For a busy mom who's going back to school or works or studies at home, a dedicated space with an organized study table or desk is a necessity. Remember to incorporate the most important features when arranging your study area -- adequate lighting, work space, storage and location. With a firm grasp on these factors, you can create a comfortable, viable space for working and studying at home.
Lighting is an important feature when setting up a study area. The American Lighting Association recommends using a combination of several types of lighting for a home office space, including overhead ambient lighting and directional task lighting in the form of floor or desk lamps. Installing a pendant light or small chandelier over your study table is another solution. Natural light gives you good, healthy lighting to work by. Position your study table near a natural light source, if possible.
Try to keep the top of your study area clear. Find organizational solutions that don't require you to keep pencil cups, letter trays and stacks of books on your study table. At most, your desk should have no more than a computer, printer, desk lamp and maybe a vase of fresh flowers taking up space. Leave enough room to spread a book open and to lay a notebook beside it comfortably, without them overlapping.
You need adequate storage to keep your work station from becoming a hot spot of accumulating papers, pens, books, folders and coffee stains. If you're using a table with no drawers, invest in a small plastic bin unit with two or three drawers to place under it. Use one or more bins to store books, notebooks and folders. If there's room for a fourth, smaller drawer, toss your pens, rulers, paperclips, calculators and other study paraphernalia there. Insert a drawer organizer or the bottoms cut from cereal boxes to keep small supplies contained. If space allows, mount a few small shelves above the table to hold stacks of printer paper, reference manuals and some inspirational family photos to remind you daily of why you spend so many hours seated at your study table.
If you don't have a room to use as an office or study, situate your study table in a quiet nook away from foot traffic and the sound of blaring televisions. A quiet corner of the kitchen or den is ideal. Make sure it's somewhere you can go to get away from the daily hustle and bustle of an active household. If necessary, invest in a tabletop sound machine or headphones you can set to white noise or the sound of rain on a tin roof. This helps block out distracting sounds from adjoining rooms.