Friday, January 23, 2009

Home Office Before and After

Is it mid November? Because that is when I promised this after! I'm SO sorry! It really takes a bit of time and focus to edit, upload, and write a blog entry and I bow to those that manage to do this every day!

This client is a busy Mom to two wonderful kids and has several businesses, all run from home. She is really smart and really knew what would work for her and what wouldn't and was quick to make a decision. She just didn't have the time or the systems in place to manage it all! I am confident that, after our weeks of organizing and giving her rules that fit the way she works, she will be able to not only manage these spaces but translate what she learned to the rest of her home!
The Project:
Get the office area under control


Help her plan and move into the new family/playroom
(that my husband built for her family!)
The office:
Let me point out a few things that we needed to find solutions for and then I'll point them out in the afters.
-1st they itemize (this is regarding taxes) so they keep ALL receipts. They didn't know where to put them. Filing them daily doesn't make sense for their time. Their solution was to put them in a gift bag. The thought was that it was big enough to hold them all and it was within easy reach so it worked. It is the light blue one on the floor.
-they had a desk that was designed for large CPU computers and lots of software. An entire shelf above the monitor was just for disks and the space for the large computer tower was tall and skinny and it became a place to just pile stuff out of the way.
-Pictures are very important to her and there were many, everywhere!
-she was WAY ahead of me on one of my must haves and that is binders. She knew binders were the way to go with records that have to be maintained and she had lots of them, in many sizes and colors.

Here's a closer picture of the desk. Most of what is on the floor is from that tall area made for your CPU. She is well traveled and has many maps that she needs for future trips!

She has lots of photo paper and cards and different types of paper and it was an area where she truly didn't know what she had.

Here is the after!

The entire area is now a great space that functions well for her. I didn't take pictures of every area in this room but there is a huge bookcase and that was redone as well. We moved some furniture around to create a space for all her pictures which was a huge goal of hers.

All her supplies are now in bins that fit perfectly in these drawers and are labeled to ensure she can find whatever she needs! Behind these bins are 2 magazine holders that have all her maps, sorted by domestic and international.

Her binders are virtually identical to what she had before EXCEPT they are now all white and all have the same style label. It took perhaps 30 minutes to change these over and what a difference this makes! She is also using a Family Resource Binder that I made her (details in a past blog entry) and she LOVES it and said she didn't know how she didn't have this before!

So what is that pretty red container for? Her receipts! We did this in November and it was getting full but we felt it was a good size and would work for the entire year. If not, she may need to pull them out and file them once a year and NO mess or pile, or gift bag on the floor!

The area where the unused disks sat now have every day items like stamps and her business cards as well as a spot for cards that she is given that once were in 7 different places. I don't like to give ALL my secrets away but one is to certainly look at things differently. Like the red planter is now a receipt organizer. The cute white bins with the fabulous tags on that tiny shelf? They are from the Wilton section of Joannes! Yes, candy trays!

All of her photo paper and other paper are now sorted and easy to get to. Everything has a label and a 'zone'. Everyone has a 'thing' that they seem to have too much of or love and she loves having cards on hand! She had SO many! We sorted through them to ensure cards had envelopes and decided to get rid of older ones so that whatever she kept would fit in the one bin you see. Then they were categorized by event--if she needs a sympathy card, she can now easily grab one! If she needs any paper, she just pulls out that basket and grabs what she needs!

Now, the Family and Playroom:

I didn't take a picture before we got busy--it's SO easy to get into a groove and work and then go, "OOPS, I need before pictures"! This space was completely empty on day one. We discussed layout and what things were needed and they went on their own and bought the furniture which I think is great for this space! It is Ikea and is part of their Expedit line. For rooms like this, Ikea is fabulous and the Expedit series is THE greatest open storage for scrapbooking too! It holds 12x12 paper systems and scrapbooks perfectly!

Okay, back to this great room--they set all the furniture up and then I started pulling all the items that we decided need to fit into this space from 4 other rooms! Small toys, all books, all games and all craft items. Here it is at the start of the piling phase.

