In the past, my workspace was anything but organized.
You really ought to put things back in their place when you're finished for the day, I'd chide myself, using the same voice parents reserve for their children to get them to do their homework.
Perhaps you're familiar with the scene: books stacked in precarious columns, clothes that were meant to be hung neatly in the closet strewn about like trash at a carnival, and that pile of paper you promised yourself you would sort through…last month!
This was how my workspace used to be, and the accompanying chaos described in the paragraph above had a tendency of taking up residency in my head as well.
Partly inspired by Blake Powell's post on why it is important to have a space that you love to work in, and partly out of sheer frustration, I decided to reclaim my writing space and transform it into a sanctuary of productivity. What I needed was a space that offered uninterrupted peace and quiet where my creativity could thrive. And, of course, I wanted to accomplish this within the confines of a strict budget.
Being somewhat of a fanatic of the clean lines of minimalist Scandinavian design, I decided the best solution for me would be to create floating wall shelves to house the clutter that once occupied my floor. And I wanted to do it on the cheap. Fortunately, I was able to find exactly what I needed at The Home Depot. All I needed was fourteen brackets, four identical shelf tracks to hold the brackets, and four Rubbermaid white laminate decorative shelves of varying sizes (the deepest one resting on the bottom brackets and progressively decreasing in size with each level upward). All told, the total cost for this project came out to a grand total of $162.29. It took two hours to mount the racks on the wall and to arrange the shelves to my liking.
Of course, you could purchase the wooden shelves separately and paint them yourself, which I've done in the past. This may save a few dollars but will certainly consume more time, especially if you have limited space in an apartment setting.
The way I feel now when I'm in my office is totally worth the small investment. Every morning, when I step into my workspace, I am instantly primed to get started on the next project. It's a truly regenerative experience, and I highly encourage anyone looking for extrinsic motivation to consider converting their office into a private retreat.
I'd love to learn about your workspace.
Where do you get most of your work done? Do you work from home or do you prefer the static background activity of a library or coffee shop? If you work from home, how do you manage your space?
Feel free to attach pictures of your office in your comment, as I'm always inspired by what works for others.