Monday, July 11, 2011

The Dreaded Study

For about the last 12 months--well, perhaps only since October--I have been trying to reorganize my extra bedroom-cum-study for serious work. I need a place to write as well as a place to read and take notes for my scholarly research and my teaching.

In the Old Apartment, I had simply turned that space into a very cluttered storage space where old papers, magazine clippings, and unused electronics predominated. Ugh. With the New Apartment, I got another chance; not only is this room larger, but it has two windows that overlook green spaces, with colorful crepe myrtle trees outside (I do miss the magnificent magnolia, however). Better light, morning sun.

My move was the excuse I wanted to transition from Clutter Hell to Comfortable Working Space... and now I am on it.

Functions this room will fulfill:
  • writing/internet/laptop work + printing/scanning/copying
  • reading/researching/taking notes
  • indoor exercise (yoga and Gazelle)
  • storage of work/financial/health records and creative activity
  • clothing/closet storage
  • Jack's favorite nesting place every morning
Initial moves/completed:
  1. I junked the old, cheap 1/2 bookcases where I stored magazine files, course notebooks, and other "stuff" like office supplies.
  2. I bought two IKEA Lerberg bookshelves that will look better and hold slightly less, thereby forcing me to declutter and focus. (See box on floor for the second one, which has to be put together)
  3. I went through and shredded/tossed half of the paperwork I had onhand in Office Depot bins, things I had been "saving" for future use or reference; in living in that old space for 5 years, no one "referenced" the stuff, especially me!
  4. I donated empty bins to Goodwill, filled with other discards, including unused/over-bought office supplies (I look forward to 2-3 more bins going the same way).
  5. I moved my desk from the window to face a blank wall, where I will hang a bulletin board (this week) for reminders, images, and information tags.
  6. I bought an energy-saving power strip with a remote turn-off and always-on/remote-on sockets.
Overall mess--see box? Second bookshelf-to-be

New IKEA shelves


Sitting/reading/research space
This week/in process:
  1. I'll put together the remaining bookshelf and arrange what I need on both of them, using only that limited space.
  2. I'll re-organize the remaining four bins in larger categories holding more stuff (which will include files in bins still in my dining room).
  3. I'll shred the rest.
  4. I'll buy a hand scanner at Office Depot (or failing that, Amazon) so that I can begin the process of scanning anything remaining that can go on disk for "future reference": one disk, stored alongside other disks, beats two bins, right?
  5. I shifted my wicker chair/loveseat to the window, where I get better light (hence two succulents!) and a really delightful space for reading and taking notes (picture below--see the blue lapdesk?) -- now to utilize it! A lovely thought for afternoon work.
  6. I'll fix my desktop so it is not cluttered and my pens, clips, and post-it notes are close to hand... need them every day (I am an office products junkie!).
  7. I'll vacuum and whisk the pethair off the seat cushion so it is clean before putting it in place.
  8. I'll elminate the middle-of-the-floor pile, finding a new home for everything, even if that home is the trashcan.

Messy floor

Messy bins

Messy desk
My planned outcome: to make this office a peaceful, stress-free place conducive to writing, research, and simply enjoying a good book away from the TV. Maybe even a place to bring a friend for a chat over tea? There's a nice thought!

Tomorrow: my progress, plus some photos of home offices I love.

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