Home Office: Project Area Organization

I’m back with another installment of my Home Office Organization series.  Thanks for your patience while I caught up and got on a Friday schedule.  I’m hopeful that this will stick and you can start expecting #OrganizedByFriday videos from now on.  As with anything, however, I’ve learned that it’s best to stay flexible in terms of my content production expectations.  On that note, I’ve decided that flexibility is my personal style of organization.  You’ll notice if you watch the correlating video (shown below) that I mention moving some items that I recently organized in other areas of my Home Office into my Project Area.  I don’t constantly reorganize everything in my house, but I like that I can be flexible about where and how I store things.  When I’m working on a bigger project like this one in pieces it’s common for me to make little tweaks here and there as I go.  Organization is a moving process and a moving progress.  Finding what works best for you can take some trial and error, and sometimes your needs and desires for organization change.  Since my Project Area is part of my Home Office, I like incorporating elements from both work (video production and correspondence) and play (craft supply storage) into its organization.  I find it’s even more important for me to be flexible about storage with a multi-purpose space.

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If you’ve seen my other posts about the working section of my Home Office, including my Filing, Desk Drawer, and Desktop Organization), you’ll already be familiar with the furniture I have in this space from the Pottery Barn Bedford Home Office Collection.  My Project Area contains more from the same collection for a cohesive look.  This furniture is not only beautiful, but extremely functional.  The moving parts make it easy to reconfigure and reuse if ever the need or desire for change comes along.

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This reorganization process included emptying my Pottery Barn Bedford Project Table of all of its contents and giving it a thorough cleaning with Mrs. Meyers Countertop Spray and some good old fashioned elbow grease.  Fortunately, the Bedford office furniture is easy to keep clean and wipe down as each piece is sealed with lacquer.  Even though I had put small felt protectors under the table when I purchased it almost six years ago, the piece is so solid and heavy that I couldn’t make it budge on my own.  I’ve wanted to be able to move that table ever since and finally found a product to help me in that endeavor.  I picked up a package of the felt reusable Magic Sliders at Target.  My husband Don lifted the table up so I could place a slider under each of its four corners.  They fit perfectly!  The table is now easy enough for me to push around, but not so much that it slides this way and that at the slightest touch.  I rotated the table a full 180˚ to mask a slight blemish that’s bothered me for years.  Now I can also make slight adjustments when filming.

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The Project Table consists of a tabletop resting on two 3×3 Bookcases (which are secured together by bolts) with six removable shelves on each side.  I removed the middle column’s shelf from each side to accomodate extra wrapping paper storage.  I repurposed two Umbra Metalla Cans that I was previously using for storage in my craft closet.  These cans fit perfectly and the brown color goes nicely with the woven baskets I have in there as well.

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I also reused eight brown woven baskets I purchased from Michael’s when I bought the Project Table in the four corner cubbies on each side of the table.  Sadly, these baskets are no longer available, but I’ve seen many brands that produce square baskets since.  I’ve loosely designated the side of the project table closest to my corner desk for work/office/extra storage items, while the other side is mainly craft supply storage.  The only change I made to the bins other than switching up their contents was to add Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Adhesive Metal Bookplates I picked up from Staples so I could easily label them.

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I ended up buying only a few new things for my Project Area organization.  I knew I wanted to break up some of the brown elements in the cubbyholes with a white storage option.  I already had two of the Stockholm Photo Storage Boxes on hand.  After discovering how nicely they fit stacked in a cubby, I made a trip to The Container Store to pick up six more for a total of four boxes on each side.  I like how the built in metal bookplates coordinate nicely with the adhesive ones I bought for the brown baskets.  I keep craft items (lots of glue and tape products!) in these boxes on the crafting side of the table.  The other side’s boxes hold extra office supplies, my collection of iPhone cases, and my Back To MAC items.

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I remember the day the Martha Stewart Crafts line launched at Michael’s.  I’ve been a long time Martha Stewart Living enthusiast and love the aesthetic and functionality of her designs.  I was eager to see what goodies her Crafts line would bring and was not disappointed.  I purchased two of the 24×36 Martha Stewart Crafts Portable Folding Cutting Mats (now on sale at Create For Less!) to not only act as a crafting base but also as general protection for my table.  Pottery Barn now offers an Acrylic Desktop Protector sized for the Project Table, but I am happy I went with the cutting mats since they serve a dual purpose and are a much more affordable option at that.  Two mats side by side don’t quite cover the entire tabletop, but I don’t mind.  I love the way that the grey base with white and light blue details complements my office blue wall color (which is Benjamin Moor’s Lazy Sunday if you’re curious!).  I’ve had these mats for over five years now and they’re holding up nicely.

