Thursday, October 27, 2011


So, I am not entirely fond of cleaning, but I do LOVE to organize. I find it endlessly therapeutic.

Let's start with my office.

I considered buying chalkboard paint and painting a square of it on my office wall, but that option seemed too costly and time consuming. Instead, I found this awesome item at Learning How. 

It's adhesive chalkboard material! It came in purple and blue. Blue matched my office better, so I went with it. I didn't want the edges to look awkward, so I bought cute, paisley borders to outline the edges of my sticky chalkboard. Genius, I know. 
You can find some of these adhesive chalkboard squares on Amazon; just click the link :)

 Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that none of my furniture is made of the same wood. Whatever! I have no shame. Maybe one day I'll find the time to sand it all down and paint it one color; of course, that would be pretty boring.
     Anyway, the tall shelf on the right is my "need to read" bookshelf; I organized all of the books by author's last name.
     The tiny desk in the middle is my "wedding project" desk. It houses all of the materials I need to work on the wedding scrapbooks I am making for my mom, mom-in-law, and two aunts. Also, if anyone ever needs a workspace in my house (say, a niece or nephew), that little desk will do just fine. Honestly, people are lining up to work in my office. True story.
     That photograph in the middle of the wall? A previous student of mine took that photo, blew it up, and framed it for me. It inspired the green accent wall.
 The curtains? Pier 1...on sale.

The little shelf to the left of my filing cabinet? It houses all kinds of paper.

The drawers to the right of the filing cabinet? They house stickers, project ideas, cards/letters to save, and other nondescript items.

Like my teacher blanket? I've had it since elementary school!

Okay, see the shelves on the wall? I like what I did with these. The top shelf holds all of the books that I've read as well as useful anthologies from college. The bottom shelf holds all of the novels/plays that I teach during the school year. Since I know the books on these shelves pretty well, I don't need them as close to my desk.
 And now for my favorite part: my desk nook. I place the desk here for a few reasons. One, it's under a set of easily accessible shelves. Two, it's not blocking the window. Three, it has the perfect view of the hallway, where people usually linger to talk to me. When I say people, I really mean Jeff and the dogs. 

Anyway, the shelves above my desk have a very specific method of organization. On the top shelf, I placed all of the teacher reference books and children's books that I don't need very often. On the middle shelf, I placed teacher reference books for reading (some poem anthologies/reading strategies books/etc.). Finally, the bottom shelf houses all of the teacher reference books about writing; I use these books the most often, so they're the closest to my workspace. Admittedly, I'm lazy once I sit in that office chair. I don't want to get up and down a million times just to grab a book. So, I made everything that I use the most as easily accessible as I could. Mission accomplished. 

I can hear you now: "Danielle, you're posting about organizing, yet you're throwing a random picture of your kitchen, not your office, onto this blog post? What's wrong with you?" The answer is simple: I completed both of these projects in the same day, so they deserve to fall into the same post. Yes? Yes.

Anyway, so what does this picture have to do with organizing? WELL, I'm glad you asked. 

Problem #1: I hate knick-knacks. They take up space that something useful could be filling. When I say knick-knacks, I mean little figurines and such. You know what I mean, right? Those little angels, or those little chickens, or those little boots? What does that mean, you wonder? I didn't want trinkets on the top of my cabinets. I wanted purposeful items to fill an empty space. Let's be honest. What else am I going to do with the top of my cabinets? Nada.

Problem #2: We have very few places, other than the walls, to hang wedding pictures. 

Solution? Print out some of my favorite wedding pictures and give them a home above the cabinets.

You might tell me that I need to dust the picture frames, but wouldn't I need to dust that area anyway?

As far as I'm concerned, problem = solved.

I hope you enjoyed basking in the glory of my office and cabinet tops.

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