Well, hello and happy new year! I hope everyone had an awesome holiday. My break was lovely: both relaxing and productive. One of the things I am most proud of is the complete home office revamp I did at the end of December. See, I got a bug up my butt about my home office. It wasn't working for me. It was a mess, there were stacks and piles of crap all over the place, and I hated going in it. This had to change. While doing work on the couch is comfy, my letter writing and general productivity was down because I didn't have a "now we work" spot in the house. I decided the office had to get reorganized before the new year. The image above is the new layout of my work space. Want to see the terror that was the before?
The above photo is 9 kinds of embarrassing, but I'm biting the bullet and showing it to all of you. Why? It shows just how horribly this room's layout was for me and my productivity. The layout used to work for me when I first moved into our apartment 6 years ago, but it very slowly stopped being conducive to how I worked. It just took me a long time to realize it.
I sketched some ideas and figured out that I needed less surfaces (to discourage piles o'crap) and more storage space (for which to put the crap in). In the old set-up I had two desks: a dining table that I used as my main work space and my grandfather's old drafting table as my making space. Thing is, the way I work has changed a lot over the years and I no longer needed all this making space. The long dining table was great when I sewed, but I not longer do. The drafting table was great when I needed to leave a project halfway finished, but I don't work on large projects at home anymore. So, I had to rethink what my needs were. One of the hardest decisions I made was that my grandfather's drafting table had to be moved out of my work space. I LOVE this thing, but it just wasn't being used. I hope to use it in the future, but for now, it is disassembled and being stored in our hallway closet.
So what would I need to make this a better space for the way I worked? I needed one table that was small (again, to discourage piles) and cubby holes to store all the shop supplies I'm responsible for making. (Donovan and I each have our own items that we are responsible for.) I needed a way to effectively organize the "piles" I do need to have on my desk as all times, a spot to write project ideas and needs, and a nice way to display my most used stationery and letter writing items. I need a spot to take a break and look through books while still being in my workspace. Lastly, I wanted a view of my window when I looked up from my desk. This one was a tough aspect to work out since my office is very narrow.
I tried to work with and re-purpose as much furniture and stuff as I already owned. When I exhausted all possible uses for things in the house already, I figured out what I needed to buy. To make the window view desire work out, I took all the leaves out from my dining table/desk to make it the smallest size. This allowed it to be placed in the middle of the room, with one side up on the wall while still having a pathway behind the table. The printer went into the closet (on a small table) to get it out of the way. The large bookcase was pushed to where the dining table/desk used to be. The spot that the bookcase used to located now is free and being used as the walkway to my desk. The only thing I ended up purchasing was a second half-size Expedite bookshelf for the space behind my desk. This stores my most used items and some overflow supplies. Lastly, I pushed my reading over by the window, next to the bookcase.
I've been using the new layout since the beginning of the year and I love it. I am putting things away in their spots (thanks to not having a space to "just put here for a second"). The first day I had the office set-up I wrote 7 letters. I think that alone shows how inviting this new space is for my work habits. There is still a few things that need to get done, like art work being framed and hung. The entire east wall is bare, as it is the way I get behind my desk, and it is just itching for decoration. But, frames are expensive, so I'm going to have to wait until next month to buy some and fill-up that wall. I'll share that all with you when I get that finished. Until then, I'll be at my desk enjoying the view.