A Place of My Own: The Importance of Having An Area Just for Schoolwork

I consider myself a pretty laid-back person. I like to be organized and clean, but as a wife and mother, I have learned to let some things slide. For example, my husband has a tendency of leaving clothes all over the apartment–living room, dining room, bedroom floor. Rather than try to pick up after him constantly, I just ask him to pick it all up at the end of the week (mainly because I don’t want to sniff socks and other garments to see if they are dirty or not!). Having a 2½-year-old boy has also taught me to relax and just let things be messy sometimes (look below!).

My 2-year-old son tries his hand at redecorating our apartment.

After three semesters back in school, however, I have come to realize the importance or organizing my schoolwork and demanding I have my own space for that. And, although our apartment does not allow for me to have my own office, I have been able to set aside an area near the computer in our bedroom that is just mine–even my curious son knows it’s “mommy’s spot.”

What finally motivated me to take time to make this space? I guess it’s the six classes, fourteen books, six journals, academic planner, pens and pencils, printed papers, and a computer that I need to shuffle through and use bits of each week! And, if you are at all like me, muddling through those things can be messy and take up too much space.

The solution: create a space that suits you. Here are some ideas I found helpful:

Utilize Wall-Space

If you do not have much floor space for desks and such, use the walls! Personally, I enjoy having open areas and plenty of room to walk around, so my biggest desire was to use wall space instead.

  • Visit the Pinterest website for ideas on how to create your own wall shelves and organizational systems. There are some great ideas on how to use things already lying around the house (like baskets, jars, tin cans, etc.).

Organize by Class

Have a separate folder/space for each class you are taking. You will most likely have print-outs, books, and a journal (for notes) for each class. Easy accessibility to these things, without getting the notes and papers mixed up between classes is vital!

  • Accordion folders and other filing system ideas can be found at places like Staples, Walmart, Target, and other home or office stores.

Make It Your Own

Don’t forget to create a space that will make you feel comfortable and help you focus.

  • If you get anxious when things are cluttered and stacked, make sure your work space will be open–again, utilize wall space so your computer/work desk can be free of papers and clutter.
  • Consider buying a small indoor plant, some candles or incense, or a few nice decorative pieces that will make this space “yours.” Where you do your schoolwork doesn’t have to be a prison–make this place a sanctuary, where you will enjoy spending your time.
  • Place your desk near a window–not only will the sunlight help your eyes when you are working on the computer and such, hopefully the sounds of birds chirping and the scenery outside will help you feel calm and relaxed when taking tests, writing essays, or listening to lectures.

For more helpful ideas on home office design, decorating, and organizing check out these websites: HGTV, Rebecca’s Soap Deli News, Pinterest.