Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Starting the year off right...my office organization


I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. But, I like to start any new year thinking about goals and wishes for me and my family. As a freelance writer who works from home, one goal that's always at the top of my list is an organized office space.

In that regard, I am starting the new year off right, since I recently (finally!) completed my office organization quest. On the road to home organization, I have stumbled and fallen many times.


Organized for me may not look like organized for you. I could never be described as a minimalist. I love to look at minimalist-style homes in glossy magazines, but the fact is that I really like STUFF. Books, magazines, knick-knacks, photo frames, sculptures - these things make our home a home to me.


So, for my home office, I have tried to control the clutter as much as possible, boxing things up and adding side tables for storage. But, I decided that I am comfortable leaving many things on display. My tripod for example. I think it makes a bit of a nice sculptural piece. I smile every time I look at that little framed self-portrait my son did when he was a wee guy. Love the giant eyes. My lovely friend who passed away four years ago made the gorgeous woodcut print on the wall.


I fill my bookshelves with books, family mementos and pictures. There's a story behind so many of the items.



Sandwiched between a Women Artists book and the (dusty) journals of Kurt Cobain is a Seventeen magazine issue from March 1989. The prom dress I wore to my high school grad is featured in that issue. Mom drove me across the border to the U.S. to get it.


Next to my couch is my inspiration board, where I pin up ideas for books to read and ways to decorate.


Next to my desk is another inspiration board - this time for clothes and personal goals.



Here's where my writing takes place. I like to face the window so I don't feel so alone all day. The printer (over on the left) is on an old table from my parents' house. The chairs and the lamp all come from Homesense. The desk is an antique table that was my grandmother's.



I keep this photo of myself when I was about 17 on my desk. It reminds me to think about the person I was and the goals and dreams I had then. There's a picture of my Mom as a child too, and a (beautiful) friend of my grandmother's on the right.


This is a space where I can include girly things, like a portrait of Audrey Hepburn.


I found this little wine storage table at a liquidation store. I decided to use it for extra storage in my office space.


Me and my little girl went nuts with the label maker one day.


I am addicted to books and magazines. I have resigned myself to the fact that we will always have piles around. I kind of think they're pretty. The chocolaterie box holds my receipts.


I bought this rustic storage unit to house files and office items like a stapler, a three-hole punch and my external hard drives.


Of course, I have photos of the kids around, as well as some little animal friends.

I'm participating in the office organization challenge over at A Bowl Full of Lemons. Head on over and vote for your favourite office overhaul from Friday to Sunday.


A Bowl Full of Lemons

47 comments:

  1. Oh wow that's a beautiful office. This has inspired me to clean up and organize my work office :)

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    1. Thanks! That's so nice. I hope you get it done in good time (unlike me). ;)

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  2. that's really lovely :) Only yesterday I was chatting with my brother and sister, saying how as much as I like the idea of minimalism I could never do it because I just like stuff too much. So much so that I've had to re-think the layout for the kitchen we'll hopefully renovate this year, to include shelving to display Stuff :P

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    1. Thank you so much! It would probably be easier to clean minimalist rooms, but I just can't do it!

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  3. Looks gorgeous!! I'm not a minimalist either {as you may have noticed}-- but I love the way you've organized what you have!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I think we are on the same page when it comes to decorating. :)

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  4. Your office looks like a lovely place to work Jo. So many fun little details. Nick and I share an office and that is one room that could really use a makeover!

    Happy new year to you my friend.

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    1. Wow, that makes it extra challenging, having to share with someone else. My husband uses the computer, but when it comes to work, he mostly marks papers at the kitchen table.

      Happy New Year to you too! I hope to read many more posts from you this year. :)

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  5. I have a few days off starting tomorrow so I am going to so a lot or organization as well :)

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    1. I pretty much work on it every day. But, while I organize, the kids tear down. It's a losing battle really. ;)

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  6. That's a cute story about your prom dress!! You could do a prom dress post!!

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    1. I could...maybe. We'll see how embarrassing the photos are. ;) Nice idea though, Jill. :)

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  7. I love how you arranged things, and how you surrounded yourself with meaningful things! Would love to see that prom dress!

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    1. Oh, boy. Now that two of you mentioned it, I just might have to show it. ;)

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  8. I love it! And I have some serious office envy, we have a make-shift studio/ guest room/ catch everything we can't deal with space... it's a wreck and sooner than later will need to be switched to the kid's room anyway... sigh. I'd love that bright and organized space!

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    1. Thanks Lilly. We have a pit full of junk commonly known as the basement. That's where most stuff ends up, much to my husband's dismay. :)

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  9. Oh my goodness Jo, this is one of the most inspiring blog posts I have ever read. This is also such a great blog post to start off the new year with.

