Most of us love the sound of “work from home”, but few people are super productive working from their house, unless they have a work space set up for success! I love the flexibility of a home office, especially since having Olivia, but with the flexibly also came some potential challenges. When I moved into my house, I converted the garage to a workspace. [ If you want to see before and afters of the garage renovation, CLICK HERE ]. If you saw the before and afters, you’ll see that I added lots of beautiful cabinetry and style, but I slowly realized I I needed an organizational system!
So, I enlisted the help of Katrina Teeple and her team of organizers at Operation Organization! In several sessions, they helped me get my “Garoffice” doing double duty again as a workspace and organized storage room! Below is a photo of how the garage looked on day one! Lots of clutter covering up all of the potential creative space I originally had! It was something I had not been making the time to do myself because well, it was overwhelming.
Katrina got us going with her S.T.A.R.T Method. This little acronym really came in handy to get me out of overwhelm and into action when I started to reorganize! She says “Thinking about a project is draining, doing it is actually energizing!” So true! Here’s the S.T.A.R.T. Method explained, so you can implement it too!
S-Sort (collect and categorize)
T-Toss (donate or toss items not needed)
A-Assess (see where the items you’re keeping should go and what you will need to organize them better)
R-Reorganize (put what you’re keeping away and label it to keep you organized)
T-Test (give your new systems a try for function and make any needed adjustments)
Following S.T.A.R.T., the Operation Organization Team rolled up their sleeves and got to work. All they really needed me for was deciding what will go and what will stay. We purged, then they containerized and labeled everything so now I can see the beautiful space I created to work in! The ladies at Operation Organization asked the right questions to find out what I used most and what could go deeper into storage. We started with the floor and surfaces then worked our way into the cabinets and drawers.
One of my favorite things that came from the re-org was setting up a to-do tray system that got all the paper and design samples off my desk and into a newly cleaned out cabinet shelf. I have one tray for personal paper, one for business paper and one for design samples I’m considering.
We all have paper and stuff we need to process…but nobody wants to see it all over their desk! It’s a distracting eye sore that doesn’t need to be right in front of you all the time.
Katrina suggested I use an electric to-do list, like the Notes App for iPhone to track tasks linked to my paper, instead of keeping paper piles out to remind me of what to do. For example, some of the tasks I have linked to my paper are: Renew drivers license, add Olivia’s school schedule to iCal and review wallpaper samples! All the paper attached to those to-dos are in these wooden trays and one oversized basket from The Container Store! Once I’m done with a task, I toss the paper or scan it. Go me! Now my desk has just the essentials.
For longer sessions at my work table, they organized this cart on wheels with my office supplies. It lives over in a corner, tucked away most of the time, but rolls over with me when I’m writing cards, needing colorful pens or some tape.
“We don’t need ALL our pens right at our finger tips! Just select the best and toss or store the rest to replenish when the current pens dry up.” Says Katrina. Another game changer for me was actually getting my tools and paint supplies organized properly. As you know, I am a huge DIYer, so not having things accessible when I need them makes the excitement for doing a project fade fast. Operation Organization grouped my tools and gadgets together using these super affordable clear containers, also from The Container Store. Then, for the larger paint, they used these plastic grey bins that have lids (you can shop the room below) if you want to stack them.
Katrina is big on simplifying. Organizing to her means innovating the way you have been doing things to get better results for an optimal environment. “Every space is an environment that can either drain you or energize you, depending on how it looks and how it functions.” She reminded me that when things look pretty, I’m more inclined to keep up a system, so it does matter how you organize and what’s inside your cabinets!
PHOTOGRAPHY: HYLAH HEDGEPETH
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