Getting Things Organized

I have to admit I’m a bit of slob. If there’s a horizontal surface near me, chances are I’ll stack piles of crap onto it until it falls over. I’ve been meaning to get my act together for a while now and last week I finally took the initiative to overhaul my home office.

This flickr set shows the before and after shots

Some tidbits worth sharing from the experience:

- Getting all the furniture picked out at IKEA was pretty easy using their office layout tool. Just measure your room, doors, and windows, then plug the numbers into the app and start filling your virtual room with their stuff. At the end you can print out a parts list, which I took to IKEA and an employee ordered everything up in about 60 seconds. Much to IKEA’s credit, their website also list product availability (I looked up every part before I made the three hour drive to Seattle last week) and the site even tells you the dimensions of the box things come in, so you can make sure it all fits. Total cost for a new desk, rolling file cabinet storage, double file cabinets, floating wall cabinet, and narrow double wall cabinet was about $900.

- Interface FLOR carpet tiles are really cool. They should have a flash/java app to let you create rugs and order on the fly, but I managed by just measuring my space and figuring out what I needed. Total cost was about $60 with shipping.

- Putting in laminate flooring wasn’t too difficult mentally but a lot of work physically. I can see why most people get theirs installed by professionals. There was much sweating and swearing when I came up three boards short at the end and had to buy a whole box to finish the final pieces. It’s all worth it in the end, I love being able to roll around on a hard floor in an office chair, instead of being stuck in pitted carpet. Total cost of flooring was around $400 for the 100 sq ft room.

- I was going to display small photos by stringing metal wire between eyelets screwed into the wall (kinda like this), by using clips to hold the pics on the line. But when I was getting parts at Lowes, I noticed they sell adhesive-backed strips of magnetic tape, and small magnets to attach stuff to them. That worked great and meant no drilling holes and putting eyelets in drywall screwholes. I’m going to put several more strips along my whiteboard wall to display prints I like. The best part is the magnetic tape and small magnets were a whopping $3 total.

It was a lot of work and most of it was squeezed into two days, but it took a few more hours to finish all the details. I now have more file storage than ever and tons of space to store books, photo paper, camera parts, and all the knicknacks I’ve collected over the years.

I’m really happy with the results. I honestly haven’t had a clean office in many years and I’m looking forward to doing work everyday in it.

6 Comments

  • Very inspirational.
    I’m a stacker as well, with random debris fields strewn across the office space. Drives my wife nuts.
    Great work.

  • I’ll stack piles of crap onto it until it falls over
    That’s a crapalanche.

  • That carpet looks really nice — a lot of people would have just left the floor bare.
    I have that same IKEA desk — I love it to death, though lately I’ve been working on a much smaller desk and I’ve discovered that when you have less space to pile with crap, you tend to deal with the piles faster. And now that I have a flatscreen instead of a gigantic 20″ CRT, the nice deep corner doesn’t seem as critical.

  • Too bad the IKEA tool doesnt work on Mac, I am sorely in need of that type of tool. Nice job, happy working.
    JM

  • Oh awesome. I’m so glad I found this post. I’ve been looking for some ideas all night and have been coming up short. Funny that after all my searching on google, I came across you, i should have looked here first ;)
    I’m moving into my first home and can’t wait to set up my office legitamatly this time :)

  • I recall reading this article way back when it was posted. I looked through the entire photoset at that time and was quite impressed. At the time, however, I was confined to a grubby apartment that I had no interest in fixing up. So when I bought a new place this January, it was so nice to be able to come to this site to find the name of that neat modular carpeting that I wanted for the stained concrete floor of my new office. Thanks for sharing, Matt. :)

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