To kick off Sprinkled Nest, I thought I’d tackle the most important item to keep me working and productive. A clean, functioning, and organized home office! And, I’m going to tell you how to organize your office with zero budget…just because I’m crazy like that. No, really, you don’t always need to spend money to get organized! Personally, I cannot think straight when things are a mess. And, if the office space is inviting and personal, then naturally I will want to spend more time in it. Which would be great…because then I’d be working and on top of things. Right?!?
Ok…here is the subject room. You might actually want to shield your eyes! It is awful!!!
OMG…seriously…it makes me cringe! Everything except that adorable girl sitting at the computer. She is perfect. The rest of the room…Oy. I think it would be easiest to get a giant shovel and chuck everything out the window…like they do on those HGTV shows where there is a giant dumpster outside. My kids love watching the demo part, especially when the old toilets are thrown out of a second story window and break into a million pieces in the dumpster. Oh, I wish!
However, this is a zero-budget makeover at the moment. I am hoping to spend a bit of money and make some draperies and maybe buy some paint down the road, maybe a new desk chair. But for now, I am simply going to work with what I have, redo the furniture layout, enhance the functionality, and make it a bit more “me”.
First step: Consolidate the paper that is strewn all over the desktop. I have two giant file cabinets similar to these…I need to get the important papers in them and toss or shred the papers that aren’t needed. Also, I am going to go through my file cabinets and thin them out. I try to do this at the start of the new year. The method that works best for me is to purchase a file sized plastic tote like this one or alphabetical expanding file like this one and put all of last years’ files in there. Then I label the year on the outside and stick it in storage. Online you can find recommended time spans for file retention based on what types of files. I have found for most of the important documents the time frame is 7 years or permanently.
Step two: Remove what isn’t needed. I have a stack, four totes high, next to my file cabinets. Our last house, in California, didn’t have a basement for storage. So all our file totes were stored in our office closet. Naturally, when we moved into this house, the movers put those file totes in the new office. Since we have a basement with storage space in this house, we need to move those totes on down. I also have a bunch of baskets, bins of kids artwork, a floor fan which isn’t needed because there is a ceiling fan in this room, and other randomness which all needs to go. Out with it all and relocate it to a new home.
Step three: Plan out the space…think in zones. Let’s talk about the desk for a moment since it is the most important piece of furniture in the home office. If you can see in the picture…I know it is hard with all the stuff in the way…the desk is an L shape kind of like this one. This desk was in our last house in my husband’s office. He loves it. I like it. It isn’t my favorite style, but I’m going to work with it and attempt to make it more my style. Currently, the biggest problem is the location of the desk in relation to the window. I cannot work anywhere without major glare on my computer. The desk needs to move, but if I keep it in its current L configuration, there isn’t a good place to put it due to the location of the doorway, closet, and window. So, I am going to try to break it up.
There is a corner, pie shaped piece, that is connecting two free standing desk sections. My plan is to remove that and now I’ll have two desks. One longer one with the printer stand attached, and one shorter one with a keyboard tray. I can plug in my laptop to the keyboard and have a more ergonomically correct working station. The long portion is going to go against the wall where the file cabinets are, and fingers crossed, the file cabinets are going to fit underneath the desk. I measured, it should work. This will give me a work zone – files, printer, all necessary office things will live in this area. Then, I can float the shorter desk towards the middle of the room for a lovely computer zone. My in-box, a lamp, some pens, and my gorgeous blog planner can live there. We do have one bookshelf in the room which needs some organizational love. And I think I might have room for a comfy chair to add some softness when it is all done.
Step four: Bring in the muscle. Moving furniture is so much easier with another set of hands. Grab your hubby, call a friend, pay your kids. Pour a drink, crank up some fun music and get moving!
Let’s recap the steps:
Now it is your turn. What can you do to better organize your work space, with zero budget, for you to function better? Get working! Let’s update each other in a couple of days!
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