My office is temporary. After I gave birth to Brennan #5 in June of 2004, I lost my den. It had a door. It had a wall full of bookshelves. It had a big desk built into the wall that was perfect for stuff. (And lots of it.) But three kids to a room wasn’t going to cut it, so (sniff-sniff) I sacrificed my office and moved into the living room.
I should say that we never used the living room. It had the piano I never play anymore (which is now in my bedroom), a lounge chair (also in the bedroom) and a couch (still in the living room.)
Now, the living room is my office. My bookshelves came with me–I also did a major purging and gave away boxes of books I knew I’d never read again (not because they were bad but because I rarely re-read books.) My five bookshelves were organized when I moved from my den to the living room. 1) political and history books; 2) classics, westerns, child rearing, anthologies, and books I borrowed from my mom that I have to return; 3) hardcover fiction, in alphabetical order; 4) paperbacks (2-deep); 5) research books and paperwork.
Okay, my bookshelves aren’t organized anymore. Alphabetical? Ha. Everything is 2-deep, with books stacked on top of books and on top of the bookshelves where I also store supplies I don’t want the kids getting into. Paperwork? All over the place (wherever it’ll fit.) I also have all the pictures of the kids that used to be in my old office in the Capitol gracing the shelves. I can only actually see two of the fifteen or so frames because my books have, um, procreated 😉
Solution: I need more bookshelves 🙂
My desk itself is very small. It has a scanner and computer monitor on it. I NEVER use the scanner, but my husband does. (Oh, did I mention I have to share this space with my hubby?) Hubby is the kind of guy who organizes his desk before he leaves from work. Clears off paper, files, etc. I’m the kind of gal who puts things ON her desk when she leaves from work (when I used to work out of the house) so that when I got in the next morning I would remember what I needed to get done. Needless to say, this arrangement is not going to last forever.
Right now, I have my daughter’s homework, my day planner, bills that need paying, the book MARLEY & ME, and a pile of print-outs like the lastest romance Bookscan list, the print-outs from the NYT extended list (when I was on it) and news articles that captured my interest because I might need them for research some day. When the stack gets too big, I usually sort through it and add to the piles of paperwork in my bookshelves, and maybe even throw a few sheets away 🙂
I have a filing cabinet next to my desk where the printer sits. The filing cabinent is for Important Documents. Like contracts, birth certificates, copies of tax returns. Needless to say, it is rarely opened.
And there’s toys on the floor, kids books stacked in the corner, and a slide in the middle of the room. The dining room table in the adjoining dining room has my laptop and more stacks of paper (when the stack on my desk gets too big, my husband moves it to the dining table. Did I tell you I really want my own space?) My dog sleeps under the desk when I’m working, and my cat sleeps on the couch behind me. Or the floor. Or the dining table on top of My Stuff.
My favorite thing in my office is on the wall above my desk: my husband enlarged my three book covers and framed them.
We’ve outgrown our house and have been looking around, but realized that there is NO WAY we can move until I turn in the last book of my contract, right before Christmas. And moving at Christmas? Don’t think so. So we’re going to start looking at the beginning of next year. My dream office . . .
. . . Will be called the library.
. . . Will have built-in bookshelves on three walls. One of those walls will include a fireplace; one of those walls will include two or three windows with window seats. I want tall ceilings so I can get one of those cool ladders on wheels in order to read the books on the top couple shelves 🙂 The bookshelves will all be cabineted below so I can put paperwork in without being seen. I want lots of cabinets so I don’t have to organize things to fit. I know where everything is. I’ve never lost anything important, and my husband the neat freak can NEVER find his keys or wallet.
. . . Will have two love seats for reading, talking and thinking.
. . . Will have a huge, flat desk. Lots of space. Lots of space for MY STUFF. The desk will also have my computer with a flat screen monitor. Scanner and printer? They’ll be Somewhere Else. Like hidden in the bookshelves 🙂 (gotta love networks.)
. . . Will have my framed book covers on the one wall without bookshelves. I hope there will be many, but right now I’m only counting on the six that I know I’ll have.
And, my dream space will have a door.
We can all dream, right?