Do you have a dedicated desk space in your home? I love those homes that have a little desk built right into the kitchen, but our house doesn’t have one of those. For a time I had my own desk in our basement, but it really served as a paper and stuff magnet.
As a work-from-home, homeschooling mom, I work all over the place. I need to correct papers at the dining room table, write a grocery list in the kitchen, take notes while reading in the living room, head to the library for quiet work time, and even take our school out of doors on sunny days. As moms, our roles are often merged and mingled and don’t lend themselves to confined spaces.
The essence of organization is being prepared: having what you need when you need it. The convenience of a dedicated desk is that your office supplies are within arm’s reach if you need them.
Because I love the freedom to work wherever I am, I made myself a portable office drawer.
Originally designed as a craft tote, I found it did not fit my craft needs. So it sat empty for a time until the day I needed to take some school items to a friend’s house. I grabbed the tote and loaded it up with supplies.
And then I simply didn’t unpack it.
I realized this little portable office was exactly what I needed and I hadn’t even known I’d needed it! With my tote loaded up with my favorite pens, everybody’s mechanical pencils, extra lead, and erasers, sticky notes and labels, cords, scissors, and paperclips, I have whatever I might need, wherever I might be. Now any surface quickly becomes my office desk if I plop my loaded tote next to me.
Here’s how simple it is to create your own portable desk:
- Take any open tote with compartments, but make sure it appeals to you. The more you are drawn to its style or layout, the easier it will be for you to build the habit of using it.
- Determine what supplies you actually use on a daily and weekly basis. My tote does not contain a stapler, for example, because I use a stapler once in a blue moon — so our stapler lives elsewhere.
- Use containers within the compartments to keep things together. I like to use old sunglass cases for my favorite pens and pencils; then, I can grab only that mini case quickly, toss it in my purse or book bag, and have what I need.
- Every three months or so, take everything out and sort it all again. All systems suffer from entropy and need to be taken apart and put back together again to keep them functioning smoothly and seamlessly.
A portable office set up in an open tote like this makes it convenient not only to grab what you need when you need it, but it also makes it easy to put away. It sounds silly, but sometimes the extra step of opening a lid and closing it again creates just enough subconscious resistance to make us not bother at all and simply leave our stuff lying around. We can bemoan our laziness all we want, but it works better to simply eliminate as many blocks as possible.
An open tote with many little compartments is just the ticket to making any spot you choose to work in an organized and effective space!