Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A place to work

I've been making a lot of changes in general, but one of the biggest things I've been doing over the last few months is making the business side of what I do more formal, organized, and stable.

This all really started with the fact that I'm working on a very long-term, very expensive film project. Which complicated my taxes, and my entire financial situation. But it got me started down a lot of really good roads in general, which includes finally setting up my home office.

Or at least, getting started on it. It's probably not QUITE there yet.

I've been meaning to set up an office/work space since we bought our place five years ago. Since the master bedroom is actually our guest room and "library," the large walk in closet is really ideal for it.

Unfortunately in the five years since we moved here, that closet became the natural dumping ground for "stuff that has no other home." I would occasionally pull things out of there to go through them or find a new place, but then we would have somebody come and visit and I'd have to push it all back in so nobody would see the cluttered mess.

Finally, last month, I reached a breaking point with it. I realized I would never actually get everything sorted if I was going that slowly with it. So my best friend came over and we hauled everything out of it. Every piece of paper, every random box and stack of books. It all went into the middle of the guest room floor, which also wasn't ideal but at least let me gauge what I had.

It was amazing how quickly everything fell into place from there. Once I declared that the office could only house objects that had to do with my film and writing work, it was easy to see what needed to find a place and what didn't. Once that option was off the table, I got more creative with where other things could be stored and quite frankly, I just got rid of a bunch of it. Five years in a closet? Obviously I don't need it.

A lot of what guides me on this quest to get rid of the clutter is many years of reading Unclutterer. There are very few blogs I've found so helpful when it comes to just getting you to understand your own relationship to your stuff. There's also enough humor and a kind-hearted nature to the site that makes it easier to take the hard lessons they're sometimes teaching.
The room isn't quite where I want it, but now I'm starting to have a much better plan of where I do want it.

A lot of the pieces were already there - my desk is a vintage kitchen table that I bought years ago. I had already hung up a bulletin board years ago. My writing and film books were already organized, just on a different shelf so it was easy to bring them in.

But now I'm filling in those gaps. Like a lot of people, I'm using Pinterest to organize what I might want to purchase and use. I've been visiting a few sites that sell my favorite styles of office supplies for ideas, like See Jane Work and ThinkGeek. I can pin the different items I like on each site, and then see what I've found and what I like.

Of course the biggest thing is going to be what we're doing this weekend: covering the entire back wall in white board paint. It will turn the entire surface into a big dry-erase board, letting me scribble whatever strikes my fancy in any configuration I like. With it being the back wall, it also won't take up any space. Which is nice since the space is already pretty limited. That's the goal for this weekend, and then I'll only need a couple of small touches to make it a fully functional office. After that, it's just making everything work better than it does, or more stylish.

Anybody have any suggestions for me on sites I just have to check out? Stores that sell really awesome and cute supplies?