I was recently organizing my home office because I wanted to remove clutter and streamline the way I blog and take care of business around our home. My "office" is not the typical one with a dedicated room and a great big desk you might come to expect from a household. It is an unobtrusive, out-of-the-way space that you wouldn't know was there unless you opened a couple of doors, but it is nonetheless a very cosy space that allows me to do everything without taking too much room. I don't have to reach far to locate documents, photographs, scan images, make copies, print items, download information or write my posts for the blog, because everything is located in one area.
What you must understand, however, is that I don't really sit down during the day unless I'm eating. There is always something to do around the house, whether it's baking, cleaning, cooking, making calls or talking to a worker, so mobility is key for me. At my home office, believe it or not, I do not sit down on a chair or stool. I stand to type and write whatever it is I'm working on.
The 18th century colonial we call home has an annex where a mudroom, laundry room and powder room are located all in one space, along with doors to the basement and up a winder leading into the master bedroom. It is here where I have my office situated. Long ago, the space was used as a kitchen and keeping room where meals were prepared on wood burning stoves or over an open hearth. The door in this room gave easy access to the spring house where other perishables were kept before electricity was even around.
Now that rooms have been updated and brought up to the 21st century, the mudroom is a sun-filled area that I enjoy working out of. I can be running a load of laundry and blogging at the same time or I can be uploading photographs onto my computer and ironing oxford shirts with ease. Multitasking this way allows me to fit more into my schedule without ever feeling hampered down.
I want to show you the space I call my office, because I think here are a few things which might appeal to you.
Behind those opened doors is where I keep my office. There are several shelves which give me plenty of room to store the essentials I need day in and day out. The window brings in a lot of light and the doorway opens up onto the small back porch where I sometimes make phone calls or where I do some light line drying of laundry. It is a mudroom after all.
The cabinets reveal what I have here. It's a home office stored in a closet!
The upper shelf really have nothing to do with an office, but I thought I'd show it anyway. Those apothecary jars are extras and the cake stands are a mix of antique and contemporary glass, stoneware and porcelain.
This shelf has stackable storage tins in two different sizes. They hold markers, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, stamps, ink pads, labels, a p-touch machine, hole punches and a stapler. The book cloth magazine holders have documents, letters and sheets of stamps.
The middle shelf has large stackable storage tins filled with design ideas, inspiration and prototypes of what I'm working on. They are at eye level so that I can pull a tin out and open it with ease. The book cloth boxes have letters & notes that I cherish. Every single item that one of my nephews or my dear niece have written to me is in one of those boxes. The magazine holders next to them have papers & card stock for the printer.
Those diminutive copper cookie cutters were a special gift.
The laser-jet printer was rather problematic because of its bulkiness. When it was delivered I kept thinking of ways to hide it from view and not have it sit on top of a desk or have it lie underneath it. Placing it behind a door was the solution. It fits up against the wall and still has plenty of room for the paper tray.
This is the computer area. I think it's rather nice because there is no clutter and no cords or wires anywhere. The razor-thin laptop has its dedicated space in front of some jadeite cake stands & trays. When I open the door I can pull the computer to the edge of the shelf and start typing (standing of course). I suppose a stool would be a good idea and I am considering it, but for now this works.
I love to have a cup of tea when I'm writing up a post for you.
The platter next to the computer holds a pen, some note cards with envelopes and sticky note pads for jotting things down. The small cake stand holds some ribbon and a few clips.
An old wire basket (originally meant for eggs I think) now serves as a wastepaper basket. Every piece of paper ends up in the recycling bin, so nothing is really thrown away.
There you have it. My home office in a closet. As you can see it is an organized home office, but it's probably not what you might have expected. I love the idea of an office inside a closet, because it is a clever way to use up a space and an appealing manner in which to hide one's work when company is visiting.
It's also a good way to keep my ever inquisitive cats away from the printer (they'd chew up the power cord if they could) and the computer. As much as I love my furry felines, the last thing I need is to have them walk all over this equipment.
When I'm done with my work, the doors get closed up. No one would ever know that this space was a home office.
As you can see, a home office doesn't need to occupy a lot of room. If you happen to have a closet in your home which isn't frequently used, turn it into a home office and free up a room for another purpose. Although I have several bedrooms which can serve as an office, I much prefer to have mine in an area I'm frequently in. The mudroom in our annex is next to the kitchen and as you know, I spend an inordinate amount of time there. Moving from the home office to the kitchen requires a few steps for me. I prefer this to having go up or down a flight of stairs.
If your home office is in need of some organization or a new location, I hope this post prompts you to look at different options. Let me know what you think.