    Your office organization looks fabulous! I love it. I also love books and magazines and both will always be a part of my life. Having your desk facing the window is perfect. I love that you use an antique table as your desk instead of a computer desk table. I have not had a desktop computer in almost ten years, but I am about to purchase one of those all in one desktop PC's. I was thinking that I prefer a regular table and not a computer table to put it on.

    I love that you work from home as a freelance writer. I was thinking about getting into something like that as well, at least part time. I am exploring my options. I prefer to work from home. At least until I get the church building that I have in mind to turn into a spiritual center.

    Thank you so much for the inspiration.

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    1. Thank you! That is really nice!

      I am the opposite - I have a desktop computer but I want to also get a laptop. Sometimes I get tired of sitting at the desk.

      It's good to start off freelance writing part-time to see how it goes. It can take some time to build clients. Your spiritual center sounds like a cool idea too!

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  10. i am jealous of your living space AND all of that natural light that seems to pour into it!
    happy new year !

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    1. Sometimes the light is too much - right in my face! ;)

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  11. My goodness! I love all of the girly touches. And the books! So cozy. And that copy of "17"!!! So cool that you kept it. But I love best that you write with a window in front of you.

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    1. Thanks. This is the place for girly touches, because I tell the fam that it's "mommy's room." It doesn't always work, but I keep up the messaging. ;)

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  12. Very tidy, even with all the stuff. I have a major clean out project ahead of me, and I'm dreading it!

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    1. Oh, I know. Organizing is so overwhelming!

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  13. Your office space is -amazing-!!! And that photo of you looks just like Meryl Streep when she was young (such a beauty!)

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    1. You are so kind Wendy. I wish you lived next door! ;)

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  14. Hello! Thank you for becoming my newest member over at my blog ... you've made it a 'baker's dozen'! You have a beautiful space to call your own, and you've done a marvelous job decorating it. I too think it's important to have special objects around us reminding us of loved ones, places visited and good memories. Perfect for a creative space! Wendy

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    1. Thanks for following back. I really appreciate it. You are so right...a creative space definitely calls for things we love surrounding us! :)

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  15. this is a great space! Your personal touches make it really lovely. Thanks for sharing it with us

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    1. Thank you so much for your nice comment.

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  16. Oh my! I love your office! I would give my left arm to have an office like yours...I only have a little nook! I love your bookshelf with the books, magazines and knick knacks! I just love how you have put the whole room together! Beautiful & perfect! You should be so proud of you space Jo! Angie xo

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    1. Thanks so much Angie! That means a lot coming from a professional organizer like yourself! I really do like the space. Technically it's our living room, but we use the family room and the basement so we don't need this room for the family. Lucky me. ;)

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  17. They are functional and comfy at the same time! That's the best about an amazing working space, isn't it?

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    1. For sure! We have to get inspiration somewhere, right? :)

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  18. Your office got my vote in the org challenge!

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    1. Thank you so much! That's so kind. I really appreciate it. Joann

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  19. You are a total inspiration. I was just catching up on reading blogs, and I was totally all-struck by your office. It is what I need to do in my clutter fest. Oh my gosh, I want to clean and organize after looking at your view! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful space. I am so happy I took the time to catch up on your blog today. god Bless you Jo!

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    1. I know what you mean...I have to take some time and catch up on my favourite blogs too, including yours! It's hard to fit everything in. I'm glad you enjoyed looking at the office space. Organizing is an ongoing challenge, isn't it? :)

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  20. I am so jealous of your office, it looks amazing!

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    1. Aw, thanks! I am enjoying it for the moment...although the mess is creeping in again. ;)

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  21. What a great way to start the year right! Best of luck and do update your readers on the result of that home office organisation challenge. You're doing it right and bet you'll garner a lot of votes. :)

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  22. What a good way to start the year! :) That office will certainly give you a productive 2013.

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  23. Your office space looks amazing! I am no minimalist myself because I like A LOT of things. Just like you, I find inspiration to work on things that have meaning to me. I love my piles of books and magazines. I like seeing pictures and items that bring back so many memories. I love re-reading phrases that have that impact on me so I post them on my board. I like cute colorful things, plants, and flowers. Those are just some of it. But it’s a good thing that we both are able to keep all these stuff organized and have a clean office space that we’d love to actually work on.

    Rosalee Scher

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    1. Sounds like we are kindred spirits. I love all that stuff too...except I don't have plants and flowers because I would let them die. ;)

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  24. The best way to feel relaxed in your home office is for it to be clutter-free. Well, with all your files and office supplies, plus the pressure of beating deadlines, it's difficult to remain orderly sometimes. So, when you find the time to organize your office stuff, do so. It will give you an overwhelming feeling you'd definitely enjoy.

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