The Secret to Making Your Home Work for You

Do you ever get that feeling that your stuff is in a jumble and you just need one good Saturday afternoon to fix it? Maybe your closet is half up, half down - half your clothes are put away and the other half are in piles on your floor.

Is that the dirty pile or the darks I just washed?

If you find yourself unexpectedly home more in 2020, these thoughts might be on overdrive. You had the "luxury" of going to work and being gone most of the day. Now you're home and surrounded by all the stuff you wished you had the time to take care of.

The good news is, you have more time at home! The bad news? Figuring out how to do these projects you were putting off until you had more time.

The secret sauce? Create activity zones

Typically, a room itself is a good divider for activities. We make food in the kitchen. We sleep in our bedroom. We do our current passion project on the coffee table while watching Netflix comedy specials. Easy!

Sometimes your rooms might not have the stellar "hygiene" you'd intended for them over time, though. Kitchen tables turn into office spaces... which means you start having dinner on the couch. You have to eat somewhere, right? And that exercise mat and resistance bands you bought in a panic? Forget it. When you remember, you do it in a different room every time anyway.

How are you supposed to pick a spot when you don't have any consistency?

Here's the thing:

You create consistency for yourself.

Make a list of all of the activities you do on a regular basis, even if they seem obvious. Then decide which room those activities need to happen in.

Try to honor the intention you have for each room as you plan. Is it restful at the end of the day to see your work computer staring at you across the bed?

Once you know where you want to do each activity, you can plan the space around your goals.

Rooms with multiple functions need the most intention and planning.

My significant other and I are big tabletop gamers. We knew we wanted to play games regularly, so we put our gaming shelves in the dining room within easy reach of the table (which has the biggest surface and most chairs). When we aren't eating meals there, it's easy to set up a game and put it back when it's only 3 steps to the shelf.

If you need office space, study space, eating space, lounging space, or any combination of activities in the same room, create barriers to separate or turnover the space.

Pack everything up at the end of the activity and put it somewhere out of the way for the next thing (like a bookshelf or closet).

You can also create your own curtain / screen / blanket solution to cover a fixed area when you want to avoid the visual distraction - or temptation! If you have a full on desktop situation on the kitchen table, this one's for you.

Bottom line? Don't let your space dictate your life. You can decide what you do (and where) with intention by creating clear zones and purposes for every thing you do. Your future self thanks you!