Home office design, Organizing desk configuration (part 2)

(Part 2)

Doris,

This week I would like to discuss your teenage sons desk design. It is really important that your son has a larger desk area than the one you grew up with. The long and short of it is, the old hand me down desk from 15 years ago is probably not large enough.

Think about it – did you have a computer, printer, iPod etc when you were in school? The modern school study work space should be at least 5-6 feet long. Most older desks do not include a file drawer and have too many small shallow drawers. These small drawers usualy serve as nothing more than a junk holding area.

Whatever you choose, make sure to have at least 4 feet of open surface for your son to open up books and write upon.

A file drawer included with a desk is very helpful for sorting papers by subject. This is the time for your son to develop good paper habits. Work with your son to create a file system that makes sense to him. Make sure he has tabs and empty folders to make new folders when neccessary. Possible headings for folders could be: by the subject, by the project, or simply homework completed, etc. During the summer, go through this drawer and purge the old papers to make way for new files the next school year. This is an invaluable skill for you r son and worth the time and resistance that you might encounter in the beginning.

Teach your son now to save warranties and manuals for all of the electronic gadgets he will surely own. Again – a valuable skill that he can use for the rest of his adult life.

Ok – back to the desk. Keep the hard drive off of the desk surface as well as the keyboard and mouse if possible. Place the hardrive below the desk of off to the side. Use a keyboard tray. If the desk does not come with a keyboard tray, look into purchasing a single unit and installing under your existing desktop.

I often install a 12 inch wide shelf directly above and centered over the desk. Install the first shelf 8-10 inches above the desktop and add a few other shelves staggered above and to the sides of the centered shelf.

These shelves will hold binders, text books and memorabilia without cluttering up the desk surface. U-shaped shelves that have side brackets built in help keep the larger books upright without the need for wobbly book ends.

Please submit your questions to: advice@addspacetoyourlife.com
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San Diego Professional Organizer

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