If you know me at all then you also know that I have lofty organizational goals that rarely become reality. I love home-making and home decor and dreaming and scheming of ways to make our home beautiful, functional, tidy, and, above all, simple and uncluttered. We do routine purges, and I have a rule that I have to get rid of something in my closet for every new item added. I am the farthest thing from a pack-rat; get rid of it all, I say! (Seriously; just ask my husband about the Disappearing Iron of 2013). Yet, in spite of all this, I still often fail in the organizational department.
I think the reasons for this are two-fold. 1) I have to live in a space for a while before I know exactly what I want to do with it and how I want it to look, so inside remodels of our house have been slow (to the tune of 2 rooms done after 3 years of living here). I'm just now figuring out what I want to do in each room, so things should speed up now! 2) the organizational pieces have to fit my decor and make staying organized fun.
That being said, I've made some progress this summer when it comes to staying organized and keeping one previously disastrous area of my house tidy and functional. I thought I'd share my secrets with you today. :)
What you see above is the area of our dining room that we've dubbed my Momma Desk. We've called it that since we moved in, and I wish I had a before picture to show you what it looked like up until about three months ago. It was bad. So bad, in fact, that when discussing dining room remodels we decided our best bet would actually be to just rip it out altogether because it was really just another catch-all counter. Everything went there. It was covered in magazines, mail, library books, pieces of scrap paper, and so much more. Imagine a person's "junk drawer" in desk form, and you've got a pretty clear picture of what this space looked like. But when I started to write more seriously back in the Spring, I decided that my Momma desk might actually be a usable space, and I set out to make it such. Here are the top 5 things that I couldn't live without on my desk.
1) Cork Board
This is one Husband pulled out of nowhere when I mentioned that I wanted a cork board for my desk area, but I also found this tutorial that I love and may do to my board if I can find the perfect fabric. But the board has really helped my organization. I have pictures that make it personally mine, a calendar because I like to see things visually without having to open my phone, and pertinent lists for the week.
2) Pretty basket
I don't want a bunch of stuff on my desk either loosely sitting out or in baskets, so I only have this one basket. I must say, though, that this basket has made a huge difference on how my desk looks. My entire camera bag used to sit on my desk, but Sweet A can now reach some parts of my desk, and she's a sucker for digging through a bag. I now store my camera bag with the bulk of my camera equipment in the locked cabinet beneath the desk, but I keep my most used photography stuff (namely photography props) in this little wire basket. My camera also stays here when it's not in use. I bought this particular basket from the dollar section at Target, but I'm sure you could find a wealth of options at any yard sale or thrift store, too.
3) Letter Sorter
When I saw how much I loved my basket, I immediately regretted not buying a second one for my notepads, pens, stamps, etc, but, when I went back to Target to rectify my mistake, they were out of the baskets. There was one letter sorter left, however, so I grabbed it, and now I'm really glad I did. Instead of having it all in one basket through which I have to dig whenever I want something, I can sort things into three different sections. Mine is divided like so: the front section holds tape, 2 pens, stamps, and push pins for the cork board; the middle section holds envelopes and stationary; the back section holds bills waiting to be paid, return address labels, and my note pads.
4) Weekly Planner
I love to-do lists. I'm typically not a super structured person, so I allow myself the freedom to cross things off the list as I want to do them (even if it means switching up Tuesday and Friday at the last minute). But I love crossing things off of lists, and I love being productive, so my main goal is to finish all the things on my list by Sunday evening when I make my list for the upcoming week. It helps me plan the day when I can see everything I need to do, plus I enjoy brainstorming and prioritizing and dreaming with Husband about the upcoming week each Sunday. :) I also use the bottom slot for each day to write what I'm planning to make for supper, which helps with grocery shopping and timing my day. Some meals just take longer to make, and I can look ahead to see if I need to thaw any meat or anything like that for the next day. Again, this particular planner came from the Target dollar section, but I think I'm going to try this, this, or this when I finish the ones I have. Or maybe I'll make my own! :)
5) Note Pads
Again, I love lists, and it helps me to see them all in one spot. It also inspires me when I think they're pretty. These also came from the Target dollar section (do you see a theme here? I LOVE the Target dollar section!), but I think these, these, and these are also pretty.
So, what are your organizational tips? Please share in the comments! I need all the help I can get!! :)
I also want to take a moment to introduce you to a fellow blogging friend. Patty is a stay-at-home mom blogger with two littles. She offers child-education tips that are applicable to homeschoolers, private schoolers, and publich schoolers alike, basic mom-care tips, and detailed product reviews. I especially enjoyed this product review and this classroom recap. Check out her blog, and let us know what you love about it!