Where I Work… Home Office Status and a Few Plans

Well pals!  This week I began my first in home client project and I am SO excited to dive in and help a wonderful family take back control of their kitchen and entryway!  Although we still have a few projects around our own home to finish up, I am really looking forward to helping other folks organize and simplify their spaces.  In fact, it has been my dream for the past six years, however, my blog and shop had consumed my time and I let my end goal drift away a bit.  Organizing is such a passion, but it is far more enjoyable and rewarding when I can work on spaces with others.

Speaking of lingering projects… We have quite a few that have been in the works for the past year.  Instead of rushing through each one to get to a big reveal day, I have decided to slow down, live in our spaces and take things one day at a time.  I can thank blogging for helping me realize that I just work better this way, and it really allows us to make better overall decisions and investments for our home.

Late last year, I decided to do an impromptu home office/playroom swap with our boys.  They are all in school full time and have lost interest in Mr. Potato Head and Duplo blocks.  Their playroom would sit empty all day, while I worked in a windowless cave in our home.  When the boys agreed that it would be fun to trade spaces, I just started packing things up and moving things around on a whim one night.  Although, I had to take a few breaks and wipe away a few tears.  This move meant my boys were growing older and hitting new milestones in their lives.  That I would never see their little dimpled hands dump out every bin and dig for their favorite Little People figures, or fumble as they create towers and bridges direct from their imaginations.  #slowdowntime

playroom reveal

For the most part, the furniture from the playroom fit my old office, and my old office furniture fit their playroom.  There were a few exceptions, as the two rooms are different in terms of lighting, available space, layout and functionality.  The boys’ new area will become a more mature place to hang out; a place for games and popcorn with a side of Lego.  So I left them my large table and bench, and will be adding in a mini fridge and pantry.  When it came to my space, I had just about everything I needed, with the exception of an actual workspace.  We finally were able to give my favorite aqua hutch a new home, and have plans to open the wall to give me access to my under-the-stairs storage.  The desk was the missing link.

We no longer needed the large entertainment center or the TV that it held, so I sold both on Craigslist, giving me my new desk budget.

I really made sure to think about how I planned to use my office long term.  What have I liked and disliked about previous work spaces?  How could I set up a space to help me stay productive and also fit my organizational desires?  This time I decided to go full on function, and worry about making it pretty later.  So I began taping out a few desk options on the floor.

My main goal was to create a space that can offer a dual workspace.  A place to grow my team and allow for my husband and children to visit and work with me.  A place to meet with future clients and have conference calls.  Working from home alone can be so isolating, so it was crucial to change that.  And certainly I had enough room in my new, bright space for two desks?

I was almost certain this would be the route I landed on, as it had the most flexibility with the type of desk I could select.  But once I started taping things out, I was really starting to realize I only had one good full wall to work off of, and that my space wasn’t as big as I thought it was.  Beyond two work spaces, I also had to account for my filing cabinet and my large printer.  Where would they go?  And then it became more and more challenging to source two desks I liked that fit my available space.  So I looked at another option.

This was definitely it, until I taped it off.  I was surprised how little space I would have, especially when the filing cabinet and printer were brought back into play.  And how awkward to work facing a corner, and if I was joined by someone, to be crowded near the secondary work area.  Not to mention, this option didn’t make use of the large area in the center of the room.

Third time was a charm.

By going with a T-shape workspace, each individual can have their own private work area, facing the window.  There is room for a printer below in-between each side, and the filing cabinet also fit below the base of the T.

This layout also allows me to spread out.  I make such a mess when I work, and love having an area for my computer, and another for writing, planning, bill paying, crafting, etc… The L shape provides a space for me to easily transition from computer to blank space just by turning my chair.  It also allows me to chat with the person across from me.

I was able to find a few desk/table tops from IKEA to put together this setup inexpensively.  I didn’t want to have to build and paint something, I looked for tops that had a nice and smooth factory finish.  And months and months later, I can attest that this setup really does work perfectly for me.  I wouldn’t change a thing functionally but I still have some tweaking to do visually, so I will be sure to share all of the desk details once I make a few more small updates.

filing cabinet

The desk is the only item I have purchased for the space, everything else I already had and came over from my last office space.  Every last basket and bin and box and tray…

This view is my current favorite.  I love that I have a bright window and my hutch!

But beyond that, I have a few choices to make.  The bookcases don’t exactly fit, however, their functionality is fabulous.

I would love to eventually build something in to make the most of the width and height of this strange little nook.  Something pretty like these make my eyes giddy.

1 | 2

I love the hutch and I love my thrift store chair, but I wonder if the two paired together are too much?  Too sweet?  Is it possible that too much sweetness can become a negative?

And the birch tree stencil.  Oy.  Not my personal favorite, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to paint over it yet.  Not until I know what I want to do with all of the walls… Covering up the stencil is going to require hours of dusty sanding, and a little hand holding because again… not ready.  I can’t believe I painted it over four years ago. #sigh

We were only able to hang two of our wall system components, to add the third we will have to remove the window trim to allow enough room for the piece to slide in on the rail.  We will do that when we paint, and make sure to re-center it appropriately.

Cords needs controlling, and the printer is about to get a cart with pull out shelves and a spot for my scanner and paper trays.

Until the opening to the storage closet is created, I have a few piles building from items I use daily; photography equipment, papers, backdrops and a bucket of “to do” items.  I am debating if I want/need to door off the closet this time around, I sort of like the idea of leaving it open.

The hutch makes up for the cabinets I lost in my other space, but I just can’t seem to come up with a creative way to use the wine storage area… any suggestions or ideas?

I killed my first live plant, so went faux this time around.  Four months later and it is still thriving! 😉

A few other small accessories sprinkled throughout help keep daily desk items corralled.  I removed the final wax from a candle and now use the jar for my favorite markers.

Business cards in a jewelry dish….

An acrylic organizer for items I look at frequently; books, magazines, to-do files and paint swatches.

desk calendar | file folders | acrylic organizer

And stacking trays at the opposite end of my desk hold envelopes, stamps, notebooks and stationery.

stacking trays

I would also love to install a roman shade and crown moulding.  And maybe paint the walls white to flow with the remainder of the basement, and doing something playful on the ceiling?  OK, I am getting ahead of myself now.  One day at a time….

So the space swap had a small trickle effect, but we will get there, a few small updates should make a huge difference.  In the meantime, I am just thrilled to have a window that I get to look out of every single day.  Everything else is just icing on the cake!

from IHeart Organizing http://www.iheartorganizing.com/2016/06/where-i-work-home-office-status-and-few.html

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