The biggest challenge was to not only sort through all the girl crafts and get them organized but to create a system that an adorable but busy crafting preteen could actually keep up with! I'm sure it seems hard to organize a business but let me tell you, taking on a girl's collection of beads and markers is just as challenging! Here are some pictures of these items as I moved them into the room.

Here is the After!

Most of this is rather self explanatory. Books in one zone, games in another, toys in another.
Here is the craft area.
What do you see? Craft bins? No? How about kitchen items? Back to my opinion on using items for a use other than what they were made for! The markers are in utensil bins straight from the Target kitchen section. Think about it--those are usually dishwasher safe or at least easy to clean and they have perfectly sized spaces for all things crafty! I have tons of these in my home. One full of just kids scissors and glue, put away for the next kids' party. You can get cute and colorful ones at stores like Joannes once summer comes out but this was in the Fall and this space is for adults too (umm, did you see the cool projector screen? Which was put in that spot because when the entire wall of sliding glass doors are open, you can watch it from the pool!). So the stainless was really a perfect choice. This type of bin also grows easily with your family and has many future use options (um lipstick and makeup brushes once the preteen is 14?) so they are a great investment. What else can be used another way in the future? How about that great wine bucket that is currently holding crayons? Oh, for the parents though please. And do you see? The beads are in the bead boxes again!
More kitchen items coming your way! The disposable 'tupperware' type containers are perfect for crafts as well as for a drawer where you are sorting electronics. Label the lid or edge and break down all the small cords for ipod, blackberry, canon camera, on and on--just the right size. These containers have all her tiny things sorted and NOT labeled. Why no label Miss Organizer who loves labels? Well, kids always change their stuff. AND the bin is clear. So, this allows her to change things as she gets new products without having old labels and then it's 'wrong'. This will always be right as long as she keeps like things together and she can identify each bin easily since they are see through.
This was a great client and a rewarding project! I hope you enjoyed it!

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Chrissy said...

Wow, you are like a miracle worker! I just don't have the patience or talent to do that kind of thing!

jenjen said...

It looks so great! You are so motivated! Yay for you!

Have a great night!


Margaret said...

Nice work! I like how you use what they already have -- like the computer desk. The only thing I would have a problem with would be the rolling desk chair constantly bumping into the table with all the photos and knocking them over.

Astrid said...

What a transformation! Incredible!

Cara said...

I just love looking at your site. I just found it and I am so inspired. I love your ideas! If I could start a business it would be like yours, so gratifying at the end of the project. Thank you for sharing.

Christine said...

Might I suggest a product called "Neat Receipts." They have a website that explains their product. It really is a wonderful way to organize and then recover a receipt when it is needed. Perfect for tax organization. It only takes a few minutes to learn and it saves so much time. The bucket is a great idea. I believe that items must be "easy to put away" or they will never get put away... but if anyone is ready to take that step up, Neat receipts is a great invention. Also, I could not live without my sheet-fed scanner and shredder for the piles of bills and paperwork. Hi-tech must have tools for the paper-filled office. I'm not an organizer... wish I was, that is why I check out sites like yours... thank you!

DomesticDivasFancy said...

That looks wonderful. I am sure it helps to have great clients as well.

Ashley Nichole.

SoBella Creations said...

What a great trasformation! I love your blog by the way. And love all the before and after shots.

Joanna said...

Your organization just really inspries me to do some of my own!

Livin' and Lovin' said...

Hi Kiersten,

Nicole told me about how you were featured on Today's Creative Blog. Congratulations! That's so cool. I have two friends who read that blog often so I passed on the info to them too!

Hope you're doing well and I'll keep an eye out to see you in other blogs!


Scott and Meaghan said...

Hi-I saw your blog on Todays Creative Blog, and can I just say I LOVE IT!! Thank you for sharing your talent. I am a clutter bug and am trying to make changes to have a more organized, less cluttered house. Your blog has provided so many valuable tips for me. I even blogged about your blog and all my friends are now fans of yours as well. Keep up the great work!