Wednesday, April 24, 2013

20 Reader Space: An Organizer's Office

Today's reader is also an organizer.   It is what she does.  It is what she is passionate about.  Say hello to Helena, a Personal Organizer!

So, it's no surprise that her home office is awesomely organized!  Since I am currently trying to set up a super functional home office/work studio myself, I asked her to stop by with some tips!  Sneaky sneaky eh?

What is the main function of the space?

"A shared office space for my work/home management, my hubby's and the kid's homework."

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"Purge before you organize!  Because of Addie's Navy career, we move often and that has taught me to always keep what we need/love.  But still after every move I find "stuff" we don't need anymore.  Purging has an amazing liberating effect and I love to feel free of stuff to do what I love.  Less stuff equals more time, less money spent in "storage" be it a storage unit or a cute new container, and best of all a cleaner home.  Now, to keep it organized?  I am such a stinker wit this rule, 'If you use it, put it away'.  Really, after you organize a space and all has a home, there is no mystery, all you have to do to be organized is to bring it back."

What items did you find were essential when organizing the space, and why?

"A large desk.  I use the computer for everything, but I'm a note-taker and I keep a notebook with me at all times.  So, I needed space for writing, for reference materials, for a "do now" box with bills to pay, school papers to sign, etc... Plus I need what I call 'white space' = zero clutter."


What did you do to go the extra mile and make it pretty?

"I saved to purchase the furniture I wanted and because I needed two desks to 'match', I had to wait double the time."

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

"Jen, I have zero talent when it comes to DIY and, I'm jealous of DIYer's talent.  I go gaga on your featured projects and your guests.  You gals {and hubbies} always amaze me."  

How has this space impacted your life for the better?

"Having this open and organized space has made me waaaay more productive.  Everything was difficult before, from our sleeping situation to a shared tiny office.  Now, everyone is happy and I enjoy this beautiful room while I work for myself and my adorable clients."

She is so so right!  Smart girl, that Helena is!  The thing she said the resonated with me the most is that being organized is just about "putting things back" once they have a home.  I have always said there is a difference in being organized and being neat and tidy.  I love to organize.  I love to problem solve and give everything a home.  But we get busy, and quite honestly, lazy from time to time.  If we don't put things back where they go when we are done... BOOM!  Instamess!  Funny how simple it really all is when you think about it.  Piles and clutter form just because we don't take the extra time to pick up.

I also love that she is OK with not being able to DIY everything.  Sometimes, we focus so much on what we can DIY to save money, or to make a room feel "our own", but I think Helena's room still looks fresh, organized and has her personality mixed throughout.  She saved until she could afford the furniture that worked best for her and for her family.  And I love all the unique accessories and pops of color that she has around the room.

Most importantly, she has created a place that the entire family can enjoy and use together.  As much as I want my studio to be my work haven, I also want to consider my family and my kids, and give them a space to plop down to work and do homework too!  Time with them is precious, but it is also nice having one room in the home where all of the work is done, and leave the rest for family and play.

Oh, and I adore that memo board and those acrylic organizers too!  The magazine files and pretty colorful boxes also made my heart do Olympic style back-flips.   All the little details are so great!

A huge hug and thanks to Helena for stopping in today with her tips and pretty office pictures.  You can find oh so much more over here on her blog.

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!


  1. I want to know where the red chairs come from? We are trying to put together an office/craft/kid art space & have made a desk that needs some counter top height chairs that are kid friendly. I love these. Please tell me they are affordable?? Or where I can find something similar.

    1. Hi Katie!

      I believe it is this chair from Ikea:


  2. Fabulous space. I love the big windows with all the natural light as well. Yes, she is right. Put it back where it belongs. I find that we (my family and I) work best if it is a simple system too.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! It gave me some ideas for my own space!

  4. Hi, nice to meet you, I couldn't imagine my life without organization! How people can live with total mess? I couldn't function normally. Have a nice day :) xoxo Ola

  5. Hi Katie and Jen. Just one note on the chairs, they are painted and you know how kids love swiveling around? Well, it causes the chairs to hit the furniture and the paint gets damaged. If you can look at the same type of chair in acrylic. I place a sheep skin, also from Ikea, on top of it and is very comfy, not cold or slippery. All from beloved, super affordable Ikea! :-)

  6. I couldn't agree more with the give everything a home and put everything back after your done rule.....once everything truly has a home it really does keep things more organized. There is no excuse for it to be just laying around!
    Love this office tour, thanks for sharing!!

    ~ Kimberley

  7. Love it. Love that she didn't DIY.. since i'm so bad at that too! :D

  8. I love that she needs "white space" on the desk. And I'm in love with her chicken :)

  9. I completely agree with the organized versus neat and tidy thing. I find it much easier to stay neat when I'm organized, and I can keep things organized... but neat all the time? I'm not the best. Sometimes it's hard to stay energized about it at the end of the day!

  10. "OK with not being able to DIY everything..."

    Alas! There is hope for me! I grew up with an OC GrandFATHER and I used to be irked at his habits. Now, I wish I still live with them... :)

  11. What a beautiful office! I love that she chose white furniture and rainbow accessories...the juxtaposition {did I really just use that word in a blog comment? Hello, SAT study guide! ;)} really makes the colors pop! Also love that she saved and waited to buy the furniture she really wanted. Sometimes I get so antsy to finish a space that I'll settle for less just to get it done. She proves that it's worth the wait! Thanks so much for sharing Helena and Jen! Hope you're having a great week!

    ~Abby =)

  12. I am loving the white furniture and the office space. Where did Helena get her furniture. I am inspired to do a craft room / office set up. It's everything I wanted but had a hard time envisioning.

  13. Such a love and organized desk love your office setup very neat and clutter free I wish my office would be like that

  14. wow wonderful space. I am in the process of purging my home. we are possibly doing two home moves in a year. divorce means selling family home. quick short rental in this town and then relocating next year to Yorkshire so its go go go .

  15. Oh that is so gorgeous.. we have a problem of two toddlers who like to pull everything out so we put everything up high and then it just stays in a mess.. I don't want to put locks but mmm maybe I will have to, to get something this organised and pretty :)

  16. love this space! I am in desperate need of an office makeover.. at work AND home!

  17. can she share where she got her desk from?

  18. Wow, you have inspired me... Your home looks amazing!


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