First, the office as it was during last year's Home Cure. The desk was nice, and I managed to organize all my college papers. But... Daniel's computer tower didn't fit in the space where it was supposed to go, we couldn't work at the same time, we were missing an office chair and other organizational details that didn't make it really functional or practical, and something about the corner desk ironically took up too much space.
Then, the office as it was right after my brother helped design it and set it up after Christmas. I love the idea he had for two work spaces, and the inspiration we got to separate them by a set of drawers finished it nicely. Even though it takes up an entire wall, it's still an excellent use of space and surprisingly not in the way of the rest of the room. Somehow there was still something missing. Things weren't quite organized and only I occasionally worked here, but the work was often forced as things just weren't finished.
Finally, the office as it is now. I've still got some organization ideas for Daniel's workspace, and we have a couple bulletin boards that I'm still deciding where to put. But I'm really liking how things are set up. We both use the space frequently which tells me something must finally be working with it.
I simply love my workspace. Everything I need is within reach (though I don't need much) and it's easy to keep tidy. I also like having my sewing stuff in easy access. I'm sure it wouldn't be used much if the process for retrieving and stowing was a hassle. I have fabric and supplies organized in this wheeled cart and on a shelf, and I love being able to scoot the sewing machine back between uses. It doesn't take any room away from me using the laptop.
I've come to like having a little inspiration at eye level rather than a bulletin board full of lists and reminders to distract me.
I tried not having a "stuff collector" on my desk. At first I thought I liked it, but clutter always accumulated. This basket collects the items that might otherwise be considered clutter (pens, coasters, notebook, datebook), and so far doesn't collect much more than is needed.
"Projects" that I work on frequently (Home Cure, Veggie Meal-Maker, Sewing and a personal writing project) all have binders and are easily accessible. These labels are temporary, but I do love having everything labeled.
Cleaning out and organizing the drawers also made a huge difference. The top drawer was not functional. Small office supplies scooted around too much and random unused items were pushed to the back. Now my stationary and stamps are easily accessible without cluttering up a shelf, our small electronics are collected in the brown tote, and smaller office supplies can be found in the top of the green storage box. It only looks disorganized. The things we use most (paper clips, tape) are at the top, with lesser used and "refill" items (pens, index cards) underneath.
I came to the realization that binders do not have to be on a shelf. Putting these lesser used binders in a drawer keeps them accessible but saves some visual weight/clutter from the shelves.
Printer paper is easy to pull out from the bottom drawer, saving it from getting dusty and looking cluttered in the printer tray. I also have scrapbook paper, extra file folders and binders, and replacement ink in this drawer.
Another unspoken "rule" I happily broke was using a magazine holder for something other than magazines. One holds papers and notebooks that Daniel needs to sort through and the other holds receipts and warranty information for our larger purchases.
Even Brylee has a little section of space in the family office. She has a little table and chair that she'll sit and color or do puzzles at while Daniel and I work.
And just to make me feel really good about the progress, a look at the office last August, just a couple weeks after we moved in:
Yep, I am definitely feeling good about how our office is now... even the messy side that I hope will soon look like a nursery.