As we discussed in the comments of another recent post, every freelancer has a different ideal office situation. Usually
we just have to make do with something less than desirable for a time, especially if we’re trying to play mom while also enjoying a home career.
Personally, I’ve had a long-time dream of a cozy library style office, but it didn’t seem to be coming to fruition very quickly thanks to first space, then budget and finally time constraints. For more than six years I worked on a folding table stuck wherever I could find space.
Recently I started working on my real office, office however, and I’m pleased to say the project has progressed quickly and I can finally announce that….
I have a complete office, and I love it!
What makes the office so special? Many things. But most importantly, it’s a reflection of all that I do and am in the course of a day, week or year.
Of course, the most important element in my new office is a desk. My new desk is part of a wall of built-ins I finished up a couple of weeks ago. The desk is down on the end and it’s only about three and a half feet wide.
I’ve lost almost three feet of space from my six foot table, but that’s okay because I’ve gained it back in the other eight feet of counter top to my left on the built-ins. The desk holds my monitors and keyboard. There’s space for my pens and gum and mouse. Everything else I need has its home elsewhere in the room. The simplicity of the workspace is outstanding.
The largest portion of this room is the new built-in. The long counter top holds the printer and has plenty of space to spread paperwork out as necessary as I sort things. I can wrap presents on it or stack magazines on it. I can sort files or invoices on it. And it’s pretty stained wood!
Under the counter top is eight feet of cabinet and drawer space. Overnight I gained more room than a walk-in closet when it comes to storing files and my stuff I use for various home projects. My tape measure sits next to my scrapbooking paper and my utility knife.
Suddenly all of the office supplies, markers, laptop accessories, CDs and file boxes have a home where they are hidden away. They are no longer stacked in a closet somewhere. Best of all, since it’s all mine, I can find what I need without having to dig past Christmas decorations or fish water (another story for another time.)
Above the cabinets are my bookshelves. I have an entire wall of shelving dedicated to my books. Some are professional, some are grown-up books I read for fun, and many are my young adult and kid books collected for my alter identities of mom and teacher. It’s these shelves that create the “library” feel to the office.
In the center of the library/office, I have a pedestal table and four chairs. As I’ve described previously I use this table for helping two little boys with homework. After all, this is a rather critical function of mom’s workspace. The table can also double as a dining room table if I want it to or additional space for filing and sorting out dozens of Christmas presents.
The Pretty Things
Finally, the best parts of my office are the parts that make it totally unique and mine. In one corner is my giant wingback chair. My grandmother’s antique coffee table makes a terrific end table, and
after only a month, the table is stacked with books I’m working through. The secretary in the other corner is antique as well and holds special things that simply don’t have a home anywhere else in the house – collectibles, special files in the locked drawer, stationary.
Most of all, the completed office gives me a tremendous amount of satisfaction. I finally, after six years, feel like I’m working on my own career in my own space. Having a special place that reflects what you’re about makes it more desirable to come to work, especially if you’re tacking on three hours to a day that’s already very full. Often I just look around and smile at the things around me.
Does this make me a better writer? Eh, who knows. One thing I do know is that having an ideal office and working space makes me a very satisfied writer. I’m finally content to know that my office matches my career – unique, customized and totally situated to this freelancing mama lifestyle I live.
I hope everyone is able to enjoy their workspace as much as I’m enjoying mine.
How close are you to your ideal workspace?