Sunday, May 31, 2009

How I Organized Our Study Area

It’s time for the monthly round-ups again over at Organizing Junkie. This time, the challenge is to clean up a shelf or surface. I knew I wanted to join because I’ve been obsessing about the messy shelves and floor in our home office, a.k.a. study room. I also wanted to create a clean place where my 3 year old daughter could study or learn to read without much distraction.

The problem is, most of the stuff that have been lying around in this room belongs to my dear husband (DH). You see, DH used to operate an ink/toner refill business right in our home (It was a home based business before it transferred to a “more professional” space in Gilmore Avenue, Quezon City). He is also engaged in customized computer assembly for clients. That's why several ink/toner cartridges and computer parts have accumulated and formed part of our little study room. I couldn’t just throw them out (believe that would cost a loooooooooong argument afterwards). Several appliances for repair were also left in this corner.

Given that my husband is a very busy man and couldn’t find time to sort things out in one go, I knew I had to be very, very patient and determined if I want to achieve my goals for this project.

First thing I did was to empty and clean the shelves with soapy water and sponge. I couldn’t believe how much grime have settled on the shelves considering we have a household help who cleans up everyday.

Next, I sorted which ones will go and which ones to keep. This took around 2 weeks, since I had to ask permission from DH if something was ok to throw away. I had to do this by BATCH. Those that we were keeping, I placed inside the cabinets, behind closed doors (since they were all so ugly looking!! hehe). Turns out the cabinets were half empty… we have not been fully utilizing our cabinets! Leaving things on the shelves/ tables/ floor was just too convenient!

I decided I wanted my kids’ books on the right side of the shelf. I arranged the books by height to make it visually attractive. My books then went to the left side of the shelf. I put mine in big containers (which were ON SALE when I bought them), because I wanted to organize them by subject, for easier retrieval.

I sent the appliances for repair (took a week to complete) and was able to free up some major floor space. I then transferred my girl’s table and chair from another room. I found some really, really cheap plastic stackable containers and placed some of her pens, coloring books and frequently used study materials in them. As you can see, the containers actually fit under the table (a bonus!!).

Just my thoughts… I'm really happy how this project turned out. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to decorate and organize our own home. This is one of my passions. Sometimes it gets crazy and overwhelming… but anything can be achieved with focus, resourcefulness and perseverance. We do have a tight budget, but I strongly believe there is a way in everything. It really doesn’t cost that much to make our homes lovelier and more enjoyable to live in. After all, our home doesn’t have to look magazine worthy... we do have the right to set our own standards.

Thanks for reading!

Lots of love,



  1. I love your built ins!! *jealous*! Good job!

  2. Looks great! I love that your new stacking containers slip right under the table when not in use. =) And your by-subject containers are wonderful.

  3. love the shelves...i need more in my house

  4. You have a great space to work with. I love all the built-ins.

  5. Thank you! The built-ins were already there when we moved in. The house was passed to us by my parents-in-law. My mom-in-law is the real genius in home decoration. I feel so lucky!