Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Organizing Prep - And Why It's Important

Hi Honeys
I hope you've had a fabulous weekend and that you're looking forward to a fun & productive week.  We have another bank holiday this coming weekend in the UK, so an extra day off work for organizing and for furbaby hugs :)

You might remember that we'd started work on Hubby's office/man cave, also known as our front bedroom.  It's still more of a junk or storage room at present because this was the room where all of the boxes and stuff we weren't sure was being kept was put while we worked on other rooms in our home.  I was hoping we'd be much farther along than we are by now but I've been battling a horrible chest infection for the past few weeks that's been kicking the feet out from under me and now poor Hubby seems to have caught a heavy cold too bless him. 

So today I thought I'd share the preparation we've already done for this room, and how it's helped us determine the "look" of the room, before we've even moved a single box. 
Home Organization - planning & why it's important
I've spent the last few years, yes years honeys, trying desperately to create some kind of order in our home.  Honestly though, our home has changed more in the past year or so than it has in the years prior.  So, what changed? 

Did I suddenly start working non stop on our home project? Sadly no.  As any spoonie will tell you, this is a luxury we simply don't have.  Our body batteries don't hold much of a charge, and even on good days I'm limited in what I can do.  That, oddly enough is where the change for the better started! I got so fed up trying to win the battle on my own, I finally asked Hubby to help. Hubby threw himself into the project with both feet, bless his heart and it all started falling into place.

If we've learned anything from these past (pretty successful really) months of home organizing it's that all you really need, before you even think of opening a trash bag or moving a box is... a plan! Back to Hubby's den/office/man cave then, since right now it's a perfect example of what I mean. The first task in changing this room from it's current role of a store room for of boxes & bags of stuff into a useable organized space, isn't grabbing a trash bag & a big box to go to the charity shop, although that will SO be happening!  The first step is to make a plan. 

In the case of Hubby's office/man cave the plan looks like this.......

Home Organization - How to Plan a room
First an admission. Clearly, as you can see, I can't draw a straight line much less a room :)  I have zero drawing skills, but luckily they're not needed :) Just grab a sheet of paper.  Start by roughly sketching the shape of the room you want to work on.  It doesn't have to be exact dear ones, it's not going to hang in the Lourve, but it will be incredibly helpful, I promise.  

Having sketched your room shape. Start placing your furniture where it'll live once the room is organized.  There are online programmes which allow you to plan out your room by adding the measurements for everything but I'm a low tech kinda gal and used a pencil & paper :)

Having drawn out your room shape and added furniture, it's time to get to the fun part. I then split the room areas down into manageable chunks.  A room chock full of boxes, baskets & bags of stuff can be completely overwhelming to de-clutter, a tiny corner far less so.  Let's have a look at what I did with my scribbles next....  

Home organization - planning a room using zones


As you can see honeys, the room has been divided into twelve areas.  Each area has a very distinct purpose.  Care for a virtual walk around our front room with me? Lets start at the door.  As we walk into the room, on our left hand side is a small two door cupboard.  This cupboard will be the beginning of our organizing journey for this room.

1 Small two door cupboard: This is a very useful little cupboard & our first take will be to purge and sort its contents. Trash or charity shop box anything not being kept, anything that will stay & find it's home elsewhere in the room can placed into a designated box for that purpose. We'll then create a home for these items as and when we reach their zone.

This small cupboard is going to be our stationery cupboard.  It will be the central storage place in our home for paper goods, such as printer paper, notebooks & post it notes, as well as pens, pencils, paper clips, staplers & staples. All things stationery will be organized and stored in here.  Work has already started on this cupboard and I'll share when it's done honeys.

2 Sideboard.  This sideboard is actually one of our treasures. It's very old and (I think) very beautiful.  It has glass doors and will be home to something very dear to both our hearts... music. This is going to be the "music zone" of this room.  On the top surface of the sideboard will sit a music centre. That is to say a record/cassette deck (yes we're old and still own lots of vinyl & cassettes :) and of course the speakers :)

The middle section of the front of this sideboard is already home to (some of) our vinyl collection (LPs.) Either side of this section are glass fronted doors.  Inside the glass door on each side is a two shelf section. These sections will be used to organise 45s (vinyl again :) and cassettes in their own organizers.  CDs have their own home already, which I have to try to remember to share with you honeys.

3 Two small filing units: These units were bought with a specific purpose in mind, that of storage for Hubbys card collection.  Hubby collects trading cards, he has for many years, starting as most boys do with football cards. His collection now has movie cards as well as sports.  He's stored them all in folders for too many years and I'm so happy he'll now have designated storage for them.

4  Radiator:  I know what you're thinking, why would a radiator be a "zone?"  Well honeys, this will probably be the easiest zone in the room to complete, but there's work to be done nonetheless.  There is a radiator shelf to fit above it which will be home to some family photos including photographs of my beloved Mum & Dad in law, now sadly passed and forever missed.

5 Hubby's desk:  This will obviously be Hubby's work area. It is home to a desktop pc.  Who owns a desktop nowadays? I hear you say, What can I say, we're old school :)  Even though Hubby & I use laptops, the desktop PC will be used for spread sheets to organize things like our household budget and household inventories. These spread sheets will all be worked on through this pc alone. This not only keeps these details organized and located in one place but since this pc will not have an internet connection this information will be secure too.

We've also bought a desk top shelf from Ikea in order to lift the monitor up off the desk surface and give Hubby more room for paperwork and files.

6 Two small bookcases: These small bookcases are located under the window and currently are chock full of books.  Hubby & I are book lovers and are blessed with having too many.  These little bookcases will be purged & sorted, with any books we're unlikely to read again passed on in the hope they'll find new readers who'll love them just as much.

7 Mini wooden storage ottoman: We currently have no idea what this little ottoman will be used for, but I'm sure it will find a purpose. Maybe storing (more) books. 

8 Built in cupboard: This will, without a doubt, be the biggest job in the room.  Much as Hubby did with the cupboards in our master bedroom & guest room, he's going to strip the cupboard out, wall paper & paint it. It will then be fitted with shelves for useful storage. 

9 Two wide tall bookcases. Again, as with the small bookcases under the window, these will need to be purged, sorted and organized.

10 TV unit.  This will probably be one of Hubby's favourite spaces in this room since it will be home to his TV and games systems.

11 Tall bookcase.  Another bookcase, this one will be the designated home of Hubby's Playstation & Wii games, all beautifully organized & within reach when wanted.

12 Canvas covered shelf unit: This is an identical unit to the one I'm currently using as my linen cupboard.  It's presently being used to contain Hubby's card collection in their folders as well as lots of books. Again, this area will be purged and sorted. 

The only other items, not listed in the sketch above, will be an armchair & coffee table as well as, obviously, Hubby's desk chair.

This room is going to be such a lot of work, mostly done by Hubby bless him, once done though I hope it'll look pretty fabulous, but it should at least be a comfortable place for Hubby to work from and to relax in too. He works so hard to provide for us, and he so deserves a cool space to chill.  

Starting work on this room has kept being pushed back simply because of the sheer scale of work needing done to organize it, but having cut the work down into smaller chunks, it isn't nearly as scary.  Designating each area or zone a specific purpose really has helped.  Similar items will naturally group together and this will make creating a permanent home for them so much easier.
Home organization - designated purpose zones

Any thoughts honeys?  Have you planned any home organization projects this way?  Do you use zones?  How do you decide where furniture goes when designing each of your rooms? 

Well, I have to go get on with my chores dear ones, there's laundry to do and spaghetti bolognaise to make for dinner.  Till next time honeys, do let me know what you think, sending heaps of hugs always xx

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