It feels good to be blogging again and I intend to do my best to keep up with regular posts, even while I continue to work on blog updates and a few more changes that I decided on this past couple of weeks. Right now things are still quite busy with the updates and changes, and the blog training I am trying to complete has had to almost take a complete backseat in the meantime, though blog updates are part of the training and the entire process. It has become very apparent to me that “regular blogging” is going to mean two, maybe three posts for quite a while yet, especially through the summer as I have four girls here full time to entertain and enjoy summer with, and while I try to wrap up the blog course. I’m good with that number, and now that I have that figured out I need to redo my editorial calendar a bit more realistically! (Like this post that I intended to publish last week. 😉)
One thing that’s helping me stay on track and organized is keeping my desk in order. I’ve been gradually working on the drawer organization, something that usually is a quick one-day project. (Lately nothing seems like a one-day project!) I still need to finalize the pegboard organization above the desk (another day, another post!), but a couple weeks ago I managed to finish the drawers, and last week finally got binder labels on the last few “naked” binders. Here’s my progress…
Clearing off the top of the desk was a huge step! I still haven’t mastered using my tickler file and tend to be an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” kind-of-girl, so things that need completed tend to stack up on my desk. I try to go through and take care of it all at least once-a-week so it doesn’t get too out-of-control. Boy does it feel good to see a clean desk!
The pegboard originally looked like this but I have removed some things and made a few changes. There is now a ton of space to use, so I’m in the process of determining what I want to bring back, new ways to utilize it, etc. As I said, another day, another post!
This Martha Stewart desktop organizer from Staples hasn’t changed much. I use it to corral some smaller notebooks including my project notebook (updated post on that coming down the pike as well…so many topics, so little time!). I also keep my pocket sized oil reference here.
When I purchased this desk at a garage sale, my hubby helped me make it over to include binder storage (instead of the drawers that originally were in these spaces). You can see from the old pics here that I have changed up what’s here as well. I moved binders that I don’t use as often to a built-in cupboard in our living room, and left these spaces for those binders that I’m in every week and even every day. Those include my blog planner, my Young Living and Jazzercise binders, blog training binder, and notebooks that I use for various things. I finally got labels on the last few binders, using my Astrobrights paper and the same method I did for these (minus the scalloped dots).
While this washi storage on the pegboard was working fine (I don’t use it all that often), I decided that I had enough drawer storage space between the desk and the upper filing cabinet drawer to move it. The biggest drawback to having it on dowels on the pegboard was that when I wanted one of the tapes towards the middle, I had to remove all the others to one side in order to access it. It was a fairly quick and easy process, but pulling one out of a drawer is simpler yet!
Before I purchased new organizers, I used some empty checkbook boxes I had to try out the system. This is a great tip for organizing anywhere. Use something you have around the house to see if you like the arrangement and how everything works, THEN purchase a comparable product (or leave it with the boxes…they work great, too!). This will save you a lot of wasted money on organizing solutions that don’t really help you.
Once I decided I liked the washi in the top filing cabinet drawer, I went ahead and ordered acrylic organizers from Amazon. The main drawer of my desk also needed something different, so I got two each of the same organizers. In the filing cabinet drawer, the larger square and the smaller rectangle fit (theoretically) in a vertical fashion, and in the desk drawer they fit together horizontally. While they both fit in the filing cabinet drawer, though, I realized that the drawer doesn’t open all the way out, so items in the very back weren’t accessible with both organizers. I used that extra rectangle in our bathroom and it was great in there! The 3-hole-punch and stapler didn’t really need to be “contained”, so they’re just in front of the acrylic organizer along with a box of staples.
I was able to move my business cards over from a cabinet in the living room, and made a spot for the staple remover and flash drives so that they are within reach when working at my desk.
Somehow I failed to get a “before” of the middle desk drawer, but I was using some garage sale dividers previously. While they worked, I wanted something with deeper compartments and that better filled out the drawer so there wasn’t wasted space. These two acrylic organizers (links earlier in this post) fit the bill perfectly!
The above photo is a before of the left desk drawer. This didn’t change much, and actually looks WORSE now, but I can explain. The cabinet in my living room that I moved my business cards from was also where I had been keeping stationery and envelopes. As I’ve been redoing my workspace, I wanted those things closer and where they made more sense, so ALL the envelopes got put into this drawer. It’s a tad much for the space but truly it does work, and those boxes of envelopes underneath the stacks don’t really get used very often. Towards the front of the drawer I keep blank index cards and blank greeting cards.
Here’s a before of the right desk drawer…
I had moved those tin buckets from the pegboard to the desk, and it’s a system that works. The drawers are deep, so using them for things that can stand up tends to be the best way to utilize the space. I added a pen holder on top of the desk, however, (remember that easy DIY project last week?) and moved the scissors to the middle drawer, so this got changed up slightly as well.
I kept a bucket for highlighers, dry erase markers, Sharpies, paint pens and chalk markers and pencils, then added one for colored pencils. I like to keep these things separate so that I don’t accidentally use a permanent marker on the dry erase board, or a paint pen on the chalkboard…you get the idea!
So far this system is working really well! Things are easy to find and access, and the stuff I need the most is within easy reach. Faith’s desk is now in this area, too, so I need to help her get that in check and finish my pegboard, then we’ll have quite the productive workspace!