Then there was the "office" part of the room. We had a desk that housed stationery, cards, and paper that needed a home. It also held a lot of other random stuff that seemed to belong someplace else. There was a TV on the desk that rarely got used, so we decided to move it into our bedroom (I know, I know, tsk tsk for the TV in the bedroom thing...) and see if we would use it there.
Then I started looking around the house for other office supplies. We've had an issue finding a spot for our printer/scanner, which at this point was barely being used because of the inconvenience of digging it out of the basement. The stamps were in the kitchen junk drawer. The computer lived in the living room, which is where I typically do bills (not at the desk in the office, mind you). When I need to work on the finances, I had to run around the house gathering up things first. Then I'd run around the house putting it all back when I was done.
So all of this prompted what I'm calling the new, floating office in our living room. Here is what it looks like.
The first new addition was a bookshelf where we used to have an old upright piano. I loved looking at the piano, but no one ever played it. We need all of our space for productive purposes now, so the piano had to go. We gave it to someone that is going to use it for music therapy for their son, so even better. There are some personal items on the shelf, but about half of it is being used for things that used to be in our desk.
The other big investment was a wireless printer, and oh my gosh, I love it. We can print from the laptop or iPad anywhere in the house. It feels incredibly luxurious. It is a bit big, but it fits on the shelf just fine. And like I said, we need our space to work for us, not just be pretty; but being wireless, it does minimize the cords going every which way.
Also on the shelf is my bin of files. This is part of the M.O.M. system, but also holds four zippered bags (some are pencil cases I got at the dollar store and some are plastic bags that sheets/pillow cases came in) for the following:
- Grocery coupons
- Store/restaurant coupons, gift certificates
- Receipts that need to be processed when I sit down to do bills
- Supplies, including checkbooks, a pen, scissors, and stamps
The second big piece of the floating office is the sofa table. The right drawer hides the house's inbox and directly underneath it sits a recycling bin. Most importantly, this station is right next to the front door in the living room. It is just as easy to throw mail in these two spots as it is to throw it anywhere else. The laptop usually sits somewhere on top or underneath this table as well.
The third piece are two boxes in the front coat closet. The white one holds new checkbooks, a spindle of blank CDs, and my husband's business cards. The colorful box on top are extra greeting cards for birthdays, thank yous, so sorry that your life sucks, etc. The other things are non-office stuff.
All of these things are within about eight feet of each other in the living room, which as I mentioned, is where most of the "office" tasks happen anyway. Most of the items are portable enough that they can be carried around the house to wherever we need to work.
What do you find to be the most important part of your home office? Would you benefit from a less traditional office space?