Lesson #1: The Kitchen Table is NOT Your office!

The last few months we’ve been determined to get our priorities straight and run our business around our home life instead of allowing our business run our home life. As we have continued to get re-focused and better organized we thought it would be helpful to share some of the key factors that have helped us find and maintain balance. Lesson #1 is a really honest post featuring some of the cool and really awful home offices we’ve established over the past three years.

Recently, the biggest thing that has helped us maintain the separation of our home and business is the realization that we had to STOP using our kitchen table as our home office! You might be wondering… don’t you have a home office? Why, yes! Yes, we do indeed! But… my architect in training husband built it in the laundry room (which you should take note of) and didn’t think about the fact that our old dryer could quite possibly and did fry our hard drive (even though that was the same computer he had in college?). After that catastrophe Cale refused to let our new iMac take up residency in our official “office” so it quickly became the dumping ground place of storage for all things business related; thus, turning our kitchen table into our actual work space.

Sounds like a mess doesn’t it!? Talk about being stressed out! No wonder our business was taking over our life! It was time to make an executive decision about the space available and needed within our home and completely give up our guest bedroom. :( We had been using half of the room for storage anyways, so we moved the entire “office” into the guest bedroom and opened up the laundry room as the future baby’s room. I know, I know… we are sticking our poor child in with the dirty laundry, but we promise to decorate it and make it look real nice!

With the help of my family and a good Saturday we we’re able to switch the rooms fairly quickly. We are still working on the aesthetics… right now it’s more functional than anything else; but honestly, it has been one of the BEST decisions we’ve made! I can actually close the “office” door and leave all of work behind. We now sit at our table and have dinner together and when we have friends over and we are in a crunch I can leave all the mess in the “office”. It’s been wonderful and one of the best things we’ve done to force our business to work around our home life.

Here is a general list of our immediate office needs that helped us organize a better work space:

  • General Office: Computer, printer, inspiration board, project board, a place to answer emails, print out and double check design concepts/contracts, filing cabinet for paperwork and other client files, etc.
  • Shipping & Packaging Station: Packaging supplies, postage scale, boxes, packaging tape, a place to track orders shipped, purchased, etc.
  • Product Creation Station (that just sounds magical!): Right now this is just a small table we’ve put in the corner of the room but it’s given us enough space to layout ideas, experiment, and also crunch out some serious jewelry making when we are in production mode.
  • Product Storage: A place to store supplies and completed products; fabric, sewing machine, finished Kitchen Line items; tea towels, aprons, mixer covers, & concrete jewelry, additional supplies, craft show displays and lighting, etc.

I know there will still be moments where production takes over our little farm house (and sometimes you just need a different place to work and the kitchen table is the perfect spot), but our goal with this new office space is to narrow that down to 1-2 times a year instead of a weekly/monthly occurrence!

Does your workload seem to overtake your kitchen table? How do you stay organized and balanced when working from home?

From the Farm

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About meg:

I like curly lines, and the simple joys of life. Good coffee and the perfect souffle.

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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