Last week I was feeling overwhelmed by the layout of my home office (and all the things that had accumulated on the flat surfaces) so I decided to give my space a mini makeover. Sometimes a mini makeover requires new stuff to be purchased, but this one really just needed me to rethink the layout of the furniture and find a place for all the things that were taking up bench space. This is less of a how-to and more of a what-I-did, but I hope you might still find some inspiration for your own space. x
Before I started my mini makeover, the printer and the in-trays were on the sideboard on the left wall and the wood desk was next to my white table with the right edge at the wall. It worked for a while, but it started to feel overwhelming with the two desks next to each other and the table top mess just seemed to spread out. I had my desk calendar and the iMac on the wood table, and it felt like I never had any space. For reasons I don’t totally understand, I start to feel claustrophobic when things pile up and I just wanted a change without spending any money. So here’s what I did:
Moving things around
I had an inkling that if I just rearranged my office layout, I could use the floorspace better, so before I started moving all the things, I started by making a floorplan in Photoshop and moved the furniture around in there to see that things would fit. Here’s how you can make your own floorplan. I measured the room and the desks/sideboard and worked out that I could give my white desk a bit more space if I turned the wood desk around. It was a pretty simple solution, but it has made a bit difference.
I also decided to make the wood desk a hub for the extra computer (iMac), the printer, the external drive and my in-trays. This moved them all closer to the power outlet and has left some room for the laptop to sit when I’m crafting at the white desk. I also use the space under that desk for storing boxes and things that I might use for later blog projects. Because no one sits at it, that space helps me to keep the rest of the floorspace clear.
I do most of my work at the white desk, which isn’t really a ‘desk’ at all. It’s an ikea dining table that I added rolly wheels to the bottom of and sits over a smaller ikea desk that I use just for the drawers. Yes, that is a little crazy, but the old desk was just too small, but also too good to throw out. The long term plan is to put that little desk back in use when I move into a space that I’m not sharing, and I’ll invest in some other drawers to put under the table. For now it’s a great solution, to needing a bigger desktop and needing the drawers underneath.
Once I moved the wood desk I could move the white desk over a bit so it sat more in the centre of the room. It still gives me enough space to get to the wood desk and now there’s a space for my step ladder which I use for all my photos that are taken from above. I’ve never had a spot for it before, and it’s great for it to have a place where no one is tripping over it.
I also had the brilliant idea to turn the desk calendar, that was taking up way too much space, into a wall calendar using some laundry pegs and some Sellotape brand ‘Sticky Dots’. That calendar is the editorial calendar for the blog and it works so well being able to always see what’s next whilst I’m working at the laptop. The mini Post-its are the perfect size for the squares and I love that they have are close by and I don’t need to go searching for them when I need a new one.
Because I take photos for the blog at the white desk, I keep the wall space behind it clear, which can feel a little bit dull some days, but I love that the other walls are covered with inspiration.
Staying Inspired & Keeping it Neat
A big thing that I need to keep in mind for my office is that I need to stay inspired so that I can create the best content I can for the blog. I am still freelancing, but I’m working towards making the blog more of my income, and to do that I need to make sure that I’m feeling inspired to work on it. I do this by having things I love up on the walls and even some of the things I made as blog tutorials (like the letters and the fabric hoops).
I use my whiteboard more as a motivation board than anything else, and I keep my vision board in the centre to (hopefully) keep me on track. I’m a bit of a bowerbird so I love all the little things I’ve collected that make me smile. Most of them didn’t cost much, but I enjoy seeing them in this space.
I’m messy by nature so keeping things neat is a challenge for me. I do love it when everything has a home, I’m just prone to letting it go for a while and then having a cleaning frenzy. Having cupboards and drawers on the sideboard (that’s under the whiteboard) really helps as does the bookshelf and the filing cabinet. I also have a wardrobe that is full of boxes and tubs that are labelled to help me find things when I need them.
One of the things I’ve learnt about being a crafty blogger is that lots of things come into your space that help you create some really cool stuff, but you have to keep on top of where all of it will live after it’s been blogged. It’s definitely a work in progress for me, but some things are given to family and friends when they’re no longer required or someone asks for them. Some will eventually be repurposed, which I love to do too!
Thoughts on the project:
I love being in this space again. I didn’t completely tidy all the things for this photo shoot, because I wanted to show that some things do sit a little out of place, but they work for me right now. The big lamps I bought for winter photography sit between my sideboard and the white desk because that’s the safest place for them, where no one could trip. A portable fan lives in there when it’s not in use and a portable heater at other times.
It’s not really the perfect space for a crafty office/studio with it’s carpeted floors, and the furniture doesn’t match, but sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got and I’m super thankful to have a space as big as this one to work in. My little bag biz started on the kitchen table and I remember what it was like with less than a quarter of this space. It’s not a ‘dream office space’ but I love it a whole lot.
It’s not always how it looks, but what it helps you achieve, hey?!
What is your favourite thing in your home office?
In case you’re looking for your own: the desk calendar is a Sasco Deluxe Desk Planner available from Officeworks. All frames are IKEA Ribba in various sizes. Bookshelf is from the IKEA Billy series. Hoops are from Spotlight.