Clean up your workspace
July 30, 2012
For the past few months I’ve been working all over town. A friends office some days, a coffee-shop on other days, pubs, bookstores, collaborative workspaces, or anywhere with decent wifi. This has caused a little neglect with the home office. It’s easy to throw things on your desk when you aren’t using it and living out of a laptop bag.
Some things have changed recently that has me working from home more, and starting next week, I’ll be working from home full-time. During this time I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of coding on giant monitors and not a little 13” MackBook Air. Something about my office was really bothering me. I felt claustrophobic. Disorganized. Constantly annoyed.
I kept telling my wife that I needed to make a change but I wasn’t sure what. I’ve been eyeing this Travola Table desk for a while now and figured maybe now’s the time (Shhh, she doesn’t know). I really like this desk, mostly because it’s incredibly sturdy and you can write on it with dry-erase markers. I also have the exact amount of space needed for it if I got rid of my wife’s desk and moved her to my current one. It’s not cheep though so I’ve been putting it off. Low WAF if you know what I mean.
My wife and I decided instead to clean. Yeah, just clean, what a strange concept…
##Before/After pics of the office
I’m sure this is probably an average looking home office, but really there is clutter everywhere. The wires under my wife’s desk really bother me.
Hunh, so what changed?
- I got rid of all paper except my field notes and a single sticky pad. This means everything was either scanned into Evernote and shredded, or just thrown out.
- Nothing is allowed on my desk unless it’s used at least once a day (Exception is the Mac Classic, and the Windows Home Media Center. I haven’t found a place to stick those). Even the MacBook Pro is gone. All that remains is my desktop machine, a Blue Yetti microphone, an AirPort Extreme, an iPad, and a Bose Sound Dock.
- My wife cleaned up her desk as well. Filed things away, hide things in drawers. Very nice of her considering she’s knee-deep in planning a baby shower for her sister.
- Foot space. I think a large part of my problem was a box of books that was at my feet. I moved that to the garage and instantly felt a sense of openness when I sit down (sorry, the original pic doesn’t show the box under my desk).
#I’m not done yet.
I need to find a place for the Media Center and the old mac. I also want to get rid of the junk at the top of my desk hutch. It’s a graveyard of toys that we are hiding from our kids and old gadgets I don’t use anymore. From these pictures I can see a remote control car, a soccer ball, a model rocket, a TiVo, and a Microsoft ergo keyboard 4000.
I’d like to move the printer as well because it comes out maybe twice a year for special projects (a.k.a. someone in our family is getting married or having a baby).
I still think I’m going to get a new desk that is longer and move my wife to my desk. I want the additional room for the monitors and I really want the table-top space so that I can use it as a dry-erase scratch pad.
We’ll see how I feel next week when I start working from home full time again. Just sitting in my desk tonight while I write this has felt great without the clutter.
I’m obsessed with home workspaces. I really enjoy LifeHackers’s featured workspace series. The amazing home offices always put mine to shame. Do you have an interesting home office? Send me a link and I’ll show it here.