Compartmentalise Multi-Purpose Rooms

Although we often think of compartmentalising as a mental construct – as in compartmentalising different areas of our lives; I also think of it when organising multi-purpose rooms in a house.

Here are a couple of definitions of the word:

– to put or divide into (compartments, categories, etc)
– the act of distributing things into classes or categories of the same type

I believe the most important room where this comes into play is the home office. This is very often a multi-purpose room, doubling as a guest room, kids’ playroom and/or homework area, or a crafts and hobby area. I’m using office and crafts/hobbies as an example because both of these activities utilise a variety of items which need to be organised and stored.

While it is very possible to create a workable office area in such a room, life becomes much simpler when the diverse activities that may take place in this room are compartmentalised. Flow is good, but overlapping can be tricky and can fast become chaotic.

The ideal scenario is to be able to segment the room into specific areas and functions. Using a standard guest room as an example:

– Most spare rooms will have a built in wardrobe; if the wardrobe has shelving a number of shelves can be used for office storage, with others for storage of craft materials etc. As long as there is a clear distinction between office and crafts, and they don’t overflow into each other, this will work. I would put the craft items into containers [plastic or cardboard boxes] so these can sit alongside and on top of each other on the craft shelves. Office items are usually files and paper related so these can stored in ring binders, and folders on the designated office shelves.

– If it’s a standard wardrobe with just a bar for hanging clothes, then you can use clip-top clear plastic bins to store office stationery and files, and maybe different coloured bins for craft materials. Stack the office bins on the floor on one side of the wardrobe, and the coloured craft bins on the other side so the categories are distinct and separate.

– A chest of drawers can also function as storage; if your guest room has a wardrobe and a chest of drawers, and you are using the room as an office and a crafts area, then perhaps you could use the wardrobe for the craft materials, and the chest of drawers for the office stationery and files. The idea here obviously is to separate office and craft items.

– If you can divide the room into specific areas, depending on how large the room is, it will be easier to keep the functions separate i.e. the office desk could sit along the same wall as the chest of drawers being used for storage, which also makes it accessible while you’re working at the desk. A craft table can then be positioned nearer the wardrobe where the craft supplies are stored.

– There are a couple of important points I’d like to make here:

• This room is hopefully not a dumping ground! If you want to be able to focus and enjoy the room, whether in creative or working mode, it’s going to be much more pleasurable if the office desk [and/or craft table] is not covered with paper, kids’ toys, and other assorted items. You don’t want to have to sort through all of these miscellaneous items, which would normally live in an entirely different room in the house, before you settle down to work.

• In a similar vein, if you can keep likeminded objects in their designated area within the room, you will save time not having to search the entire room for an item, as well as saving money by not having to go out and buy another such item because you can’t find it.

I hope these tips prove useful in your own home office. It’s such a pleasure working from home, and to work efficiently you really do want this area to be organised. Likewise, if you adore using your creative talents it’s lovely to have a designated area where you can work with your crafts. I’ve worked with many clients who are ‘creatives’ and they love it when we sort a special area in their home where they can work on their crafts. I love one of my client’s posts below after we had decluttered and organised her crafts room:

“I’ve been decluttering with Gioia! I have a big collection of arts and crafts, from wool to embroidery and gift wrapping to paints. I didn’t think my clutter was too bad… a little messy maybe, but it wasn’t until we started going through everything that I realised what a hoarder I am! Especially with empty packaging, which I had somehow convinced myself that I would need again, and never have. It was all just space-wasting. Angella was very thorough in setting up a shelving unit to display all of my crafts in an organised way and so that it is all visible rather than stored away and forgotten about. She repurposed a lot of the boxes I was already using but were either overflowing or half-empty. Now everything is easily accessible – memories and storage on the top shelf and everything else nice and tidy on the bottom. Plus my wardrobe doors actually close now! Gioia has made a wold of difference to my workspace, and my newly organised room has inspired me to get crafty again!”

If you get stuck, I would love to help you. After almost ten years in my business, I’ve worked with pretty much every type of clutter scenario you can imagine, and it gives me enormous pleasure to witness a client’s delight as we declutter and organise their home.

This year seems to be passing so quickly, and Easter and school holidays are just around the corner. I hope you have a lovely Easter break, and a wonderful month ahead.

In Joy!

Angella Gilbert

P: 09 410 4166
M: 027 224 8937
E: angella@gioia.net.nz
W: www.gioia.net.nz

Please feel free to forward this newsletter on to anyone you feel may be interested.

They can subscribe via this link: RSS Feed