Running a start-up can be hard for a perfectionist because, frankly, nothing is perfect in a start-up year. One of the things that is driving me absolutely bonkers right now is how ugly my desk space is. The Montessori method pays particular attention to the environments in which we work. For the first six years of life, children are literally absorbing the environment around them and forming their neural pathways in the process.
I'm the kind of person who is always absorbing and responding to the environment around me. When the space around me feels cluttered and chaotic, I, too, feel cluttered and chaotic. If I feel stressed, I can usually mitigate the feeling a lot by simply tidying the space around me.
I want to get to the point where our whole school feels organized and beautiful. We are definitely on the path! It's a goal I hope to be able to prioritize this summer. For now, I want to start with my desk.
When thinking about how to beautify a space, I like to start with function. I'm a pragmatist at heart and think that form should follow function. Right now, the biggest thing that's bothering me is the stacking bins that are sitting on the corner of my desk. And there's all the clutter in my drawers! Oy.
I went ahead and ordered a filing cabinet, so I can more easily store the kinds of paper that accumulate on my desk. But more importantly, I think I need to take everything out to organize it and evaluate how to best store it. It reminds me of the process I went through for our pantry reorganization. It helps so much to take everything out (hooray for blank slates!) and to organize it outside of the space that it will return to. It prompts purging but also illuminates the best way to organize things by group and function.
Here are some of the things I'll need:
- A decorative tissue box--probably this one from Target
- A place to store writing utensils inside my desk
- A place to store my tape dispenser, stapler, and scissors inside my desk (they can too easily "walk away" in a shared space environment)
- A kind of inbox where I can set papers that need action relatively soon. Maybe I'll use something like this from IKEA, where I could also store the binders that I use frequently.
- A plant
- A place to store my work bag during the day
- I might want to soften the top of my filing cabinet with some fabric
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