Check Out My Home Office

By Janine Adams

That stressful trip to IKEA was all about purchasing storage furniture for my new adjunct home office. I had an extra room in my house, adjacent to my home office, and I decided to create a second office out of it.

In the new office, I store supplies that I take into clients’ homes. (In my original office, everything is administrative and used in the office.) In addition, I fashioned the room into a virtual showroom of sorts, where I can use photos of what I’m done there as a way to help clients. I also store my yarn and knitting-related items in the new office—the yarn storage itself is a great example for my crafty clients. In addition, I give talks on organizing your knitting supplies, so I feel comfortable storing that material there.

I wish I had a before picture, but I didn’t take one. The room was originally a dining room. We have another dining room upstairs (our house was built as a two-family house), where we dine. I’ve been using the room to store stuff that goes to clients’ homes, but I didn’t have any storage furniture, so everything was in bins and boxes on the floor. That was both inefficient and unsightly.

Before I went to IKEA, my friend, Sally, helped me paint the room. (Sally also put the furniture together for me. What would I do without her?) We painted it in Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage, to match my main home office. It’s a beautiful, peaceful color. We also painted the little hall between the two rooms, which really brought them together.

Here’s a photo of my cat, Joe, enjoying the IKEA boxes before they were unpacked, as well as the flattened seagrass baskets I bought at IKEA.

Once we put the furniture together, it was breeze to whip this room into shape. In the center of the room are the two Expedit bookcases I purchased from IKEA. I also bought 6-inch Capita legs for them, to bring the cases up to work-surface height.

Each has eight cubbies. One of the cases contains inventory of the Freedom Filer,Exit Strategies, and Time Timer products I sell, as well as “kits” of stuff I take to different types of appointments. It also has my Eyes of a Stranger needs assessment supplies. The other case (the far one in the first picture below), contains more random stuff, including a basket of organizing supplies I keep around to give to clients—stuff that other clients have passed on to me or that I’ve acquired in some other way. I also keep my catalogs there.

These cases hold supplies for clients

You an see the bank of Elfa drawers I use to store my yarn at the end of the Expedit shelves, in the little bay of the room.

In addition to the Expedit bookshelves, I also purchased an Effektiv cabinet, which has two lateral file drawers to hold empty hanging files as well as at least one pre-assembled Freedom Filer set. The frosted-glass-fronted cabinet stores my inventory of flattened canvas file boxes, a rotary paper cutter, and my knitting books, magazines and patterns.

 

Here’s another view:

I still need to replace the light fixture and move one of my cloth-covered bulletin boards (in fabric that complements the paint color) from my original home office into the adjunct one. It’ll go above the radiator.

The idea for the purchase and placement of the Expedit bookshelves came from my friend, Lara Thiel, who’s an interior designer. I know I never would have thought of it myself. And I love it!

Every day when I walk through this room to get to my office to work, I smile. There’s a place for everything. It appeals to my aesthetic sense. I’m actually enjoying putting things away. And I can’t tell you what an improvement it is over the mess it replaced. Ah, the joys of getting organized.

Janine Adams is a certified professional organizer and owner of Peace of Mind Organizing. She specializes in working with chronically disorganized client, primarily in their homes, helping them create the order they crave. She blogs regularly at her website and offers concise, downloadable Organizing Guides for purchase. With life coach Shannon Wilkinson, she also offers a 28-day e-course called Declutter Happy Hour.

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Manage Time by Managing Priorities

By Janine Adams

Time management isn’t about managing time. It’s about managing priorities. We all have the same amount of time in a day to deal with. How we use it is an indication of our priorities.

If you’re not accomplishing as much in a day as you’d like, take stock of how you’re actually spending your day. Are you at least getting the important stuff—the stuff that reflects your values and goals—done? If not, time to examine your priorities in relation to how you spend your time.

These aren’t earth-shattering revelations, I understand. But sometimes it’s important to take a step back and take stock of how things are going. Personally, I have some catching up—and some priority management—to do. (Mark Forster, whose Do It Tomorrow time-management system I’m in the process of implementing, calls it “going through the audit procedure.”)

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been so busy with clients I’ve not had as much desk time as usual, so I’m falling behind on tasks. The great satisfaction I’ve been feeling over really accomplishing what I set out to do has been starting to evaporate.

Time to hunker in, see what’s going awry, and manage my priorities. While I have a lot that I need and want to get done, I can say with all honesty that right now, taking a little time to relax is a high priority!

Janine Adams is a certified professional organizer and owner of Peace of Mind Organizing. She specializes in working with chronically disorganized client, primarily in their homes, helping them create the order they crave. She blogs regularly at her website and offers concise, downloadable Organizing Guides for purchase. With life coach Shannon Wilkinson, she also offers a 28-day e-course called Declutter Happy Hour.