Category Archives: Organization

Home Office Design Tips for Writers: Crafting a Creation Station

March madness has struck! My writerly pals and I are spring cleaning our work space and sharing the results of our labors this week in our Creation Station blog hop. Hopefully, you can find some ideas and inspiration, then visit the awesome bloggers listed at the end of this post, who also invite you into their work space.

Before we get started, the photo below shows my office space:

Home Office Photo 11

Readers of my blog know that my husband and I recently built and moved into our new home. After a tumultuous year, I was striving for serenity in my new digs. The colors are reminiscent of the beach which I find tremendously soothing.

My former house had an extra room dedicated to my office. It was Old World style with an over-sized dark wood desk, rustic colored paint on the walls, and built-in bookshelves. However, my life has changed drastically and we went from being empty nesters to a multi-generational home. (Which is working well – but that is a subject for another blog.)

Julie Office Photo 5As a result, now my office consists of a corner in my master bedroom which is also decorated in light, breezy, beachy colors. As you can see from the photo, while my old office had shelves and file cabinets, and a large printer stand, my current office is much simpler.

In today’s world of technology who needs bulky file cabinets and a chunky computer? I now use a lap top, and must confess, on a normal workday as a freelance writer, start writing in my bed, move to my desk, and end up in a cushy chair. Nonetheless, during the hours I’m sitting at my desk, I actually like this office better than my previous one.

As a full-time freelance writer, I wanted my office to not only be functional, but inspirational. I wanted a place that invites me to come in and enjoy the simple satisfaction and joy of writing. My home office is still a work in progress, but I wanted to give you a peek and share a few tips you can use to set up your own creation station:

It’s All About Location

Whether you write or blog full-time, run a business from your home, or write after-hours as a hobby, designate a special space where you feel inspired and creative. If necessary, it can be a small corner in a bedroom. Just make sure it is tucked away in a quiet area where you can think and won’t be distracted.

Julie Office Photo 3Surround Yourself with Inspiration

When I first started writing and was just starting to get published, I had a board above my desk with clippings, acceptance letters and even encouraging rejection letters to help me remember early accomplishments and not lose my passion. It worked.

Julie Office Photo 2

 

So hang a few inspirational sayings, a beautiful painting, or surround yourself with photos that make you smile above your desk for extra motivation. I’m SO not crafty, but I wrapped an inexpensive bulletin board in gorgeous fabric and ribbon for this purpose. It was really easy!

Choose Pretty Accessories

Julie Office Photo 4

 

Bring in furniture and accessories that demonstrate your style and personality. Start with a pretty comfy chair and then add a pretty lamp for extra light, trendy notepads, a vase with flowers, or a decorative waste basket.

Add cherished knick-knacks like my Mom’s silk flowers and old pencil holder. Think about colors, textures, and items that will help your productivity and provide a sense of well-being.

 

Julie Office Photo 9Get Organized

This is especially important when you have minimal space. Use floating shelves on the walls for reference books, vertical file folders to keep important papers within arm’s reach, and a pretty basket to tame your mail, notes, and papers.

Julie Office Photo 10

 

My organizer I use for this purpose  was inexpensive and purchased from Target. As you can see, it not only holds papers and files but also my printer.

So there you go. Hopefully, I’ve shared some tips you can use to craft your own personal creation station.

For more ideas and inspiration about writerly work spaces, please visit these #Gr8blogs today:

 

Auden Johnson

My Creation Station

Take a tour of this author’s muse station – which happens to be in her living room like many a writer – and her wonderful world building wall. Auden even includes a photo of her adorable dog, Oreo, who either serves as company or an obstruction.

Cat Michaels

Be Inspired with a Visit to my Creation Station

Cat invites you to come and get comfy as you take a look at her creative space. A lovely vintage maple hutch from the 1960s serves as display and storage unit for photos, office supplies and school visit material.  Love her eclectic mix of old, new, and tech. Cat even includes a video tour for your viewing pleasure.

