Weekend Projects

There’s One Back-to-School Home Project Even Adults Love to Take On

published Aug 28, 2020
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Credit: Emma Fiala

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

It’s back-to-school season! While this school year is unlike any other, one thing is still the same: time to take advantage of back-to-school specials. And this year, they’re not just for the kids. Working from home means that you get to indulge in some of that fresh new set of markers feeling that you thought you left behind in childhood.

Before you treat yourself to new pens and notepads, take some time to re-visit your office setup. Whether your office occupies an entire room or a corner in your living space, an objective assessment of what’s working and what isn’t is the first step to making your workspace work for you.

As you think about your office area and identify the big and little things you can do to improve it, take note of what things you could use to make the space more comfortable or functional. Then ask yourself what you could add that would bring you an extra boost of efficiency or joy.

Now you’re at the perfect junction for embarking on this weekend’s project.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

This Weekend: Organize and replenish your office supplies.

Now is a better time than ever to take on this journey. And you’ll be on your way to discovering that the thrill of new “school” supplies isn’t as far in the past as you believed.

1. Start with decluttering.

As with many home projects, decluttering is a prerequisite. Edit out the pens you hate, the paperclips you haven’t touched since 2015, and the stray LEGOs that you jammed in the drawer so the robot vacuum didn’t eat them. It will all help you see and easily reach for things you need—like your note pad when you’re on the phone. In addition, getting rid of what doesn’t belong makes room for your new goodies.

2. Get the big necessities.

Take care of larger expenses first. Do you need a suitable office chair or an actual desk? Budget for these items before you fill your cart with details.

Read more: 15 Comfortable Office Chairs That Are Perfect for Working from Home

3. Choose one or two splurges.

Easing the challenges that come with working from home is an investment in your happiness. Would noise-cancelling, bluetooth headphones help you focus and be more comfortable? These bigger extras will make a big difference in your work life and deserve funding.

4. Buy organizing tools strategically.

Opening drawers that are compartmentalized is uplifting on any workday. But you should know exactly what you have so that you know which organizers will best fit your needs. At the same time, try to choose organizers that are versatile so they can grow with you and your changing situation. Add a few fun organizers to the mix to surround yourself with personalized items that make you smile.

5. Replenish supplies.

Buy what you need, but also treat yourself to some office supplies that feel a bit less necessary. Will a new notebook, even though you have a few recycled ones already, put a little pep in your step? Will a wall calendar in addition to your digital one help keep you on task? Will a set of colored pens make you happy? Get them.

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.