March 10, 2011

Organized Chaos

My nephew is 6 and he has a slight obsession with paper and office supplies. This is his desk.

He's 6.  So organization isn't necessarily his strong suit.  And he claims to have a filing system all worked out and woe be to anyone who messes with that system. Still…looking at the desk all day has gotten me thinking about kids study areas, specifically desks, and organizational systems. You see, this desk is in a high traffic area of the house; at the top of the stairs leading to a loft that my sister uses as her living room and office.  The desk is such that you can't put anything under it, so that rules out a drawer system  And it is right up against the balcony railing, so there isn't an option to put shelves or a tall hutch up. He has some organizational items on the desk (they're a bit buried) but I was looking for things that would help sort some of the papers and keep them visible so that even though things were tidied up, he could still easily see and access what he was looking for. First I looked at this beautiful set up from Pottery Barn Teen.    The desk is similar – although it does have a few shallow  drawers and a couple of fun shelves. I figured maybe looking at how similar desks were styled would help me figure out a good system.  Fortunately for the imaginary teen that gets to use this room, there is a huge bookshelf for organizing…unfortunately for us, we don't have room for a huge bookshelf.  On to the next one. I was really inspired by these hutches in these examples from from Land of Nod and The Container Store I like that they don't take up that much space on the desk and they offer storage and extra shelving without going too high.  It seems like the perfect solution…but imperfectly, they aren't available as just a hutch…and we aren't interested in replacing the desk for now. But the hutch gave me an idea.  I figured with plenty of storage boxes, we could line them up along the back of the desk and create our own hutch.  These pretty ones from Land of Nod are fun and functional. We're definitely getting there…but what to do about all of those papers?   Turns out I found some pretty cool options that could lean up against or hang off the side of the desk that would keep things put away, but still visible for those 6 year old types that need to have access to all of their important papers.  These magazine files are perfect, but not necessarily the most esthetically pleasing.   But how cute are these hanging pockets?  And for an even more budget friendly, kid cool option, these cascading file folders are awesome! I guess I should get to work organizing his desk…the only problem…he's 6…I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to touch his stuff. Oh well, hopefully someone out there can get use out of these great solutions! — (photo 1 – Miriam Bradford)

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