This room took quite a bit more work, thought and wine than the living room….
If you saw my post about my home refresh you’ll know I’m anxious to get started on our house transformation. Here’s the mood board:
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First and foremost, our home isn’t quite functioning the way we need it to. It’s already a small house and with two adults and 6 furbabies, the little space we have fills up fast. Seeing as I’m working from home we needed a space that allows me to do that. Also, this is the first room guests see when they walk in from the sunporch AND we walk through and see this room from the living room so it’d be nice if it looked decent.🤷🏻
So here’s what we need for this room:
- An inspiring place for me to work (write, edit content, record video, etc.)
- Storage for office supplies and books that is off the floor aka lots of shelving
- Mail center conducive to our paperless home (post to come on how I made the transition)
- Space for the animals to lounge
- Ability to open the windows (I know this sounds crazy, but in a small home it’s easy to push everything up against the walls which makes it super difficult to open double pane windows)
- A place for our bags/my purse. We have a dog that gets into everything so it needs to be off the floor
What we want for this room:
- Reading nook and/or spot to entertain
- Plants! …that the animals can’t get into
- A new desk that is lighter in color and more functional for its size
- An enclosed litter box for the cats
What we need to keep in mind:
- We have six furbabies so the furnishings need to be easy to clean
- This is the first room people walk into our house from the sunporch/entry so even though it’s our office, it needs to feel welcoming. Not to mention, it becomes a catch-all as well
- This side of the house is very close to our neighbors so window treatments need to be easily accessible for privacy
- This room accesses the sunporch which would be nice for the cats to be able to go back and forth through.
This room took quite a bit more work, thought and wine than the living room…. Not to mention I had lots of things that didn’t have a place (as you can see 🤦🏻) and others that ended up here from the living room cleanout. The most time consuming: PAPER 😣I had so much paperwork that I held onto unnecessarily from other jobs, product manuals, bills, memorabilia and the list goes on.
However, I went from this:
Is it pretty? No, and while I was tempted to start all of the fun projects like furniture makeovers, painting and decorating 😍 I had to stay focused. Just as with the living room, my first goal is to focus strictly on cleaning out the house and creating a space that is conducive to meeting our needs and a minimalist lifestyle.
I ended up having 6 go-to bags for this room:
- Recycle – paper
- Recycle – plastic
- Recycle – electronics/cords (I’m still working on finding a place to recycle these… any and all suggestions welcome!)
While going through my papers I have 3 piles specific for that:
- Recycle (same as listed above)
This is the result: 😱
A whole lot of piles and a whole lot of mess. The last photo of the black box is full of our “scan” papers. I couldn’t believe how many of these just ended up in the shred pile after so many months of sitting there. I was appalled at how much crap I was hanging onto that I thought “maybe I’d need in the future.” What a waste of time, space, and stress. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’d move all these papers back and forth, from room to room, with the intention of filing them or reorganizing them so that they were more “findable”.. when in reality if Hubby asked where something was I had no idea.
If you haven’t switched to a paperless home yet, I can’t recommend it enough. The transition to paperless billing is happening anyway so why not invest in something now that saves your most valuable asset, TIME? I’ll admit I was intimidated in the beginning to do it myself but came across Donny Lawson’s eBook “The Paperless Home” and it was a serious game changer. I went from a completely messy, cluttered life to an organized, paper-free bliss. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s true. That is by far what held us back from having a clean, productive space. Not to mention there is a serious weight lifted off your shoulders of things from the past. I had been holding onto so many pieces of paper as if I were still living a life from before: resources for old careers, recipes that I can find on Pinterest and product manuals. It’s crazy to hold onto all those things when the reality is that if I needed something, I’d Google it… or Pinterest it 😁…
I’m trying to focus on the now, starting with ridding myself of all those old items that bit by bit spark just a little bit of anxiety but together add up to triggering a depressive state. This change has seriously given me more power to move forward and focus on living the life I want right now which is simpler, sustainable and intentional.
Word of advice: I started the paperless process about a year and a half ago and loved the concept but didn’t take some of the most important advice given in the book which was to start the process where you are now and then over time scan in past documents. I got the scanner, scanned in a good chunk of documents and then just filed anything current into the “scan” file. This, of course, will leave you with what feels like a hundred piles of “to do” that looks like this:
Overall, this was about a 3 day process. The first day was all about tackling the big projects: cords, putting papers into piles and organizing office supplies. This is where the Marie Kono method came in (if you aren’t familiar, you should check out her book). Even if there were things that we may use in the future and in good shape, a lot of it needed to go because 1. You only need so many folders, dividers, and notebooks and 2. We have a small house with no storage.
The Paperless Home allowed me to cut down on the storage space required in the room which ultimately made our requirement of a “mail center” come to fruition. We have a shred, scan and file folder that is easily accessible and maintainable. I also eliminated a good chunk of our file folders so that the extra could just fit comfortably in the desk drawer.
**Quick tip: if you have a ton of extra office supplies, contact your local non-profits to see if they need them before recycling them!
All of our daily office supplies are easily accessible now that there was more space available. Before we moved them around though I did take the time to lay every. single. thing. out on the floor in piles to see what we have. This is part of the Marie Kono method of putting everything in the same category into a single spot so that you can see what you have and eliminate the excess.
On day 2 I was able to bring in this storage bench which ended up collecting my “to do” piles for day 3. You can imagine my excitement when I thought we could feed one of our cats here instead of on the desk 😒 but that hasn’t happened so I’m not sure yet if this will stay. But for now, it is serving as storage and a place where my purse can go so old man Otis can’t strip it of all it’s contents, so it stays.
So at the end of it all the room was cut down to things that are staying and serving a purpose (even temporarily), and though it’s not pretty or ready for Home and Garden Magazine, it’s in transition to be not only a functional space but minimal and beautiful too!
P.S. Let me know what your biggest challenges are in the comments below; ones that you’ve faced in the past or ones that are holding you back from creating the home of your dreams! Also, if you’re feeling inspired, please share on Pinterest so you can reference back!
Head over here to see how I transformed our tiny living room!