We live in a small one bedroom condo. CJ owned it when we got married, so after our wedding when I moved in we had to do our fair share of purging & shuffling to fit our freshly merged collection of belongings into 800 square feet. Because the space is so small our living and work space is pretty much all-in-one, which meant we had to get creative.
Neither of us like clutter. We like simple, clean, and fun when it comes to our space…especially our work space. When I launched my funny goose line I needed to set up a work space that both of us could live with because, well, that space is our dining room and it’s visible from pretty much anywhere you are in our home. Someday we’ll have a bigger place and a separate room for a sewing studio, but for now our dining room serves as a studio as well. We actually bought a kitchen island to use as our multi-purpose table and it’s been THE BEST decision in terms of a work space. I am tall so having something that’s countertop height has saved my back since I do a lot of my work standing up, and the backside has shelves where I’m able to store my fabric and sewing supplies. With only two closets in our condo, shelf space for ANYTHING is amazing.
TIP #1: Think beyond the intended purpose of a product or piece of furniture. Our “kitchen island” is the perfect craft table, desk, and dinner table (for 2) all in one! And, we can take it with us wherever we move so we’ll be able to use it in as many ways as we need.
A few years ago I bought a couple of really cool looking tins from a yard sale. I displayed them on a shelf for a while and when I started sewing I pulled them out to store various sewing essentials that are small and used frequently, like thread and measuring tools. I keep the tins out on the table since I use their contents all the time, but I love how they look and that they add style to the work space.
TIP #2: Find storage pieces that add an element of art to your space. Clear plastic bins are great for storing items in a closet or under the bed so you can easily see the contents. But when you need to store items on your desk or on shelves in your work space, go for fun and style. You can find GREAT things for little to no money, too. A few years ago while out on a run I stumbled across two gorgeous wooden wine boxes that were sitting at the end of someone’s driveway waiting for the garbage truck. Needless to say, I picked them up and they are now in our kitchen! The tins I used in my sewing space were maybe $1 each at the yard sale I found them at. Creative shopping = creative finds
Remember being a kid and walking into the grocery store with the 25 cent candy dispensers? Ahhh, so great. They still have them, but now there are a lot more and the majority of them have little toys or stickers. Every so often we stop to take a look at what they have because some of the little toys are actually pretty cool. We rock a few bright, cheap-o, pure plastic dinosaurs on our desk and honestly, they are one of my favorite little “accents”. They add an element of fun, which we like in our work space.
TIP #3: Add your own little twists of fun! Think outside of the box. Walk through the toy aisle next time you’re at the store or take a minute to look at the toy dispensers before you grab a cart when you’re at the grocery store. You don’t even need to have a reason as to why you have toy dinosaurs on your desk other than “because I like em”. Personality and fun make for the best work spaces, we believe.
Tip #4: Fresh flowers. We love them. They make any room better and brighter. With summer approaching and local farmers markets about to start up again, pick up a fresh bouquet a couple times a month. Not only will you be beautifying your space, but you’ll be supporting a local grower & that’s great.
These are just a few simple and easy tips for creating a fun, clutter free, creative work space. The most important thing is that the space is a place you WANT to be. If you’re finding that you don’t really enjoy doing your work where you’ve designated it to be done, maybe a few of these inexpensive and easy-to-do changes are just what’s in order. Then you can focus on your work and productivity instead of avoiding your work space.
Do you have any easy and inexpensive tips? Go ahead and comment, we’d love to hear!
CJ + Rachel