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D.I.Y. Design

Get Smart: Customize Your Study Space

Start the school year off right by creating the ideal study space for you. Our four-step plan will give you the ideas you need to create a smart and efficient setup in no time.

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Step 1: Make a Plan

Begin by assessing your space and needs. If your room is small, consider modular pieces that combine shelving and storage with a work surface. A fold-down desk keeps your room looking clean and uncluttered. Or if you share a room, try pushing two tables together to create an oversized work surface. The key is to make the most of the space you've got.

:: extra credit ::

Stow books, notebooks and supplies in coordinating bins or baskets, then slip them under your mattress and out of sight.

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Step 2: Master The Basics

Every study space needs a desk and comfortable chair. Try a traditional desk with drawers and cubbies built in, or outfit a simple table with storage bins and a desktop filing system. For an even more space-efficient setup, choose a desk with built-in USB ports, electrical outlets and CPU cabinets. Add a chair that lets your arms and legs move freely and that supports your body. Don't forget to get a good task lamp – your eyes will thank you.

:: extra credit ::

An adjustable chair is great, but a regular chair can be made adjustable by adding extra cushions or pillows.

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Step 3: Be Versatile

A change of scenery will do wonders during marathon study sessions. Try a comfy lounge chair when you've got lots of reading to do. For a really motivational study spot, look for lounge pillows and accessories that let you plug in your iPod® so you can listen to your favorite study playlist anywhere. You can also use a boyfriend pillow to turn your bed into a cozy place to cram, or prop your laptop on a lap desk with built-in outlets and get to work virtually anywhere.

:: extra credit ::

Gather your essentials in a bag, basket or bin that moves with you so you'll always have what you need no matter where you study.

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Step 4: Add Amenities

Comfort and efficiency are keys to productivity, but being inspired makes studying so much easier to enjoy. Line your wall with pics of people you look up to. Write your favorite quote on a blackboard. Create custom playlists that really motivate you and look for furniture and accessories that let you play your iPod® anywhere in the house. Create custom playlists that motivate you. Add some soothing color to your walls. Or just place your desk near a window with a view, whatever it takes to refresh your mind.

:: extra credit ::

Stock a mini fridge with brain-friendly food and rewarding treats, plus plenty of bottled water to keep you hydrated.

:: study space checklist ::

  • desk
  • desk chair
  • task lamp
  • bins or baskets for organizing supplies
  • lap desk
  • boyfriend pillow
  • bulletin or magnetic boards
  • colorful pens, pencils and paper
  • playlists packed with your favorite tunes
  • healthy snacks and drinks
  • study partners to keep you energized
  • a stash of magazines and DVDs for those all-important breaks
Desks » Desk Chairs » Table Lamps » Storage Bins » School + Study Helpers »