need cute boxes and notebooks and colored file folders! We all agree on that! And once a seven-year-old is complaining about the lack of order and style, you know the time has come to take action.

So with that little nudge from my son, my dear, sweet, thoughtful husband took pity on his overworked wife and decided he would dive in on my behalf. While I was on a phone conference last night, he started in on my new office! We realized that this master suite project was a big undertaking, so it was best to break it up in to smaller more manageable chunks. The best place to start was with the room that would help me the most — my new office. No more dragging our feet. We just had to dive in and get going. And that he did (sorry, none of these photos are mine, technical difficulties are preventing a photo of the real room).

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

But here is the painful part.

Starting on my office meant taking apart our 19-year-old daughter’s bed and packing away her personal belongings.

There. I said it.

You see, my new office has been her bedroom for over four years. It is MY DAUGHTER’S BEDROOM I am stealing for my own convenience. I know this is a line parents are not supposed to cross. Never, EVER, dismantle a college age child’s room while they are living in a dorm. Isn’t that a rule? I think it is. You don’t want them to feel they don’t have a room to return to on school breaks. And I do want her to come home! I do! I miss her so while she is at school.

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved..

But, trust me, we’ve discussed this thoroughly with her and have promised to provide her with a new room. She completely understands and supports the re-purposing of her room on behalf of my business!

But agreeing on this didn’t make us feel good about it as the bed was dismantled. No, we didn’t feel good at all. We stood in the room without a bed and just looked at it. Little lumps grew in our throats and little tears were in our eyes. Visions of our little girl climbing into that now dismantled bed flooded our minds. She was just barely into her teens when she moved to this room. This was her little world! Was this symbolic of the end of her childhood? Were we pushing her out of the nest by taking over her room? Would she ever come back? Oh, I’m telling ya. Being a parent is rough. You always worry you are doing it wrong. And the milestones are so bittersweet.

The Home Office Saga. Crying involved.

Ok, so this project is a bit emotional for us. It is the right thing to do and we all agree that the change will be for the best. But that doesn’t stop the emotions when you see it happening.

Time is marching on and we can’t go back.

The good news is, if I can bear to think of it, is that I now have a space of my own to work with! Hip Hip Hooray! I am now dreaming of what the room will look like and how organized I will be! There will be file cabinets and shelves, a pine table and lamps and OH MY this will be such fun! That is what I am telling myself. Through my tears. Thanks for being a shoulder to cry on.

Now I am ready to find that new office furniture.

all photos from Cottage Living online