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I wanted to mention the other parts of my Project Area even though I do not have any dedicated pictures to share.  For my Desk Extension (located against the wall directly behind the Project Table) I pieced together several elements of the Pottery Barn Bedford Home Office Collection.  I used the top from a Small Desk Set and two 2-Drawer Filing Cabinets.  I was able to do this because I purchased many different Bedford components for the office and the pieces are mostly separable, making it easy to mix and match tops with bases.  The Desk Extension using the small desktop fits perfectly snug up against my corner desk and ends just before the doorframe to my craft closet.  I store giveaway prizes, items to mail, and my snail mail correspondence supplies in these four drawers.

I film many of my YouTube videos (particularly for TBBB) while sitting at my Project Table and receive many questions about my backsplash wall components.  The beautiful wall paper organizers are also from Pottery Barn and match my other furniture and shelves in the room perfectly.  You can find these Wall-Mounted Craft Organizers on the Pottery Barn website (not in stores).  I hung two of them side by side to fill up an empty wall space with functional yet beautiful storage.  I’ve always loved gift wrap, ribbons, and pretty gift bags and enjoy keeping these items on display in a useful way.  I tend to swap out the paper seasonally.  Below the wall craft organizers there are two stainless steel Mighty Magnetic Strips.  Recently I’ve taken to displaying handmade cards sent to me from subscribers using clothespins I glued magnets onto.  I’m thinking of either painting or covering these strips with contact paper to avoid glare when I film my videos in front of them.  I’ll let you know what I do if I decide to change them up!

I go over my Project Area organization in much more detail in the video (shown below) if you’re interested in a closer look.  I hope to have a dedicated blog post featuring my Craft Carousel up in the next few days.  Check back next week for another post and coordinating video in my Home Office Organization Series!

*I am not affiliated with any of the brands or stores mentioned in this blog post or video.  All opinions are my own.*





15 thoughts on “Home Office: Project Area Organization”

  1. Thanks Jen, for this video….awesome ideas and tips. Even though I can not in any form afford to buy items from pottery barn, I can at least follow the lines of your items and buy items similar to yours, but on my budget level. I got a lot of great ideas that I can defiantly utilize to organize my little spaces. Thanks a lot for your efforts to help. BTW, could I request a post on your label machines, I’m interested to buy one, but not sure which one would be suitable for my needs. Thanks again, and God Bless.

  2. Hi Jen, I am so in love with your craft/office room. I am for sure going to utilize the space that I have now without getting new furniture since we only here in Australia only for the next 3 years. But still the organization that you have shared in this video and blog gave motivation to give my office/ makeup/ craft room a little spruce up.
    You and Don just exceptional people and I am so lucky to have know both of you even just in monitor version of friendship.

    LOVE from my home to yours,

  3. Jen ~ Thanks for sharing your organizing ideas ~ I have the same Pottery Barn table but in the brown. Right now I’m in the midst of trying to make order out of the stuff my kids brought back from college. Just wanted to tell you I watched your handbag video and it made me cry ~ sorry people have upset you so much. Most people understand that all life situations have challenges ~ be well. 🙂

  4. You’re project room looks amazing! You did an excellent job Jen! Where did you get the white storage caddy that is on top of the project table? (I can’t remember if you mentioned it or gave a link in the blog post .) I really think you should continue to do corresponding blog and videos for your organizational channel. The video really tied together your description of your organizational project on the blog post. Great idea! Keep up the great work and thanks again for sharing with us!

  5. Disregard the question in my comment. I re-watched the video and saw where you mentioned where you bought your craft carousel. Thanks 🙂

  6. Hi Jen, my favorite part of this post is when you say ” I’ve decided that flexibility is my personal style of organization.” I love that! It is too easy to get overwhelmed with even the most well-intentioned plans, and we all would do well to give ourselves a break every once in a while.

    I started watching your videos a few weeks ago and I wanted to tell you that your “Tea Talk with Jen” video where you talk about what got you started vlogging was so inspiring to me. Also, I will echo Ann D.’s comment regarding the handbag video – the way that you put yourself out there is so inspiring. I loved your comments about the best way to deal with the non-constructive criticism you received. I am working on getting my own blog going, and you have been a major source of inspiration for me. Your courage inspires, so just wanted to say thank you!

  7. Jen, I am in the process of organizing my office/project room and your videos are helpful in keeping me motivated. I am wondering if you can tell me where you keep your paper cutter(s)? Do you leave them out anywhere (a cutting station) or do you keep them in a drawer and pull them out as needed? Thank you for getting back to me on this!

  8. I’m really enjoying how there is a series of your Office Project. I reeeeeally needed to set up properly & sort out my home office / craft room and I have been kind of following along with your series and then tackling a relevent bit in mine. (Except I had more junk in there! haha 🙂

    Just a thought, if you ever considered making your own organizational items, like through Staples, I’m sure that lots of people would love them! And you would be so good at designing them!

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