Making your office space work for you
I spent a good portion of the weekend cleaning my office. I didn’t plan on cleaning my office, but as you may remember from my earlier post about how one project leads to another, you can understand how it might happen. It started last week, when I had a really great writing breakthrough. I decided I needed my desk to have some clear space to work. The only problem was, I had tax stuff all stacked up ready to do my taxes. So I started by clearing my desk.
Then, Saturday, I wanted a specific writing book that I know I have. But I couldn’t find it right away on my writing bookshelf. I eventually found it, and it was exactly where it was supposed to be, but for some reason, that meant I had to clean my office. So now, I am in absolute bliss because not only is my office clean, but I got to do a few decorating/decluttering things I’d been wanting to do for a while now. I have a really small office space, and a lot of stuff, so this was a great exercise in making what I have work.
My office is in the basement. I hate being in the basement, but hey, you appreciate having an office to begin with, right? On the green wall, you see a white thing. That is actually the window, except that it’s really old and it leaks freezing cold air, so I had hubby close it up with Styrofoam he had from another project. When we can afford new windows, it’ll be a real window! The lamp thing you see, that is a special bulb that gives me the effect of being in the sun. So I don’t have a beautiful well-lit office. But we made it work as best as we could with we already had.
Yes, those are my bookshelves. Some of them, anyway. The sticky notes on them are to let me know which is which for my catalog project. Someday I’ll have them all in the catalog. My bookcases are pieced together from things we found on sale, at garage sales, and were handed down from others.
On the floor are three file boxes- two are stacked on top of each other. My laptop sits on that stack and I use the other one as a footrest. The fileboxes are all the mementos I’m saving from the kiddos, but I needed a table and footrest, and these are the perfect height. So why not let them do double duty? My couch is covered with a sheet- that’s because my dog sits with me and he’s gross. I wanted this couch to stay nice.
Here’s the view from my closet. I have a tiny table squeezed between the couch and bookcase. I needed something to hold my tissues, tea, etc, and this small table works perfect. It’s really ugly, but it was hubby’s grandma’s so I love it. The table has a drawer where I can keep junk like pencils, and then the shelf underneath is all of my current study materials. The dog is sniffing by my tiny trash can, and I have a bin next to it that has my book cataloging materials.
I have a fun quote I’m thinking of hanging above the couch- or above my desk. I can’t decide, so it’s not up.
The reason you see my ugly stepstool is because that’s where it goes. When my door is opened, the stepstool is behind the door. It’s a pretty small space, so I maximize my storage.
The big brown blob on the right is a shawl I knitted. I like to call it “The Behemoth.” It’s blanket sized, and it was a really good lesson in why you should check gauge before knitting. I usually have it wrapped around me as I work. But, as you can see from the other blankets in the picture, I also use those sometimes. I get cold easily, so I am generally wrapped in a blanket or two or more.
My closet is under the stairs, so there’s not a lot of room, but I did manage to cram in 3 bookcases, and a couple of stackable storage drawers. Most of my shelves (including the ones in the other picture) are stacked with books two or three deep. Yes, I love my books. No, I am not getting rid of them. Being surrounded by books makes me happy.
I should admit that I have not read all of them. However, I intend to. I figure, once my kids are grown, hubby is retired, I’ll have nothing to do but read. And that suits me just fine.
We will also not discuss my plans for when we run out of room. Personally, I don’t think my kids need their own rooms when my books need space, but that’s just my opinion.
On the other side of my writing bookshelf is my desk. There’s just enough room on that wall for the desk and bookshelf. I have a desktop, but I’ll be really honest, I hardly ever use it. My office chair is a really fancy, really expensive chair, and, I hate it. It’s not the chair’s fault. I’m short so it’s too big, and I haven’t found one that works any better. If I sit at my desk for too long, my arm goes numb. So I don’t spend much time there and prefer working on my couch. I do have a ball I sit on sometimes, but my chiropractor says I should only do it for short periods at a time.
My desk is a v-shape, and the other end comes just to my door. Like I said, small space. But it works. The far top of my desk (cut off in the picture) has a bunch of nice mementos and gifts from my writing friends around the world.
I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but I have a set of file folders in a holder on my desk- THAT’s all my tax stuff. I still have to work on those, and match them to my spreadsheet, but I’m hoping to do that soon, so I can get my taxes out of the way this year. I need to be a good example if I’m going to talk to others about taxes, right?
Ugh, I just realized that my lighter thing is right there with my pretty candles, looking not so pretty. Oh well. Even when I clean things up and make them nice, it’s never going to be perfect. Martha Stewart, I am not, and that’s okay. My bookshelves don’t match, well, actually, none of my furniture matches, and as you can see, The Dog likes to sneak in a lot of my pictures. But that’s okay. You don’t have to make anything perfect to make a difference.
Do you have things in your house that you can re-purpose to help you work better?