Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Re-organizing my work space

While I do a good job of keeping the rest of my house neat and tidy... my office is another story! But, I'm working on that. I have lots and lots and lots of paperwork. Here we go - see my desk? I don't like "office" desks - instead I prefer a cheap-o table and set of drawers combined with the smallest, cheapest computer work station. My 1st desk was actually an old door balanced on file cabinets. Worked fine. I also do not like office chairs - I like my 2 straight back chairs (just ignore the fact that the seats need to be recovered, ok?). I was just in the middle of a BIG sort when I took this photo - right before I decided to re-organize my office. So, yeah - the table is crowded, extra stuff to sort is on the floor, the file cabinet is open... I have 2 computers because I use both of them - really need to get the stuff moved from one over to the other because right now I have to switch the wires back and forth. I know, I know - you techies are rolling your eyes. But figuring out these things takes time and I don't always have time. So, I switch. Back and forth. Which surely does not take any time at all.


Over along the wall I have/HAD this great row of cabinets. There is an empty tub - ready for a big sort in the corner of the photo. Can't start any big sort without empty tubs, you know? Several. Actually, the cabinets are pretty empty too. I like to SEE my stuff, which means I tend to use my surface areas more than my storage areas. Except I don't really like to SEE all my stuff, that is just my system and it can be a bit overwhelming so I am really working hard on creating files for everything and filing instead of piling. Now the pilers amonst us probably take pride in the fact that they KNOW where everything is and in what pile. That is me. That's my system too and it works great... for me. But what if something every happens to me? Think anyone else could ever make sense of my system for organization? Doubtful, very doubtful. So, I've been working on filing. And I am actually seeing progress. And I am actually looking forward to the day when I step into my office and am greeted by a nice, clean, CLEAR work surface. Not sure what is going on here but my ways of thinking have been changing alot lately!


So you can see, I have a nice, bright, sunny office. Yeah, but THAT is a big part of the problem. SUNNY!!! Constant glare. Gives me a headache. Ah, yeah - maybe the paperwork contributes to the headache, but it really isn't that bad if I can keep on a schedule. But it is hard to come up with a schedule between all the other things I need to do and the SUN, not to be confused with my SON.


Add said son to the office mix and things can get hectic - especially if I am trying to wrap something up and all of a sudden he is interested in the shredder (which is kept unplugged at all times, but... well you probably get what I am trying to say here). Before he was born I used to rent office space, but that was a different business, a different country, but still - it was nice to have a seperate office. I went to work, was focused, left work and was done. Ah, but working from home is different - you grab bits of time here and there and your personal stuff tends to blend/meld with your business stuff. It is a bit of a juggling act, but it is handy to have the office at home.

Then again, all of a sudden I am trying to do paperwork AND supervise/entertain my son. Now, that is a challenge!!! I've tried the little desk for him in his own area. Does not work out really well - before I know it he has my highlighters, the tape, the stapler, whatever. And if he is making a BIG mess then I have a very hard time concentrating on my own work - oh gee - what is he cutting up? Have I mentioned that he is pretty good with scissors? It works sometimes, but not all the time - like the times I need it to work! All this leaves me the option of getting up super early to do paperwork or... late at night. Neither of those options are ideal. I consider early morning "MY" time and late at night - sorry, but my brain just won't work. But - I do have some time during the day when I could be very productive at my desk - except - that would be when the sun is shining right across all my work areas. That is when I tend to just open the door and throw things on the desk. Oh so not good when there are deadlines and other important stuff in those envelopes. Which means I am giving up "my" early morning time or working late! Obviously something needed to be done.
So, I started out this week by emptying what was in those cabinets, purging, re-organizing - and MOVING them over to the other side of my desk - or at least 2 of them got moved there. The other went somewhere else.

