When I was growing up I dreamt of the day I would no longer have to share my personal space; that, to me, was a true measure of success. Then I had kids and realized that I would be sharing my personal space for the rest of my life. My children were worse than any sibling, roommate or coworker. I shared my body with them for 9 months, my breasts with them for 9 more months and my bed with them too many months to admit. And just when I thought I might get my space back, they started borrowing my car and even worse, my home office space.
While many of you learned about sharing in kindergarten, it took me a little longer. In the last few years, I’ve learned to appreciate sharing and even came to the realization that some things in life are better shared, like a bottle of Rosé with Mary Beth or a day on the slopes with G. I still had my sharing problem areas though, Beth’s Rice Krispy Treats and my home office. Then I heard a story that made sharing my home office a little easier (but not Beth’s Rice Krispy Treats—those are all mine!). My mom told me that as a young mother, she dreamt of a perfectly clean house. When it finally happened, because her children had grown up and moved out, she had a change of heart. A noisy, busy, messy house full of kids, preadolescent of course, brought her far more joy than a perfectly clean, perfectly decorated house ever could. Someday, I will have a home office space to myself, but for now I should cherish working side-by-side with my kids.
In order to cherish having them in my office, I needed to make some changes. I bought a desktop and legs from IKEA, and cut the legs down so the table would sit slightly lower than my desk. Just be careful when cutting it to ensure that it will still accommodate your kids as they grow. I can slide it under or out from my desk, depending on how much space they need. The room is small so two clear chairs provided seating, without adding visual clutter. The chairs have wooden legs in case I needed to cut those down as well (but, I didn’t).
I hung the family calendar and my children’s artwork with washi tape on the DIY shiplap wall. View the tutorial here.
Products shown in above image: See Jane Work® Take Note Desktop Writing Pad, See Jane Work® Mousepad Coaster Set
I couldn’t fit my file cabinets in the room, but that ended up being a good thing. Paperwork, like mortgage documents or manuals, could be easily stored in See Jane Work Art Boxes. The few items that needed to be filed were placed in a See Jane Work File Tote, so I chose wall cabinets for storage, with glass only on the top. Let’s face it, I’m sharing with kids, I need some covered storage on the bottom to hide the stuff that will not be put away perfectly each night.
Frequently used art supplies go in the See Jane Work Tin Caddy. Until my youngest is a little older, I use rolls of white art paper to protect their table and create a giant drawing surface.
Now that they have their own space, within my space, everyone is happier. OK, fine, I’m happier, they didn’t really care.
When you're feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty getting started, it helps to make a list. Get all that stuff in your mind down on paper. Limit yourself to one line per item, if you have a due date include that next to the item. Don't worry about priority or additional detail at this time, just get it on paper. Once you've finished, group items into categories by priority, then type, for example errands, calls, urgent, etc. Relief will come as you work through the list and cross things off. To read past Quick Tips click here