Top Ten Back to School (or Back to Work) Tips

Whether you’re a parent of a school age child or you work from home either full or part-time, here are my top ten tips for creating a great study or work area that encourages productivity:

1. Select a desk with storage for files and supplies, and a computer keyboard even if the main computer is a laptop.

Chatham Small Desk and Hutch from Pottery Barn

2. Install shelves or cabinets above the desk for notebooks and schoolbooks with closed ends. It’s much easier to keep the shelves neat if things aren’t falling off the end.

Paramount Shelving by Pottery Barn

3. Select an ergonomic chair for comfort so it’s easier to stay focused on homework. We have this chair in our office. It’s great – and great on the budget!

Tempur-Pedic Chair from Staples

4. Install lighting under the shelves, and also provide good task lighting that is adjustable so glare is minimized on the computer screen.

Task Lamp by Pottery Barn

5. Use cord managers to keep the area neat and clean under the desk.

6. Invest in colorful office supplies so organization is fun and easy.

7. Select colors for the walls that encourage productivity and focus. Try this fun combination: one accent wall in Sherwin Williams 7746, Rushing River which is a hip, fresh platinum gray, and do the rest of the walls in soothing, clear, crisp green – Sherwin Williams 7747 Recycled Glass. Top if off with fresh white trim and game on!

Try the Color Visualizer from Sherwin-Williams!

8. Purchase an iPod docking station that can be installed on the bookshelves above, or on the wall, and if the music tends to get loud, include a good set of headphones.

9. Add a timer to the desktop. This is a great productivity tool since scheduling work blocks and limiting how long you or your child work on projects will encourage efficiency.

10. Gmail has great tools such as Google Notebook and which integrates a To Do list into the calendar so assignments or deadlines aren’t missed.

If you’re thinking about a remodel or facelift for your entertaining spaces in your home, this is the perfect time to get started so we can finish before the holidays.

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