I love these multi-purpose ideas. Adding wheels to a picnic basket! Storage and a convenient table — right where you need it!
photo: Martha Stewart
Not too long ago, I was honored to be interviewed by The Home Office Organizer blog . In the interview I shared how the name “The Inspired Room” came about (Newsflash, The Inspired Room is now a registered trademark!) tips for personalizing a home office, who inspires me, along with a few other tidbits. I thought I’d share a few of the tips on finding your authentic style! For the rest of the interview, click here. Here is an excerpt from my interview:
You are the “Style Coach.” What are your top 5 tips for someone who wants to create rooms inspired by their life?
In no particular order, here are some tips for getting started on finding your own personal style:
1) Spend time living the life you want and gathering mementos along the way. Your home will come together as you experience life. It shouldn’t be an overnight process!
2) Create rooms and spaces to inspire and accommodate your life. Evaluate what kind of life you really want to live and set things up to make that life possible and enjoyable. Do you love to read? Have friends over for movies? Cook? Write? Have the neighborhood kids over to play with your children? Do you have hobbies? Do you host large parties? Make sure your house is set up to accommodate you—homes should never keep us from fully experiencing what we love to do. Nor should they be staged for someone else’s idea of a good life. Your home should make sense for you.
3) Eliminate things that are unattractive or don’t stir your senses in some way. Avoid random decorations. Most everything should have a story that makes you happy or reminds you of a special time or person. Or at least things should be attractive and facilitate your life in some way. If it is useless or ugly, get rid of it.
4) Make ordinary things beautiful. Most of our life is spent doing ordinary things. Those ordinary activities should inspire our homes even more than the few highlights of our life. Everyday we spend time eating, cleaning, bathing, sleeping, working. Take the time to make these every day experiences more organized and pleasing to your eye.
5) Don’t be afraid to ask for help in creating a beautiful home, but be careful who you ask. Friends mean well but can confuse their personal taste with what is appropriate for you. Friends don’t have to love your home. Designers can be a wealth of information and ideas but can also lead you to spend money you don’t need to spend and end up creating a home that reflects their style rather than yours. Find someone who understands what you are trying to achieve and can use what you already have and love to create something authentic to you.
Not everyone is naturally inclined to be able to arrange things in attractive ways — we all have our strengths. Don’t feel badly if you need some help in organizing or pulling your belongings together so that you can truly love your home.
For more of my interview on The Home Office Organizer blog, click here!
photo: House Beautiful online
March 11 is “Organize Your Home Office Day”, and tax season is in full swing in America. Did you know that paper consumption has tripled since the widespread use of the computer? (I think we are a long way off from a “paperless society”!) Did you also know that 48 million Americans work from home (and those in the know expect this number to increase drastically in the next 20 years)? If you add in those who handle family business or have a creative space in our homes, there are a lot of us out there with a PC, filing cabinet and tools we use in a home office.
Would you like a home office that enables you to find what you need in five minutes or less? Is your paper driving you crazy? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, know that there is hope for you to get control of the paper flooding your home office. So, how would you go about doing that? I’ve compiled some tips and resources to get you headed in the right direction.
1. Sort the mail, everyday: Ugh, I know…. But, it might be easier than you think. By “Sort”, I mean just that. You’re just determining how long it will take you to deal with each piece of mail and what category it goes into. It should only take you a minute to do this. All you need is two baskets, file folders or large envelopes.
2. “To Do”: This category is anything that takes more than two minutes of your time. Bills, calls to be made, responses to write, etc. If you need the information to “do” something, it goes in this category.
3. “To Read”: This category is for things you need to read over, like a magazine, conference or event brochure, etc. Again, if it takes more than two minutes to read over, put it in here.
4. Recycle, reduce, reuse: Do you really need coupons for a dog wash, extra large pizza or a cheaply made necklace? Determine what your needs are, and recycle the rest. A lot of what we get in the mail is marketing materials we don’t need. Watch the paper that comes into your home, lest it congregate in corners and multiply! 🙂
Bonus Reuse Tip: If you have a newspaper delivered, consider using it as a weed barrier in your garden. Newspapers now use soy ink, so it won’t harm your garden. I have found 4-5 layers of newspaper work better than the expensive weed paper at the garden store!
5. Resources: This is a short list of things you might like to get started on your home office. Pick the medium that you like best.
Brain Type Quiz: Want to learn more about organizing and what will work for you? Try this fun quiz: “What’s Your Brain Type” Quiz: http://organizedworld.com/quiz.html
“Organizing For Your Brain Type” by Lanna Nakone
“Zen To Done” by Leo Babauta
“Guide To Organizing Your Office” by Ariane Benefit
“101 Tips For Your Home Office E-Booklet” by Brandie Kajino 🙂
Website articles: LifeHacker as an entire section about Home Offices:
Teleclass: You can also take one of my teleclasses: http://www.thehomeofficeorganizer.com/teleclasses/
Some other articles on The Inspired Room:
This post, Steps to Start Organizing Your Home Office, was mentioned here:
Phew! Do you have resources you like? Please share them here! Also, if you have a question, feel free to post and I’ll keep up with the comments. I wish you all the best organizing your home office! 🙂
About the author
Brandie Kajino, The Home Office Organizer, is a dynamic speaker, author and professional organizer. Brandie organizes home offices for home-based professionals. Her website offers resources, articles, services and a blog to help home office professionals get organized, be more productive and simplify life. Visit her web site at www.thehomeofficeorganizer.com.
(Photo from PotteryBarn.com)