Working From Home #3 – Building and Sorting

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been telling you about building my home office space.  If you haven’t read those posts, it started out looking like this:

Bookshelf on top of drawers, with ornaments, filling the alcove
This is the alcove I selected, before I decided to turn it into my office.

What started out as a nice easy little job – just whack up a few shelves, Bob’s your uncle – turned into a mission of muttering, tea, and splinters.

But two broken saws and a bent drill bit later we were nearly there…

The finished office

The top two shelves, luckily, went in very easily. Because of the way the wall bows, neither sits flush to the wall along the full length – but this worked well for me. I’d been planning on drilling hooks into the bottom of the shelf to hang my noticeboard, but instead I could wedge the cord behind the shelf.

Home office ready for final touches
The home office ready for the final touches

Powering the home office

There are only two plug sockets in my little office alcove. But as you can see, I needed to plug in far more items than this!

Equipment I needed for my home office.
So many wires, but only two sockets.

The wall sockets are easily accessible and I could just plug in as needed. But I’m lazy, and the printer often crashes when it’s unplugged, so that only leaves me with one socket.

I decided instead to use an extension lead (going against everything we tell you about using extension leads as a permanent option!) However, this one has individual switches on it, so I only have power running to the bits that need it.

Switched extension lead
I know we say extension leads aren’t a permanent solution, but beggars can’t be choosers!

I made sure to use a lead rated to 13 amps. (Some are as low as 5 amps, which is neither use nor ornament for my purposes.) I also checked the appliance ratings totaled less than 13 amps.

I plugged the shredder straight into the wall as it lives on the floor out of the way. Everything else is desk height or above, so having the extension lead on my desk makes sense.  I also used eyelet rings from a picture hanging kit to secure my laptop cables to the sliding shelf. This was to prevent the wire getting trapped and damaged when the shelf slides.

Power lead secured to desk
I used loose zip ties through eyelet rings so the lead wouldn’t be damaged by restricted movement.

Sorting and organising

During my research I’d found several suggestions about the best ways to set up your work space, whether at home or in an office setting. Plants, music and mementos apparently help to increase productivity and inspire. Trust me, you need inspiration when you’re trying to say something interesting about plugs and fuses!

I collated the ideas I’d found on Pinterest and laid everything out to suit me. This is the final result after a couple of weeks of use:

Completed home office layout in use
My finished office space, after a couple of weeks of use.
  1. Plants, mementos and inspiration. I kill plants. Even cacti. I’m not big on flowers. I made these paper flowers for our wedding last year so they serve multiple purposes! And I also love old books, but don’t need them handy.
  2. Essential supplies to hand – paper, printer cartridges, stamp pad ink and sticky labels. Shove them in a box and make them look pretty (and give myself more space!)
  3. Hard drives, pins, and some plug covers I need to post to another PAT tester.
  4. Files and reference resources, handy for when I need them.
  5. Printer. This used to live behind the TV, but here I can hook it up to the laptop without leaving my seat!
  6. Pinboard. This houses my outline weekly schedule (my work is too varied for a strict timetable!). I also keep daily to-do lists here.
  7. Inbox, notes and stationary. Does what it says on the tin, really.
  8. Extension lead, lamps, pens and pencils. All handy but out of my way.
  9. Snacks and drinks!
  10. My laptop and main working space. This all folds away at night so I can switch off from work until the next day.
  11. Shredder and wall sockets. Still easy to isolate everything if needed. And the shredder is handy for getting rid of junk mail quickly!

What do you think of my work space?

After a couple of weeks I’m in love with my dedicated work space. It has actually made it easier for me to work, keep on top of things, and to take down time too.

What does your office look like? Was it a labour of love, or more blood, sweat, and tea?

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