Where does your work stuff land when you come in the door?
January 27, 2012 8:33 AM   Subscribe

I need another place to store work stuff at home.

My husband and I both carry laptop bags back and forth to work. When we come home, they kind of get...dumped. Mine sits in the foyer in the front hall, my husband usually leaves his in the living room next to the sofa (and visible from the front hall) along with his man-purse. We do work at home sometimes, but sort of all over the house - dining room, living room, spare bedroom, the chair in the master bedroom, so there's no "oh, always drop it THERE, since that's where you might be".

It kind of drives me batty - the visual clutter, the tripping over things, whatever. I hate that the first thing you see when you come in the door is tangled straps and open bags. I'd like someplace for them to "live", but nothing I've thought of makes sense, and it occurs to me that I might be overthinking this (I know, I know).

If you've had this issue, how did you solve it?
posted by ersatzkat to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We do work at home sometimes, but sort of all over the house - dining room, living room, spare bedroom, the chair in the master bedroom, so there's no "oh, always drop it THERE, since that's where you might be".

It strikes me that fixing this is the way to go. If you do establish one spot as "this is where we work," then you can have a place to put your work stuff.

Even if you do not actually work at your designated "work spot," at least you'll have a home base for things. I don't actually do that much work at my desk, but my desk is always "the spot where my laptop lands when I'm not using it."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:38 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

One of my lower kitchen cabinets wasn't being used for anything, so I started stowing laptop cases in there and it just kind of stuck. It's convenient to the breakfast bar where the router is, so it tends to be where I work.

I also like to think that if someone broke in, they really wouldn't think of looking in the lower kitchen cabinets for that kind of equipment.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:42 AM on January 27, 2012

My trick is to isolate the laptop from the bag and its accoutrements. I bought an extra laptop charger, so I keep one at work and one at home and don't have to lug them back and forth, and I don't feel like I need the whole laptop bag handy all the time. As soon as I get home, the laptop *and only the laptop* comes out of its laptop bag and goes onto the dining room table (or coffee table) all by itself, and it migrates freely as needed from there. The laptop bag goes in the closet and stays there until morning (in your case, the spare bedroom might even be better as a staging area).
posted by argonauta at 8:45 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

You should carve out a dedicated home "work" space; put a fold-down desk in the spare bedroom and stash a filing cabinet in the closet. That way, if guests are over, the office can be put away, and otherwise you have a dedicated place to work at home and to stash your stuff.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 9:02 AM on January 27, 2012

We've been thinking of getting this "leaning desk" and stashing laptop bags & briefcases under it, while it will have the desk surface if one of us wants to work at a desk with the laptop instead of just the couch or whatever. We thought we'd put it in the den/guest room, and when a guest came we could temporarily store our laptop bags in our bedroom closet or something so the guest would have a space to put out THEIR electronics. It's visually not too heavy and would fit the space we have. (We have a couple random chairs that can be used with it when needed.)

We haven't actually DONE this yet but that's the plan. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:09 AM on January 27, 2012

Obviously you need a designated bag-drop place that's convenient when you walk in, but it's hard to know what that should look like without knowing the layout of your house and your habits. How about a storage bench? This could do double duty as a laptop-stowing place and a place for you to sit down and put your shoes on. A large basket could work if you don't mind having stuff sticking out. Maybe a wall-mounted cabinet if all you have is a hallway.

You may also want to have a rule -- not only do bags get dropped in the designated place when you walk in the door, but they get returned before you go to bed at night.
posted by chickenmagazine at 10:42 AM on January 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your reaction to the laptops should give you slight pause before you lay down bag rules for both yourself and husband.

Home is a castle for the weary - people think differently about what's comfortable. What might be clutter for you could be a source of comfort for the other.
Be careful about inadvertently replacing creature comforts with an inconsequential storage spot.
posted by Kruger5 at 11:06 AM on January 27, 2012

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