My ‘study’ is the corner of the guest room. The guest room isn’t large, and with a queen bed taking up most of the room, there’s only space around the edges for my writing and research paraphanelia. I’ve also got some space in the sunroom, but as there’s a very large weaving loom in there, my crafting and textiles things are again fitted in around the edges.
The study was working fairly well, though – until I resigned from my university job at the end of last year. When I left there, I brought home a heap of research materials and books and papers from the work office – and since there wasn’t really anywhere for them to go, they sat on the bed. Fortunately, we don’t have overnight guests very often at all, because the bed gradually got covered by things that I couldn’t find a home for.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve gradually been sorting through stuff, reorganising into limited space, trying to set things up properly for working full-time at home. It wasn’t too bad in winter, because I mostly worked at the dining table where it’s warmer, and could close the door on the ‘study’. But once the warmer weather started, I felt the need to get the workspace set up more effectively.
I threw out a heap of papers from the old, 2-drawer filing cabinet. I bought a new, 3-drawer filing cabinet. I sorted out numerous copies of manuscript drafts and shredded some, keeping only significant stages, and put those into archive boxes – there being a strong historian streak in me, that needs to see important things archived.
I cleaned out the drawers of the desk my Dad built for me years ago. One drawer was full of old disks – backups disks, old files etc. I got determined and threw them out, and that freed up a drawer. Another drawer had software manuals and boxes – I tossed some, found better spaces for others.
The top drawer is the drawer I toss pens, clips, tape, scissors and other useful things into. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I do buy a few pens, because I like decent ones that write properly and are comfortable to hold. I also use mechanical pencils in varying sizes. But conference pens, hotel pens, author’s pens, and sample promotional pens, all ended up in the drawer as well. So, I started sorting out the top drawer. I put all the pens and pencils that worked on top of the desk, tossing the ones that didn’t work.
Ahem. There were quite a few:
At least, if the power fails for a lengthy period, I won’t run out of ink to write by hand 🙂 Nor paper – because when I put all the notebooks and writing pads in one place, there were about a dozen of them.
A year or two back, I’d bashed together some rough shelves to go above the desk and the boxes beside the desk, but once I put the new filing cabinet in place of the boxes, the shelves no longer fitted. So, I had to rebuild the shelves – and made them stronger in the process, using angle brackets instead of nails. I do not have the carpentry skills or patience of my father (or the tools), but I finally finished remaking the shelves and staining them a couple of days ago, and I’m fairly happy with the results. They’re more ‘rustic’ than beautiful – and the stain recommended by the guy in the paint shop was darker then I wanted – but they’ll do the job.
Today I’ll be moving the laptop back to the desk and settling in there to work again. The bed still isn’t all cleared, but now I have the filing cabinet and shelves I can do that a bit at a time, in the mornings which aren’t my best creative times. As long as nobody wants to come and stay soon!