And here is what I came up with - feeling fairly smug with myself - got my computer desk moved away from the window and into the back corner. Oh, except for 2 little tiny problems - the afternoon SUN hits that corner - I had never noticed before. That is, not until I moved my computer. No good. And see - I have 2 printers - 1 is a printer/copier/fax and the other 1 is an older color laserjet and they don't make the plug anymore and the cord/plug I have is not long enough for this configuration. Sigh. Besides the fact that my filing cabinet isn't really convenient. And I would have to move my chair back and forth. Still, my table is looking lots better - only have the stuff that needs to be tended to by weeks end on top. Oh and look there on the back side of those 2 cabinets (which are STILL almost empty) - I was able to create an additional work area - still thinking if I am going to keep that there or not, but for now it can stay for a bit. That little cabinet of drawers is empty. The totes are 1/2 empty, but each holds different things... Little Boy has been fairly happy here coloring and stuff...

DH to the rescue! Me snapping the tape measure and him begging me to just put it away and trust him... I can not visualize anything - I like to move it here, move it there -try it over there. DH does not work that way. He sees something in his mind and then goes to it. We had to move my computer station to a different corner - where the sun won't hit it. My BIG printer is located at the end of the table - so the cables reach. Lamp all plugged in. 10-key in place. Phone now fits on my desk (wow!). Scanner is on the table. Label maker fits on the bottom shelf of the computer desk. Computer hooked up. Can you see that DH has already secured all the wires along the wall!!! Unfortunately the BIG heavy printer is in the middle of the floor and we try to keep the weight to the sides. I use that printer all the time so it is needed. I just wish it were about 1/2 that size. And 1/2 the weight because now I am wondering about that much weight in the middle of the floor. Because I worry about stuff like that. Only because the floor already slopes a bit. But truthfully, it is very, very doubtful that it will bring the floor crashing down so I should stop fretting about it.


My office is looking better, more functional and actually gives me alot more floor space (beside the fact that I moved 1 of those cabinets out of the room altogether). This is acutally 1/2 of my office room - the other 1/2 I try not to use for work... except right now everything is co-mingled as I get this all sorted out. Fingers crossed that this new arrangement will help me be more productive and I will be able to get things that need to be getting done - done. I actually got some things done today that needed tending to... without the sun in my eyes. Oh, it is so nice to do paperwork without squinting. Everything is still in progress, but I will post photos as I go along.


NOT sure when that will be because tomorrow is going to be a very busy day with the food 'biz seeing that it is Valentine's Day and all and then look who all of a sudden came down with a fever of over 104 today... ALL work came to a sudden stand still because a sick boy wants 100% of Momma's attention. But I did manage to knit about 8 rows on my scarf while sitting on the couch with him. As difficult as it can be some days, I am really thankful that I have a fairly flexible schedule... this little someone will NOT be going to pre-school tomorrow (he only goes 3X a week for 2.5 hours anyway, but that is usually my BIG chance to get things done!). And me, well I am going to set the alarm for every few hours so I can keep checking his temperature although thankfully it does go down with a dose of children's tylenol...and that dose will wear off sometime in the middle of the night, so I will wake up and check. Still - if he isn't better by morning - add a doctor's visit to our list of things to do tomorrow.



Susan said...

What a big difference in your desk! I try to work it all out on paper, and then I wind up moving things here, moving things there, like you do. I just can't see it otherwise.

I hope Little Boy is better by tomorrow.

Laurie said...

Well, this post wore me out just READING it! Your clean space looks great.

I hope Little Boy feels better tomorrow!

Gail said...

Sending wishes for Little Boy to be totally better by morning.

Darcie said...

Poor sweet Little Boy! Hope today is better for him. Happy Valentine's wishes to him from North Dakota, USA!

loulee1 said...

I'm all worn out after that!
Get well soon Little boy. xx

Shelina said...

I just love your philosophy of quilts in your last post. I definitely need to take heed and save up some money for sending out quilting as well.
I've been working on clearing out paper as well. I don't think I need to reorganize space, as much as just get rid of the piles so the stuff is neater and more accessible to others. Your new space does look wonderful.
Oh and I noticed that Shakespeare in the Park on your header. I am definitely going to make one this year - I already have the fabric sorted out in piles. Just working on finishing up my current little quilt before I start. Dot challenged me to make it this year, and there are about six people that are excited about making it this year.