Create Your Dream Home Office and Craft Room

Brand new pine desk top that Brian made.
First deck is 54 x 30
Upper deck is 41 x 15

Project Central for sorting pages of stories

Cubby holes are so handy. This one used to be a bedroom closet….Really!

Two of three standard cabinets from Staples (big box office store)

Nifty book case that Brian made for me. The basket holds all my Marigold notes. Marigold is a cool dragon. The bottom section was left open to stash anything that can’t go on a shelf.

My lovely HP wide format printer…perfect for scrapbooking and cross stitch projects.

Beautiful wood buffet and hutch. Most of the gorgeous boxes hold my embroidery floss stash and current cross stitch projects. Hey! a girl can’t live on writing alone. All the boxes are from Michaels.
If you think you know what the wood is please let me know. This massive beauty stands almost 7 feet tall x 50″ x 20″.

First Things First
Sort through everything in the room and eliminate what doesn’t belong. I’m sure you’ve heard about the Sort, Pitch, Allocate, Containerize and Equalize system made so popular by Julie Morgenstern.

Sort what stays, what goes elsewhere as in other rooms, given away or simply thrown out. This step is great fun especially when you have a helper who won’t let you slack off.

Yes, the room will look as though a hurricane went through it but that’s ok.

We all have must keep treasures but remove them from the room until the decorating phase.

Now What?
It’s time to decide what goes where. If you don’t have the storage or shelf for it don’t worry that comes later. Just put the items in the general area of the room where they belong even if it’s in plastic containers or the dreaded cardboard boxes. Make sure the container is open and see through or if it’s a box keep the flaps open. If you can’t see what’s in there you will be forever wondering just where things went.

Containers
Now that your treasures are in their own groupings the real fun begins.

What do you put them in? I love decorative boxes. I prefer wood but at the moment most are cardboard but at least they’re pretty.

I also appreciate cabinets with adjustable shelving and the mandatory doors.

Before you tie up your sneakers and hit the mall make groupings of items on a table or even on the floor so that you know approximately what sizes of containers you need. Actually measure the area and individual pieces or at least their groupings. Be sure to make lots of notes. You will need them when you go shopping.

Absolutely take someone with you for help and to make sure that you don’t bring home the entire store. If you aren’t sure of an item take a picture with your phone.

If you get containers that aren’t big enough you will end up with far too many. Too large is also a nuisance. If you already have storage shelves and cabinets include the width and depth of each shelf. It’s no fun choosing the perfect container and then discovering that it is too large for where you want to place it.

Both basically get you into trouble right from the start.

Make sure you get ones that speak to you. I love flowers, birds, butterflies, and wood so anything that makes it into my shopping cart must meet at least one of these conditions.

Now is the time to see what kind of storage spaces you have in the room.

Do you have shelves, any kind of doored cabinet, or are you really lucky and starting with a blank room just waiting for you to work your magic? If that’s the case lucky you!

Getting professional advice can help make your space a dream rather than a nightmare.

It doesn’t need to be expensive either. Consult with friends and see their spaces. Ask at craft stores and your big box DIY centre. You can end up with some pretty cool ideas when you see storage items supposedly for one use and bingo. The wheels start spinning and you see at least one other use for your own project.

Ideas to get you started
Try a Multi drawer plastic unit designed for nut and bolts for small items such as beads or buttons or other tiny embellishments. They are perfect since the individual sections are see through. Sometimes you can even remove them from the larger unit.

Bonus….these are generally much less expensive than ones at a craft store.

Old medicine bottles are also great for storing pins and needles for beading or cross stitch.

Bonus…….the bottle stays out of the landfill!

Naturally the good old Internet is a wonderful resource so happy surfing.

Advantages
Once you learn what is in each box or behind each door you save a ton of time since you aren’t searching the entire room for an item and sometimes other rooms as well. The whole time you are, of course, going slightly? mad and wasting a lot of precious writing or crafting time. That is no fun!

What you need is always handy but not in plain view.

After all the time you spend making your system workable and enjoyable it will make your eyes itch if you don’t keep it up and start getting sloppy again.

Items in boxes get to mingle without causing a scene.

Decorating Time
Now is the time to retrieve those must have pieces that you put away safely in an other room.

My computer desk used to be…to put it politely…a complete disaster area. Now the only items that are allowed to remain on the desk over night are what you see in the picture.

I know it isn’t too clear but the photo on the left end of the upper level is my favourite four-legged friend Sasha. She was my brother’s mini Schnauzer and I miss her dearly.

Desk faces south and is between two windows.

This is a real treat for me since I’ve always had basement offices and we know what the windows are like….total ick. Now I am finally on ground level and I’m loving it. The windows are 32 x 32 so they let in lots of daylight.

The light in my office is LED. They are much easier on the eyes than old incandescent and easier on the nervous system than any kind of fluorescent.

Lots of room 13’ x 10’
The office that my wonderful husband Brian built for me began life as two of the smallest bedrooms you’ve ever seen. They were both 6 1/2 feet wide and 10 feet long. Yep, you guessed it, mobile home “bedrooms”.

We took possession of our happy home on May 1st, 2016 and by the time we moved in on May 15th he had worked magic. New floors, new paint and new lighting.

Project Central
The black table is a generous 48” x 24”. It is so handy for sorting items on and trust me I would not be a happy great gramma if it ever went into service in another room.

Equalize
Simply means put the item back where it belongs. I check my office before I close up shop for the day so it’s fresh and ready for more fun when I come back. I even go out and come back later as it’s so much easier to see things with fresh eyes. The last thing I want to do is have to put stuff away from the day before.

Flexibility
As you work with your new space your intuition will tell you where some items really belong. Your scissors just might end up with tapes and glues in your craft cupboard instead of your desk drawer. So? Buy another pair for your desk area.

Brag Time
Now that you’ve created your dream office or craft room feel free to brag. Send me some photos with captions and even a bit of a write up of your successes and hiccups along the way so that together we can inspire others.

Send pictures and ideas to:

val@raineydaywritingandresearch.com

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