My office was a mess until recently. I’ve had a dedicated office space since purchasing this house over 3 years ago. Actually, it’s a converted pantry but it works. In the beginning it was filled with mid-century furniture. See, I blogged about it. Not mid-century style but actually mid-century furniture. I bought the armoire (originally brown) while in Ohio and the desk came from Craigslist while in Alabama. I brought it specifically for the office. It was a horrible mustard color. It also came with a chair. But see, the way I’m set up from the waist down, that chair just wasn’t enough, so I replaced it right away. I painted both pieces a bright white so that they matched and changed the drawer pulls. Now, fast forward to earlier this year. So my office was put together. It was lacking but cute. I live in a neighborhood where we just like to give stuff away. A couple was moving and wanted to get rid of office furniture and I jumped at the chance. I had no idea if it would fit but I took it anyway. It sat in the garage for a while because it needed to be primed and painted. It’s original color just wouldn’t do. It was a light brown color. Again, I painted it bright white. Once the furniture was complete, I moved it into the office. Boy, was that a task. We actually had to take the top off to get it in there. Remember, that space is only 9x8. And again, that’s all I did. I just moved the furniture in. I hadn’t put anything away. I had not decorated…until recently. Files, products, and supplies were everywhere. Prior to my job change, I used my office as a quiet space. I graded papers. I blogged. I did a little lettering, journaling, and papercutting. Now, I really needed it for work.
My goal was to improve productivity. Plus, I didn't want to work in my bedroom. I have a bad habit of unhooking my Macbook and working in bed before I go to sleep. I didn't want to do that. That meant a lot had to change. I needed to get rid of the clutter. I had to improve lighting, storage space, seating, and coloring. Painting the walls will have to wait. I know it’s hard to believe but I haven’t painted a wall (with the exception of my island) since moving in. I decided to keep the style the same, sort of a Kate Spade feel. So, you’re see florals, stripes, and dots in pink, black, white, and metallic. I took the time to organize all of my random papers so that everything had a place. I even installed two shelves for storage. My current chair wasn’t the most ergonomical, so I replaced that as well. I also purchased a ring light for future projects. Since I work from home now, my office must be conductive to great productivity- both professionally and personally. As you all know, I wear many hats. Aside from being a teacher, my current projects include my blog (and products), Femmy Faction. I am a part owner in an investment company called Legacy Leaders. I am in the process of writing a guided journal called DayBae365. And, I have the crazy idea of starting a non-profit organization with a fellow educator. I didn’t even mention my husband and kids and you know they come before all of that. So, the only way to get anything done was to eliminate as much chaos as possible.
So, what do you need to do? You need to make a list of what doesn't work. So, make a list of your problems. Then, make a list of how to fix your problems- your solutions. If you don't have enough storage, you may need to start over with your furniture or simply add shelving or storage cubes. Is it bright enough or is it too bright? A new lamp might work or a different lightbulb. Is there enough airflow? Do you stay cold/hot? All of these situations can hurt your productivity. Again, figure out the problems and start making a list of solutions.
Back to my home office-- There wasn't anything "wrong" with "first" office. It was cute, probably cuter than it is now BUT I didn't have enough storage. I didn't have a file cabinet, which I needed. Now, I have 3. I didn't have enough work space. Now, I have a large l-shaped space and a large printer stand. For me, I needed a place to keep everything. That's how my home is. I don't like a lot of stuff scattered about. I like for items to have a place. In this office, I have that. Now, when I reach for my planner, I know exact where it is. It's a great feeling. Now, have I started bringing my laptop to bed? NOPE... one thing at time. I can't change everything overnight.