4.18.2010

How to Live Well- The Home Office



Some time ago I watched a documentary on Princess Diana where they showed her living quarters at Kensington Palace. Of course she lived in beautifully appointed rooms, but I will never forget the sight of her desk- which was kept (and still is, I believe) in the same condition- the majority of its contents untouched- after her untimely death.

The primary thing I observed about her desk was that it was completely in order. It was tidy and organized displaying only a few nice writing pens, a pad of paper, a picture of her boys and a various writing boxes.

Now if I were ever to leave the world in an untimely manner I would shudder to think what people would think of my desk. Yes, my desk (and entire home office for that matter) is my Achilles heel. While the rest of my home is relatively in order, my home office is a nightmare. So I am not really one to give advice on this subject. I can, however, tell you what I’d like to see happen:

An easy, fail proof system, whereby mail and bills are sorted, paid and filed in a timely matter (this has more to do with me and less to do with my office).

A display of only the books that interest me in that moment- books I’m currently reading or referencing (I have a tremendous amount of book clutter- so much so I’m thinking of getting a kindle).

All electronic clutter banished!
I detest electronic clutter. My husband says, “Where do you want it to go? This is the office- this is where it belongs!” I don’t really have a response to that.

An inbox on my desk with only active, relevant paperwork.

A filing system (which I have) that gets used on a weekly basis to file away all stray and important papers (which is where I go astray… it’s more on a monthly basis for me… this is one of the Sisyphean tasks I abhor).

A rule that says the home office cannot be a dumping ground for ‘stuff’. Everyone has one room in their home where they sneak miscellaneous things in. You know- bags of clothes to be donated, boxes of books to be stored, old TVs etc… trouble is I never get around to taking care of these things. These things should be placed by the front door and dealt with ASAP.

There you go. Even though my desk is actually a folding table from Costco (we have yet to properly furnish our home office) there is no excuse why it can’t look as beautiful and efficient as Princess Diana’s…

Please tell me I am not the only one who struggles with this…

One of the great merits of my home office is that it has this magnificent window (pictured above).

15 comments:

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Love your view...if you are not happy with the office make it a fun project and get some ideas and go shopping...I'll bet it just needs a touch here and there.
Maybe take on one thing at a time and before you know it you'll want to be in there 24/7

I am going to post about a challenge that I undertook several years ago, maybe it will be finished writing it by tomorrow.

the gardeners cottage said...

Well your view is fantastic so I bet the rest of the room isn't that bad. Our office is very small and my husband works at home out of it everyday so it's pretty organized. I'm with you though, I hate electronic equipment and wish I never had to look at that tangle of cords again, so I try not to! Hostess has a good idea, take is slow one step at a time and next thing you know, you'll be done.

~janet

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thanks ladies- great advice! It's baby steps with my office. Right now actually it's not so bad. It's the upkeep when things get crazy. Possibly because our office is on the third floor of our home it's easy to let things slip...

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

We built a dear little shed out the back for our office. I purchased floral 50s material vintage from the UK for the curtains. They still have to be made up. All the clutter in our house, we moved into Sparrow Chateau, and it still awaits sorting. Sigh. There is never enough time in the day! xx

Rose said...

I struggle too! I don't have a desk as such at home but at work I do and it's such a mess- I mean it's organised but it makes me like like a mad woman who collects paper- and in this world of not muh paper there is something wrong about that surely!

My dumpingr ground is my bed side table- I stuff all sorts in there!

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling my office is filled to the brim with my lovelies. Tjis is one room in the house which I have allowed to be cosy and comfy without worrying about neatness. My papers are in order and the room looks tidy and well kept, it's just it is full of items which I adore. Wishing you a week filled with blessings.

Love & hugs
Duchess

Brahm said...

You are not the only one -- same thing, always looks like a bomb exploded here, and then each week I reorganize and restart and the mail and email and books and media just all keep coming...!

Esprit de la Vie said...

Your costco table is a lot more sophisticated than my current "office". Right now I'm working from my couch or living room floor as I'm still waiting on my furniture to arrive after my move so don't be too hard on yourself! Btw, loving this series! -Karrie

The Jazzy Olive said...

Hey! Just found your blog through another that I read and I loooove it! I have a lot of issues with organization too, especially because I don't even have a desk in my tiny apartment!

Keep up the awesome work, I can't wait to have a few minutes to go back and read through some of your older posts!

Nik from Brisbane said...

I love my study, all the furniture is in a dark cherry coloured wood and my office equipment is all black and silver. I've thrown in some red accessories for help with creative processes as a decorator! However, mail gets put in the in tray, it overflows, I start another pile. Felt so guilty after reading this that I grabbed one of the 3 piles and started sorting this morning. It will all be in order by the weekend! Collecting junk is supposed to stop good thought processes - feng shui!

Fond regards
Nik x

Mary Ann said...

my office table is in seclusion and houses all my mails...i end up using my braakfast table...but i am sure you will find inspiration from fellow bloggers...i enjoyed my visit and you do have a lovely blog and count me as your new follower! verbena cottage

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

You have an enviable view. Though my view is quite charming too!
My office is rather tidy. I am more productive when things are in their rightful order. xxx

The Daily Connoisseur said...

It's great to know that for the most part I am not alone on the unorganized office (Brahm)! We will all work together to inspire each other! (I say this as I forlornly eye the stack of filing by my laptop). I also love reading about all of your home offices- complete or not. Esprit de la Vie- the best part about moving is you can start with a clean slate! I hope your home office is marvelous once your furniture arrives. Nik- Feng Shui is right! I might get a lot more work done if I cleared out the clutter...
And thank you to Jazzy Olive, Mary Ann, Fashion and all of the new readers- your comments keep me going!

Beth Hazelton said...

Oh...you made my day. I have a beautiful writing desk my husband bought for me and am ashamed to say I am writing from the couch because the desk is full of clutter.

You have inspired me - tomorrow is the day I take my desk back!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Beth I am so glad- I need to re-read this post because my desk is in a very sad state right now! Why is it so hard to keep up? Best of luck to you :)

 
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