Most of my clients are mid life and beyond and they are embarking on new chapters in life – exciting, daunting, refreshing and uncomfortable – all at once!
A way to feel more comfortable is to take a little bit of control over what you can impact since new chapters often happen organically.
When you find the “thing” you want to do next, you’ll want to make space in your home and also space in your schedule for this new found passion, whether it’s a hobby, your own business or new job, or school.
Just in the last few weeks, it seems most of my coaching and organizing clients are going back to school or starting their own businesses.
Where to start? Today, I’m talking about making space for school.
For your school and studying space:
Create a “school only” space for yourself. A closet, the corner of a room, adding a desk or table in your home office or creative space – These can all work. Even the dining room table is a possibility and quite common (picture at right).
If you can’t make a permanent space, e.g., dining room table, there’s still hope! When you buy products (or shop at home!), here are a couple of tips.
- Look for products are attractive, perhaps match the décor if you can find them; you’re in the dining room, so this is important for when guests are around.
- Hide your work, e.g., into paper boxes which stack, a movable file cart or file boxes which fit in your dining room buffet. (Yes, you may need to move some less often-used items out of the room or out of your house, but what’s more important to use the space for — the few times you eat at this table or the daily school studying you require now?)
If you take over a room, such as your grown child’s bedroom, your dining room or a basement/lower level spot, start by changing the layout or the paint colors. Change the energy in the room and its look; it helps you to think differently about the space (now as a student!)
What supplies and papers will you need frequently? Deciding this allows you to keep those in your main office space, but use another room for less often used items. A good solution if you have small spaces or don’t want much out and visible.
For example, one woman’s school desk is in the den, but her school papers, books and past classes are on a bookshelf in a different room. Older files, books, trade show supplies can all be in a less often-used space as well.
This is a new Smead Product, which we used to store current and past classes; this was for a woman returning to school for a virtual Master’s Degree program. Although the classes are virtual, sometimes it’s just easier to see the syllabi and class materials all laid out on paper in front of you. This was how the papers were stored – beautiful, compact, mobile and easy to find what’s needed, class by class.
Smead’s MO product.
Filer or piler? Some people like to set up their current papers in folders; this is a desk drawer within arm’s reach, with another neat Smead product.
Others prefer more of a rough sort into larger categories. This is the Smead box above, turned on its side, and then some portfolio folders on top. They differentiate which class is current versus past.
Create the space first to get you into a “fresh start” frame of mind.
Trying to figure out how to manage your time for school?
Check out our “time management” category of blog posts or simply post a question here. Happy to answer it.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.
Anthony J. D’Angelo