You know the saying "it was hiding in plain sight"? Well, until last week, this definitely summed up my office/workspace situation. It was a disaster....the desktop was too small, all of the surface area was full of "stuff" (paperwork, folders, bills, reminders....you get the idea), and quite honestly, was stressing me out. I recently got a new desktop computer for photo editing, which is so.much.faster than the old laptop I had been using (yay!), and a second, larger monitor which is immensely helpful as well. However, there really wasn't room for all of this in my current setup, so I knew something had to change.
I began searching different types of desks and workspaces, and even asked a group of local photographers to show me their spaces in a private online group, so I could see how others had set up their office areas. The response was overwhelming! I saw so many bright, relaxing, tranquil places to work that I now knew what I wanted. Now to figure out how to make that a reality, with a slim budget and pretty much the same footprint that I had been using before. Off to IKEA I went, in search of ideas! Now I'm not sure how many of you have an IKEA close to you, but I am here to tell you - IKEA is the best!! I can spend a ridiculous amount of time in that store, just wandering around and dreaming...imagining how I could put to use all of the organizing products that they have there. :)
This is the work area that I started with. Notice all the clutter, cords clearly visible (ugh!), and how every surface is covered...not my ideal space, and definitely not pleasant (or happy) to work in.
I had an idea of the "look" I wanted - light, bright, clean, modern - but wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish my goal. I decided on two white tabletops, re-using the legs that I already had for the black desk. I picked up two more to match, and a 4-drawer cabinet (the "Klimpen") that would serve as the other "leg" of one of the tabletops. Then I moved on to the chairs. I had been using a bar stool, which I definitely don't recommend! There is no back support, and while it was convenient to be able to push it under the desk when I wasn't sitting on it, it isn't terribly comfortable (or good for posture) for long stretches. I decided on the "Millberget" black and white desk chair. It is SO comfortable, and I love how it ties the white tabletops and black computer components together!
I picked up a few more little things to help further organize my space, but then it was time to head back home and start my project! Let me tell you, it became clear very quickly that I was going to create an even BIGGER mess before it started looking better, but I was excited to see it all come together! I cleared off my existing desk, moved my piles of paperwork and clutter, and started the new assembly process. "Some assembly required" is actually "all assembly required", so just know that going in.
Here are some things that I learned in this process, which hopefully will help you should you decide to undertake your own office revamping project:
1. Since IKEA's instructions are pictures instead of words, it's important to lay out ALL the pieces and hardware before you get started.
2. Don't rush through each step. Each part of the step is important in the overall assembly.
3. Be sure to place each piece exactly as it's shown in the photo - this definitely matters.
4. I hang on to waaayyy too many papers and boxes (that might "come in handy someday"). ;)
5. If you have a little furry feline friend, she might look adorable, but really won't be super helpful with assembly (except to bat all the screws around on the floor). I know you're surprised all about this point.....haha!
Once I had everything assembled, the next task was to sort through what was staying, and what needed to go. My new cabinet with drawers is perfect for organizing all of the supplies and files I need, and there is even a drawer just for marketing and business cards! Organizing makes me happy, so this is exactly what I needed. It feels so great to have sorted, shredded, recycled, and filed away the piles of paperwork, and I mentally feel "lighter" too....visual clutter only adds to the clutter in my mind, it seems.
Here is my renovated space - so much brighter, cleaner, not to mention happier and more relaxing. What a difference these changes have made!! I can't believe how much more functional it is as well...I'm no longer stressed when I see my space, when I am working in it, or when I meet clients for a consultation. I have a few more things I'd like to add over time, but am thrilled with the final result.
Here are links to the pieces I chose from IKEA, should you be interested in checking them out yourself (this post isn't sponsored by them in any way - they are just the things that I found worked well for me!):
>> Klimpen drawer unit: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10277776/
>> Millberget desk chair: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40331705/?query=millberget+chairs#/00331707
>> Linnmon white table top: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10251347/#/60251137
>> Olov leg, adjustable: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70266671/
Thanks for stopping by to see how I created a happier space to work - I'd love to hear your plans for renovating the areas that you spend time in! Leave me a comment and let me know, and be sure to check back...I have more projects in store, and some photo sessions too. Have a great day!!