Monday, August 19, 2013

An Organized Home Office

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.  

Enjoy organizing!  

17 comments:

  1. Lovely home office, but I really wanted to say how much I love your new header photo - I wondered what the plants are as they are such a wonderful colour.

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  2. Thanks Amy!

    That happens to be purple flowering Joe-Pye weed which is native to the northeast. The bees and butterflies LOVE it. It's on the porch in front of the barn.

    David

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  3. Aha, that is why I didn't know what they are, we don't have Joe-Pye weed here in England. Beautiful though!

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  4. Oh wow, I didn't realize you lived in England! Cheers to you!

    I know, at first I had no idea what those beautiful blooms were until I began asking. The do add some color to the patio area.

    Enjoy the rest of your day!

    David

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  5. what a lovely idea David,you have inspired me to tackle some clutter & get organised this weekend!Hope its still feeling like summer in your part of the world,i can feel Autumn setting in here in scotland.

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  6. How wonderful, Alan!

    Yes, removing clutter and organizing makes such a big difference when one is working. I think you're going to find it a good mood lifter.

    As for the weather, we've had cool days of late which have made it seem like autumn is approaching. A bit early if you ask me. However, today is rather warm & humid so perhaps we're not completely through with summer.

    Cheers to you!

    David

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  7. Hey David are those jars with the metal lids Martha by Mail? I thought you had those in your kitchen filled with pantry stuff. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I like the metal boxes.

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  8. Good eye!

    The jars with the metal lids are Martha by Mail (I think I linked them to the post--double check) and I do have some in my kitchen. I can't fit them all, so these extras are here until I find a use for them.

    Those metal boxes are also MBM. They're very versatile and can go anywhere.

    David

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  9. Organizing.. it's a word that sparks so much creativity and excitement for me. I could spend hours and hours in the Container Store or browsing catalogs of organizing tools.

    I love your office in a cupboard. It's perfect. I'm so pleased to see that you're still using the metal storage tins from MBM.. I have a dozen or so that I use here for a variety of things.

    Well done, my dear man.. and again, you're quite the inspiration! I would think this post is "Martha approved" without a doubt!

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  10. This made my heart sing today, David! The OCD organizing control freak in me absolutely LOVES your perfect space. Well done!

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  11. Love it, David!! That's such the perfect, peaceful and quiet spot in your beautiful home to do your work and I especially love that it can be closed up and hidden from view when you're not hard at work!

    Thank you for inspiring me to de-clutter my own work area!

    xo

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  12. @ Kenn,

    Thank YOU dear friend for being so kind. All I can say is that the basic tennets of organizing from Martha are close to my heart.

    As for those storage tins, I can't believe they've held up so well in the past decade or so. They're among my favorite MBM products because they bring uniformity to any space. How nice that you have these too!

    If only I had a Container Store nearby!!

    David

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  13. @ Nancy,

    ....The OCD in you....we're like 2 peas in a pod! I know that you work very hard to make your living spaces organized and beautiful, so thank you for the compliment.

    Bisous,
    David

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  14. @ Janet,

    YES, decluttering is a must! I think your home is such a beautiful and perfect place to do the things I love most, so thank you for your kind words!

    You know, I think the fact that I can hide the "office" is what I love most about this particular space. :)

    xoxo,
    David

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  15. David you have told great tips for organizing office space. Your office looks so beautiful and properly organized. Actually I also have a spare room in my home which I want to use as an office room but didn't understand how to organize it. But you David helped me a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and also got tips for my home office organization.

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  16. That's great Lauren!!

    I'm so glad you were able to get a few tips from this post and that you'll be organizing your very own home office in a spare closet. It's nice being able to dedicate an out of the way area for this purpose.

    Enjoy organizing!

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  17. David this is a wonderfully delightful room. And u know how much I love colonial! It would be a delight to see some more pics of the interior of the home. I would love some ideas for my little farm house interior. Your home is so beautifully simplistic! Just as colonial homes are. Love it!

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