Good Questions: Help Me Fix My "Office/Me-Space"

Good Questions: Help Me Fix My "Office/Me-Space"

Aug 10, 2007


I'm a mom of 2 young kids headed back to work part time soon, but the room I'd like to use as my "office/me-space" is a bit of a disaster, and I'm writing to see if you or your readers have any ideas for me. I think maybe I'm not the only one with this challenge and so any help you or your readers could offer might help others too...

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The room is right off the playroom separated by French doors and I've put up some shower curtains (um, I'm also on a bit of a budget!) between the two rooms to try to screen me out from my kids when I'm working. I haven't found a great way to use the space, so it feels cluttered and totally disorganized, with all the castoffs from our old apartment in there with me, a dying plant, and a sweet, but large and smelly 90 lb lab/pointer mix, Murphy, who's always headed in and out the dog door. My daughter is always running in there stealing pens and other supplies from my desk, and the room has dog hair and dog food crumbs all over it. Honestly, it's just the furthest thing from a "me" room right now that I could imagine.

I'd really like a room I can use for part-time work, but also just for me, anytime I need some time to do personal organization, check e-mail, maybe even sew. The way the room is right now, I want to spend as little time in there as possible. The room has great potential, looking out into our beautiful yard, and surrounded by all windows (which also is a challenge - where do I put artwork/decoration? what about shelves/storage? what seating is comfortable and stylish, but also dog and kid-proof - and preferably "green"?), but I just haven't figured out how to use it, nor do I have the time/talent.

Any ideas?




Wow! Some thoughts to start with:

It can be overwhelming to try to tackle a room with so many issues you want to address. The best way to start is to purge. Get rid of the castoffs. If you don't use it or love it, it should go. Definitely toss the dying plant. Then, sit down with a notepad and pen, and do some thinking about what you really want and need. For instance,

What do you have to store? Is there paperwork you can scan into your computer and then toss? Is there a closet nearby you can use for storage of fabrics, etc.?

If the room is just for you, do you need seating for other people? Do you want a big chair to curl up in and read? Would you really use it, or do you think you'll mostly be at your desk? Have you thought about ottoman cubes with storage inside?

What about a big table that you can use for work and for projects, rather than a desk?

Those windows are amazing. We're not sure you need any other decoration; it'll only detract from the view.

Of course, have you checked out Maxwell's book and the previous posts on The Cure? The next one starts in September; it might be just what you're looking for.

(Oh, and as a fellow lab owner, we love the ease of sweeping up dog hair from our hardwood floors, but if you really want a rug, consider a larger seagrass one. We have a hunch it's hard to vacuum the gorgeous one you have in there now, and the dog hair probably shows really easily. When we had a seagrass one, we found it to be really durable and it hid the dog fur pretty well.)

Anyone else?

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