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  1. #1
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    Crafty Home Office Ideas

    The apartment I just moved into has a "den" area which I've decided to turn into a home office. At the moment I have a 2nd hand computer worktable which I repainted (dark azul anil blue) and glazed for my eMac and a small repainted side table I bought from some local glitterati.

    So while I started the whole project with a lot of enthusiasm, I've started to get stuck in terms of figuring out the next step. I have a bunch of files (I'd eventually like to start using Quicken) which I need to get a filing cabinent for. But so far I haven't found anything that I really liked or I get caught up in thinking that I'd need to turn the filing cabinet into a huge repainting (since they're usually boring colors) or decoupage project. And I need to figure out what do with the cord clutter and finding a hutch to go with the color I repainted the desk. But part of me starts getting overwhelmed at the thought of doing all of this and wonders if I should just go drop a lot of money at Ikea or Target for the rest of the set up.

    So what did other crafty minded folks do when putting together their home offices? And is the urge to get caught up in big repainting projecst a sign that I'm procrastinating on actually organizing and better managing my financial records?

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  3. #2
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    Marty Stew had some great ideas a couple of issues ago:

    http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jh...7&page=1&site=

    I love the peg boards. There's also some good tips in the "Home Office 101" section. I don't really have an office to speak of, just an ugly old IKEA desk, so I'm not much help beyond that. All my financial documents live in a plastic tub in my closet, and they are a big disaster.

  4. #3
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    i got an idea from a friend to hang up one of those clear shoe holders or shower curtains and decorate each pouch for stuff to file or place ideas on notecards that you can get to later.

  5. #4
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    Thanks ladies! I went to Crate & Barrell today and got an idea of how to build a hutch rather than spending $45 on the one they were selling. At least until my father pointed out that not owning a saw, I'd have trouble getting the pieces of wood in the exact dimenstions. And I'm determined to get a file cabinet, maybe from the surplus department for the university I work at, and then either painting it or decoupaging it with old maps.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snufkin
    Thanks ladies! I went to Crate & Barrell today and got an idea of how to build a hutch rather than spending $45 on the one they were selling. At least until my father pointed out that not owning a saw, I'd have trouble getting the pieces of wood in the exact dimenstions. And I'm determined to get a file cabinet, maybe from the surplus department for the university I work at, and then either painting it or decoupaging it with old maps.
    I always find filing cabinets at thrift stores and even the trash! have you checked out the streets on big item garbage day?

  7. #6
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    great thread!

    i got my filing cabinet from a friend, and when my office moved a few weeks ago we got rid of several filing cabinets. i would keep a heads up in the community and ask around to see who has one.

    i think it's most important to be functional quickly than the best design ever. meaning, yes, i do think maybe you're procrastinating other stuff. but i only say that because that's exactly what i was doing. i waited about 5 months before i painted and customized my ikea organizer so i could organize my desk. it really didn't need to happen that way, and kept me living in clutter for way too long.

    for cord clutter, after i had all my cords to the right location, i unplugged everything, replugged it in the most efficient way, and then used twist ties to tie up the excess cords.

    one of my organizing tips is to never keep an "to be filed" pile. i file bank statements, credit card stuff, everything as soon as i get it. i'm especially terrible with craft stuff in this regard. if i do not, then within a month or two i have a huge pile of tear sheets from magazines, bills, etc, and then it takes even longer to sort through. but taking one piece of paper that just arrived in the mail and immediately filing it takes two seconds.

    also, take note if you have anything that can be stored openly. like i have a collection of nice vintage pens that i can leave out, my vintage pinking shears get stored in a glass jar, and i have tons of ribbons and trim that i store in a glass jar. that way, the storage is part of the decorating. real simple this month also has an article on home office organizing.

  8. #7
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    bumping this... i'd love to hear more ideas!

  9. #8
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    I've been slacking! But the one piece of progress I did make is figuring out how to increase my space without spending the time/money on a hutch - shelving units!. Obviously, they'd bust under the weight of my eMac. But it's been excellent for creating more 'organizing' space on the worktable because the printer is on top of one (and I can keep the printer paper and CD spindle underneath it) as well as the lamp (the office supply organizer goes under that). And the end table that I have next to it has a shelf on top of it as well for my two huge CD portfolios as well as the various random CDs and mix tapes I have in a basket.

    I do still need to get a filing cabinet. And you're probably right about thinking about a painting/decoupaging project as a means of procrastination! But I'm looking. My work supposedly has a surplus department somewhere downtown, so I want to see if they have any excess filing cabinets which they could sell to me.

  10. #9
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    Another quickie tip on all those cords and cables behind your computer, after you use the baggie-tie idea to clip 'em back, take a bit of masking tape, and make tab tags for each end of each cable label it "printer end" "CPU end," etc. Because you're bound to move the desk at some point, or upgrade, or do something that requires you to disconnect your cables. It's easier to read the little tabbie on the cord to set things back to rights -- especially in tight, dark spots, than to count pins in the cables and stuff.

    As far as file organization -- I like Athos's idea of just touching the paper once (more or less!)...deal with it immediately. I try to do that, but I also have lots of piles, manuals, CDs and stuff! I don't have many drawers in my office, but I'm okay with that -- once something is out of sight for me (i.e. filed) it is the same as non-exisitent to me! So I like my piles, I accept the fact that I'm a bit of a disaster. And it usually works out okay for me!

    Good luck!
    Chrissy

  11. #10
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    Bumping it back up.

    I finally managed to get ahold of a filing cabinet thanks to Ebay. It's solid steel (heavy!) and only cost me $9. But I think it's been sitting in storage for a while because it's also pretty dusty/dirty. So I'm in the middle of trying to get it sparkling clean for my records and removing any musty smells. The question after it's finally clean becomes, what to do with it? It's your standard 1970s piece of grey office furniture, so I'm thinking about painting it or decoupaging with some cool old maps I got from work. Any suggestions or projects other craftistas have used to spruce up office furniture?


 

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