Assuming you are healthy, and in sheltering in place, self-isolating or self-quarantining, I have a question for you: How’s your kitchen table looking right about now?
Same. And it’s not just the kitchen, right? It’s the whole-house-everyone’s-office and home-school-everywhere combo.
Let’s Get Organized: 10 Home Office Solutions That Work For The Whole Family
Home Office Refresh might become a series of posts, one of which might include photos of all my favorite mom friends Zooming from their toilets, to avoid interference, on work calls. Because where else is a mom to go right now? More on The New Master Bathroom Work From Home Office coming soon.
For starters, maybe we just reorganize everyone in the house, so that we all fit, have supplies, and power supplies, and a station at which to do our work, whatever that means for each of us. Spoiler: we might have to make better use of the walls, up the power supply game, and position ourselves better. Just for starters.
Walls That Work
Walls are helpful in the home office in general, but especially when desk space is at a premium. They are a great place to organize thoughts and lists and brainstorming sessions. They also get you up from your chair, and offer you an opportunity to do a few squats. (You, not me. There are no squats happening here.)
Magnetic boards that erase, bulletin boards, white board wall paint, and butchers’ paper are just a few of them. Well-placed, they are a great space for displaying and working through ideas and ever changing lists. And they are also a fun spot for art for the person who runs out of required things to do in a day, or finishes school from home first every day. My youngest also likes to sneak into my office quietly while I’m on a call and jot me a note on the wall. It usually reads, “May I scoop myself some ice cream?” For decent manners, and b/c we are where we are, I just nod yes, even at 10am.
Organization, Ergonomics & More Power
For organizing all the supplies in arms’ reach, I like boxes with sections, that travel around the house well. Giving yourself a little leverage of the screen will help all of our spines in the long run, and this does appear to be a long run. And all those cords, Dear Lord, the cords. There are better power supplies. I like this one best for busy desks, and this little USB cutie just for fun.
Desks & Table — Shared Work From Home Favorites
Some kids don’t need a desk, they prefer working in comfy spots. Some kids are stuck in bed. I like lapboards for both those kids. The ones who are confined, and the ones who like to move around the house as if they are switching classrooms and scenery, and do schoolwork, on a laptop, from bed, on the sofa, on the floor, or in their favorite chair — or maybe all of those locations, every day. Lapboards are great, and here are a few great ones:
For some of us, adults and kids, we didn’t think we needed a full desk at home, until now. And now maybe we do? Here are a few clean, easy ones we might be able to sneak into bedrooms or into an existing office that now seats 2+.
And some of us, can rearrange rooms, or have a basement or some other such large open space, that if we placed a large table in it, other than our kitchen table, we could all find a way to work on a shared table, without it being the actual kitchen table. I especially like pedestal tables and staggered base tables for that purpose for their leg room. Having two large tables in a house, when possible is great.
In the house I was raised in, my father had a desk. He NEVER used it, except as a dumping ground for I don’t even know what all that stuff was. He’s far too social for a desk in a room by himself. He mostly worked outside of our home, but when he was home, and when he was working, my mother always made him a place at the dining room table; close enough to the rest of us, but somewhere that didn’t require cleaning-up, so we could all eat and all the other family stuff. It mostly worked. If you have space, and a big family, two big tables anywhere you can sneak them, are probably better than one.
And now we all get back to work. Here’s hoping one of these ideas helps you work better. And bigger hopes that we all stay, home, working, healthy and safe.
PS: Follow along with me on Pinterest for more Home Inspiration and other random distraction via pretty visuals during these crazy times. xo