(Parenting.com) -- Organization must be a top priority if you're a mom who works from home. But with so many hours spent in the same space, it can easily get out of hand.
Karen Skorochod's cramped and crowded desk used to tell the tale: too much stuff, too little room. It serves as her office, household-management area, and "me zone" (with photos, jewelry, and personal items).
"I'm a total pack rat," she admits. "Organizing escapes me." So computer and dictation gear do battle with reference texts and paperwork. The space-hogging table lamp doesn't light the area well.
To help Skorochod get her working space in order, Parenting Mom Squad organizer Janine Sarna-Jones suggested sorting things into three categories: Stuff to be filed. Stuff that can be stored out of reach. Stuff that must go on the desk. The rest? Toss it. Armed with that divide-and-conquer mindset, Skorochod filled four garbage bags! Then Sarna-Jones prescribed:
A sleek desk, 27 inches deep, with sliding keyboard tray. Now Skorochod can get her books off it and onto ...
Wall shelving (her old desk was too deep to reach anything on the wall). Labeled bins stash everything from work supplies to greeting cards. Shelves also provide a home for photos and a video monitor to check on her napping son.
Streamlining the space. The bulky hard drive now sits underneath the desk, and the monitor is affixed to an ergonomic, adjustable arm that gives more room, as does a flexible desk lamp. A rolling cabinet holds files, pens -- and even jewelry -- in a divided tray that slides into the top drawer.
Keeping track of her schedule with the help of a dry-erase board and a magnetic magazine holder, mounted on once-unused wall space.
"The new system is wonderful, says Skorochod. "I've found it so easy to use -- it's totally foolproof." E-mail to a friend
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This article first appeared in Parenting magazine in July 2005