I don’t know why, but it surprises me every time.
I get a call from a prospective client—usually a woman with a few children, telling me her papers are all over the place. I go to her home for a Needs Assessment and she shows me piles of papers on the counter, on the dining room table, in bins under her bed. I ask her one simple question: “Where is your desk?” The answer I get more often than not is, “I don’t have one.”
I have seen a home with two play areas for the kids but no area for Mom. I have been to a home with a home office for Dad but no space for Mom. I have been shown Dad’s fancy home office and then shown Mom’s counter space in the kitchen that she shares with the mail and a stack of recipes.
Moms. Listen closely. In many instances, you are the CEO, CFO and CIO of your family. You’re in charge of most papers that come through the door. It is your responsibility to be able to find the school permission slips, the phone number for the plumber and the receipt for the jeans that didn’t fit.
YOU NEED A DESK.
Take these steps to set up an organized space for yourself and your family’s papers:
Create a space for a desk. Walk around your home. Where can you fit a desk? Maybe it’s time to purge some large toys, rearrange some furniture or get rid of a table or chair that no one ever uses. Measure the found space. Now measure it again. Put the measurements in your wallet or on your phone.
Buy a desk. If you’d like to spend some money, Stacks and Stacks sellsl beautiful desks. There's a huge selection of affordable computer desks, both large and small, to fit your space. Looking to save money? Check out a local thrift shop—or, garage sale season is coming. Buy a desk for $10—repaint it, get a pretty slipcover for an ugly chair. But, measure that desk to make sure it fits in your found space.
Set up your desk. You’ll need some basics such as a pencil cup, tape dispenser and stapler. You’ll also need desk organizers for files and papers. Got wall space? How about a bulletin board, too?
OK, Mom. Now that you have a desk, will you promise me you’ll also buy a file cabinet?
Stacey Agin Murray, Professional Organizer
Organized Artistry, LLC
Transforming 'Mess' into 'Masterpiece'