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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How I organize: Kids computer/homework desk

OK...we took the last couple of months off from my regular Wednesday "how I organize" to do a lot of Back to School prepping and organizing. Now we'll dive back into my family room to show you some more areas that I've organized.  The family room is one of those places that everyone congregates in our house.  Our kitchen is actually in the front of our house and the family room is in the middle area.  We have a one-story L-shaped house {about 2400 square feet}. 





I want to show you an area I "created" a few years ago.  I found this great slim, adjustable desk at Overstock.com - it's got adjustable legs which I liked for the kids.  It can have two kids sit at once there.  Our kids' computer is here - out in the open, where everyone can see what they are doing {this is extremely important for parents NOT to have computer/TV in their rooms where you cannot monitor what they see}.  


We DO have them wear headphones cause their websites are not something we all need to hear! They also have a time limit on there, along with safety software {we use a program called Safe Eyes} so they can only go on websites with prior approval and access from the administrator {that would be ME!}.



I have a few dilemmas in this area. But, my main one was the cords! I really do hate cords dangling and a mess.  Isn't it just one of those things you can't stand but seem to have to put up with?



So, I took some of my hubby's cool velcro {remember I did that in our entry dresser?} and started to work on the cords.



Let me just say, cords are AWFUL! AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL!  It was one of the hardest things I've ever organized! They were all different lengths, widths, and wanted to go one way or another.  This table is great, but you can't just shove the cables somewhere to hide them!


My hubby does I.T. for a living, so I have DEEP appreciation for him now and for dealing with cords. I told him, too, that I just don't know how he does it! OK...so by the time I got those looking somewhat organized {and sort of pathetic}, then I took the large power strip and strapped it to the table leg. It was previously on the floor and the kids kept kicking it and it would turn off or scrape the wall, so this way seemed like a better idea!


My hubby recently bought the kids a Mini-Mac and so there is not a big box on the floor anymore! Yay! This is much less of a dust collector and just does a perfect job for them to work on. {Yes, Mini-Mac next to a Dell monitor!}


The other problem I had was there are no drawers in the desk to store things and so I bought this cart {years ago} from The Container Store when their Elfa systems were on sale. So, I have them labeled and more access for homework items - paper, pencils, rulers, etc.  


The little tray on top was a quick project I did - on the cheap! I bought the tray at the thrift store on "half-off" day for $1.15! Here is my Pinterest inspiration:


I spray painted it with black paint I had in my paint cupboard, then found some jars left over in my overflow pantry, and sorted out all the coloring pencils, pens and markers. 


Another dilemma I had previously was seating, so I bought these cute stools {at Kmart.com, but I don't think they make this low height anymore, so look at Ikea.com} since having chairs there took up too much space. The stools are fairly comfortable - but not something you'd want to sit on for hours {which is the point!} and slide under the table and out of the way. I can also slide them over to use elsewhere in the room, if needed. 


So there you have it! Our little computer desk area! I didn't do all this at once, but a little bit at a time to come up with the best solution as problems arose! Do you have a computer desk area in a public part of your house for you and/or your kids? What solutions have you come up with? Do you have time limits for them on the computer?
 

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