Corrina Holyoake

Station Creation Blog Hop – Our Creative Spaces

After years of working out of her kitchen/dining area filled with an endless supplies of art materials, Corrina moved and was able to carve out her own little haven with a lovely calming vibe as she lives out her dream as an author and illustrator.

K. Lamb

My Corner of Imagination

This author shares her magical place in a comfy, leather chair that instantly transports her into a world of make believe where anything can happen. Her tips include surrounding yourself with a bit of whimsy, a time-out corner, a jar of jelly beans, and a fort.

Leigh Sherin, Writer

Starlight & Alchemy; The Anatomy of a Workspace

Leigh poetically describes her typical day bustling between family and farm life and squeezing in those creative moments that we all crave. “My little workspace is what I have,” she writes. “It cradles my visionary spirit, laying down a buffer to the reckless and breakneck outside world.”

If you have a blog about designing a work space, we’d love to have you post your blog link in the comments section below, and we’ll give you some blog loving!

 

 

 

How Clearing Clutter Can Make You Happy

After living 15 years in the same house, we’re moving. Oh my, the STUFF we’ve collected and stored.

So the process begins. Last night, I was packing up my kitchen with my daughter-in-law. The cabinets were full of cookbooks I’ve never cracked open, expired food in the pantry, small kitchen appliances I never used, and then there was the dreaded “junk drawer.” As I was filling up trash bags and putting aside things to sell, I felt incredibly FREE.

Why hadn’t I done this sooner?

ClutterIn fact, why do we Americans love to collect stuff? A Self Storage Association study showed that by 2007, the normal family in the middle of a move that was using storage short-term did not represent most of their clients anymore. Half of renters were simply storing what wouldn’t fit in their homes, even though the size of the average American house had almost doubled in the previous 50 years. These clients, who often pay $1000 a year or more to store their excessive belongings, are contributing to a $154 billion industry.

Those who don’t rent storage units are packing clutter into their homes. The U.S. Department of Energy reported that one-quarter of people with two-car garages have so much stuff that they can’t park a car inside. Another study reported 23 percent of adults say they pay bills late and incur fees because they lose them.

Why are we doing this to ourselves when cleaning out all that clutter is so beneficial?

Think about it. Conquering clutter can clear the way for a more productive life.  Without physical obstructions like piles of unopened mail, old clothes, and Tupperware without lids getting in the way, you can get organized and do more in less time.

The National Association of Professional Organizers reports we spend one year of our lives looking for lost items. According to the National Soap and Detergent Association, getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of housework in the average home.

So are you ready to get rid of the clutter and make your life easier and happier? Here are some common things you can get rid of to get you started:

  • Any object you don’t love, enjoy, or use
  • Clothes and shoes that don’t fit, are damaged, or you haven’t worn in over a year
  • Things that might come in handy someday – but never do
  • Recipes and cookbooks you’ll never use
  • Half-finished projects
  • Photographs, letters, and cards from people you don’t remember
  • Books you’ll never get around to reading
  • Email and social media clutter
  • Old toiletries
  • Expired food and medicine
  • Old magazines and newspapers
  • Excess paper clutter in your home office
  • Any object or photograph that triggers bad memories

And the list goes on. You know what you need to do. Quit resisting the idea of letting go of stuff you’ll never use. Stop procrastinating. Get rid of all those projects you’ll never finish, all the junk you’ll never fix, and things that need to be handled but you don’t want to confront.

You’ll get rid of unwanted stress, improve the energy in your home, and make room for new opportunities, ideas, and possibilities.

The simple act of clearing out clutter enables you to see clearly what is working in your life and what no longer suits a purpose. This insight can give you the confidence to make other empowering decisions such as how you want to spend your time and who you want to spend it with.

Don’t get overwhelmed. Simply take it one step and one room at a time and work toward the goal of a clutter-free home.

As you donate, recycle, or dispose of your clutter, think of the happiness and freedom it will bring you. You’ll have more time to do things you want to do.

Conquer that clutter and begin living a life that you love!

 Image courtesy of Bill Longshaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net