In this “temporary new normal,” it has become clear that the home is now where everything happens. Laundry rooms have become mission control for work from home operations and dining room tables have been turned into makeshift montessori schools. For many of us, it has been a challenge to make our limited amount of space function for everything we now require of it.
At Rinse, our mission is to make your life easier. As #laundrynerds, we’ve created the perfect system for taking care of your clothes, but given the new challenges we face at home, we went back to Brian Yetwin, one of LA’s best celebrity organization experts, to get his sage advice on organizing your space. Specifically, how should we set up (1) home school and (2) a home office.
Welp, life is a bit more complicated these days, but establishing and organizing a classroom at home doesn’t need to create stress. Here are some homestay hacks to bring the learnin’ home.
Study Central: When picking a good spot to help grow those brains, consider traffic, noise, and light. Less traffic and less noise means fewer distractions. Natural light supports productivity and wellness. Ideally your homestay classroom should be near wherever you spend most of your time so you can be available for questions.
Table Top: If you’re desktop is the kitchen table or another shared space, keep school supplies in a plastic shoebox to be packed up at the end of each day. A clutter-free table helps remind us that we are still masters of our organized, external world, which helps soothe the internal clutter that may be playing on our anxieties.
School Supplies: Focus on the essentials to avoid clutter, but the main goal is to eliminate excuses to walk away to find missing supplies. For younger students, their plastic shoebox bin can include: pencils with erasers, pencil sharpeners, crayons, washable markers, scissors, a glue stick, a notebook, blank and lined paper, and stickers for a job well done. If your littles or bigs have access to a laptop or tablet, make sure there’s an outlet near by, and for your sanity, invest in some headphones for plug-n-play activities and school work.
Inspriation and Decor: Give your kids some freedom to customize their workspace. Hang a pegboard or magnetic dry erase board for art, assignments, or items of inspiration. Designate a small space for a small plant, a stuffed animal, or whatever brings your student joy.
* Pro Tip: Stacked paper trays are a great tool for home school. They can be drying racks for art, an inbox and outbox for paper assignments, a place to put blank paper, textbooks, workbooks, and flat school supplies.
Above all, don’t stress. Your homeschooling area doesn’t need to be perfect. A flat surface, a good chair, good light, and space for storage will do the trick. Good enough can be great!
You’re not alone. 1 in 3 people feel disorganized at work. That was before many of us found ourselves working from home with the opportunity to reinvent a home space as an office you can organize, use, and love. Need some tips for creating a happy homestay office? Read on:
Deticated Space: Where are you going to put your office? Evaluate how the space will be used and customize the area to meet your needs. Consider noise pollution and privacy. Using noise-canceling headphones, without music, keeps the silence in while signaling housemates that you’re focused on work and not to be bothered. Also, remind your brain that home is currently split into your office and your house. Keep your office work in your work space and avoid letting your work world sneak out beyond your workstation.
Gear: Speed, efficiency, and a strong WiFi signal are critical at home. Don't pay for equipment you won't use but it may be time to upgrade your computer, ear buds, modem, router, speakers, or printer.
Lighting: Ideally, you want natural light, but don’t always count on the sun to make an appearance. When used correctly, ambient light creates a relaxing environment. The right light captures soft curves of a room and allows your pupils to mellow out. Softer ambient lighting is proven to draw stress from the body. Chain hardware stores have light specialists that can help find the best light for you, even if your office is in the garage and you need to dump the fluorescents for some inexpensive, DIY can lights.
Chair: Invest in a good ergonomic chair to keep your back, pelvis, neck, and shoulders happy and healthy. A lot of business upgrade their furniture often, or overbuy, giving you a great opportunity to snatch up a second hand chair. To keep the blood flowing, ditch the chair and consider a standing desk with a cushioned mat under your feet.
Organize: A shoebox for documents, a mug for pens, and a charging station can do the trick, but consider upgrading to better suit your needs. Anything you need to organize your home office has likely been invented. Keep aesthetics in mind to create that perfect form + function combo.
Ultimately, you want to make your home office a place that reflects your personality while keeping you organized and efficient. Small touches can have big results. A memento, memorabilia, and photos, will enhance your productivity while putting a smile on your face. Work well, my friends!