September 13, 2015

Back-to-School Organization!

And now for something totally different...!

When it comes to organization, my motto is the cliché, "A place for everything, and everything in its place."  Everything I own has a home.  If I have something that doesn't seem to have a logical place, I usually have to rethink if it's something I truly need.

The hardest place to keep organized, it seems, is my desk area.  Ideally, I could have the Pinterest office of my dreams.  Think perfect white walls, lots of natural lighting, a beautiful modern desk, a comfortable yet adorable chair, office supplies totally hidden away, maybe some tiny plants for good measure... Something like this:

So much inspiration:

I can only dream!  I get frustrated when I see these kinds of set-ups on Pinterest because 1) they don't seem 100% functional to me, and 2) they make me SO JEALOUS that I can't have something so gorgeous!  ;)  I'm sure there are real-life people who have such lovely set-ups as these, but it's not attainable for me where I am right now.  So I make do with what I have!  And what I have is a corner in the bedroom I share with my sister.  

The furniture doesn't match, none of it is dainty or chic, and there's a fair amount of clutter,  but it is DEFINITELY functional and comfortable.  It's probably a hastle keeping a Pinterest office clean, with all the expensive accessories and white furniture... I've just got a hand-me-down office chair, a bunch of plastic Target drawers, and some black furniture that can take a beating.  Dream offices aside, my "office" is the most important area in my room.  I spend a lot of time working here, so I need to make sure that I know exactly where every single thing lives.


As a huge bookworm and librarian, my bookshelves are the most prominent pieces of furniture in this area, and I take pride in making them "user-friendly."  I do this by organizing my books by type/subject.

The top shelf has mostly school books, dictionaries, sketchbooks, art history books, general creative-inspiration type of books, and folders with boring paperwork in them (bank, car, college).  I like that kind of stuff to be right by my desk, so I can quickly grab whatever I need as I'm doing homework.

The bottom shelf is a bit more diverse and has Christian books/devotionals/study guides, Bibles, and Bible references, English and grammar handbooks (probably belong on the top shelf, but I can't fit them there); and books that I want to get rid of.  Lol.

This is my fiction shelf!  It's small - just the top two shelves right now - but growing at an alarming rate.  I imagine I will need a new book shelf soon.  My fiction books are organized alphabetically be the author's last name, just like in a library, and they're two books deep, which is... Annoying. (On the bottom shelf is just some CDs, computer stuff, and super old books that I didn't know where to put...).

Art + Office Supplies

On top of my fiction shelf is a set of very precisely-labeled drawers with office supplies in them.  It's not the most beautiful set-up, but it's very organized.  I absolutely relish being able to quickly grab whatever I need as I need it.  I also keep a file holder up top (the light teal thing that's half cut out of the picture) for stuff I need to do: homework exercises, paperwork-type stuff, paychecks, etc.  Once I finish it, it goes off into its rightful folder or binder.

Underneath my desk are two large sets of drawers.  The one on the left has a lot of technology-type stuff: camera + accessories, Wacom tablet, headphones, microphone, adapters, random cords, memory cards, flash drives, etc. (I also stick doodles from my notebooks in the top drawer.  I'm not sure what to do with them yet!)

On the right is all my art supply paraphernalia.  The top has paintbrushes, palettes, and spray paint.  The middle has paints, markers, and tons of drawing supplies of every medium.  The bottom has tools and stuff: different kinds of tape, a hammer, modeling tools, a tape measure, wire cutters and benders, a glue gun, etc.

I keep some small sizes of paper on top of the drawers, but my larger pads of different kinds of paper live in the closet with my drawing boards and easel.

Between the drawers are a toolbox, paper cutter, and massive ruler.

Desk + Things Organization

My favorite innovation this school year has been my "Reference Binder."  I have picked up on a lot of library-style organization habits, and this is one of them.  At my library, we have binders for everything from community activities to general procedures.  My binder is a tool for keeping my class info in order.  As you can tell, I didn't spend any money on a new binder - this one has been generously reused for at least ten years.  There's all kinds of stuff in here.  I have a section for each of my four classes.  I put whatever I don't need with me at school in here for quick reference when I'm studying: syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, handouts, etc.

The Reference Binder lives right behind my computer for easy access.  :) If you are struggling to keep track of schoolwork, I really suggest you try a "reference binder."  I imagine it would be helpful in homeschool as well.  All you need is a binder, some dividers, and a hole punch.

I write all my homework on this whiteboard as it is assigned.  Obviously I've done my Spanish homework already.  :)

 Here are many Things.  My Van Gogh poster is mostly for looks and for sticking notes on.  I've got the reference binder, a tape dispenser, a stapler, a desk lamp, and a pen cup, as well as my brand-new Things organizer!

 I got this at HomeGoods for $10.  It's a beautiful shade of yellow-orange and the perfect size for my desk.  I keep things in it that I need on-hand everyday, like my planner:

 Most important to me in a planner is that there is ample space to write and that it can fold in half backwards.  I got this one from my college's bookstore.

Anyway, that's all I got done this week as far as organization goes.  I'm very happy with it!

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