Welcome to my office! Or our office, as I share this pretty small space with three colleagues. This is where I now spend the majority of my working hours. It's still a bit of a work in progress but I feel like I'm about 95% done with what I want to do. I started this job on July 20th but we didn't get our desks until August 19th so I'm adding a little bit each day. I actually changed some things from the time I took the first few photos until the end! Let's take a tour of my little bit of the office.
Let's start on the left. I have this small bookshelf that I bought at Target. On the top shelf, you see a polka dot craft box. It was part of a set of nesting boxes and it was on clearance for 70% off plus 15% teacher discount. The whole set was less than $2.50. I actually cut a hole in the side and the back and my surge protector is inside. You can see the cord to it sticking out of the left side. It hides all the ugly cords put if I need to plug something in, I just lift the lid off the box! The Slow Down sign I purchased this summer at Hobby Lobby. The next two shelves down have Paris storage boxes from Michael's. These were also on sale and I also used my additional teacher discount. Inside the one on the top shelf, I keep a bunch of Ziplock sandwich bags that are organizing extra office supplies like 3M hooks, extra binder clips, book rings, paper clips, and so on. The other Paris box has some personal items like a hairbrush, deodorant, Static Guard, dry shampoo, and other stuff that I wouldn't want people to see. On the bottom shelf, I have some binders that hold information from different weekly meetings I have to attend. There are also some other important documents, some technology in the classroom kind of books, and another polka dot nesting box that holds magnetic clips.
Above my little bookshelf, I have my teaching certificate and my teacher of the year certificate. This morning I also added in my college degree to the wall. The stuffed P monogram pillow was a gift to me from my lovely boss. I believe she got it at Kirkland's. The pink thing on the corner of my desk holds cords so they don't fall off your desk. I bought it here on Amazon. I love this little lamp for some less harsh office lighting. It's from Big Lots and they had lots of other colored ones too, for only $15. We also have a pink foam S from Hobby Lobby, and a picture of hubby and me.
Moving across my desk, you see a desk organizer from Target. I added a monogram P sticker to make it more my own. In front of that is my work MacBook Air, which is what I spend most of my time staring at. The "desk hutch" that you see is actually this shoe rack from Target, that costs about a third or a normal free standing desk hutch but holds way more. On the top shelf, I have the Betsey Johnson Limited Edition Kleenex Box because I blow my nose a lot and why not have the box be pretty? Those cute lips cheer me up at work! I also have a mason jar tumbler that was a gift from a student. I love it because it holds both hot and cold beverages. Next to it is a pencil cup that I got at Dollar Tree. It was originally a boring black cup so I hot glued the pretty pink ribbon and faux gem at the top and then stuck a monogram S on the front. I love personalizing boring office supplies! The Work hard and be nice to people sign is from Hobby Lobby. It has a big dent in the front so it was on clearance for like $2 but I love the message. I have to remind myself of that whole "be nice" part some times when I'm working. In front of it, I have a tin of Altoids and a pen/stylus that was another gift from my boss. On the middle shelf, in addition to a boring tape dispenser, there are three pink nesting wicker baskets. They were also on clearance at Michael's, with an additional teacher discount. The small one on the left holds lots of pens and a small pad of paper. The middle one holds emergency snacks and emergency extra pump supplies. The larger one on the end holds my headphones and napkins, since most days I eat lunch in my office. On the bottom shelf, I have my pink planner where I keep track of my mileage for reimbursement, a county phone directory and stapler. In the pink box (from Bealls Outlet), there are office supplies like paper clips, binder clips, sticky notes, rubber bands, and thumbtacks. Finally, the black and white box holds different sizes of pads of paper and small notebooks. This hutch has been a blessing when it comes to holding a lot of stuff in a very small amount of space. And if I wanted to, I could buy another one and stack them on top of each other for even more vertical storage.
Let's take a peek under my desk now because I even have things going on there! I have a small desk fan that I can turn on for those days when the office is warm, although lately it's been more freezing than warm. However, should the air conditioning or electricity go out one day, I'll appreciate that fan! I also hung my umbrella up on a 3M hook under my desk so it's out of the way. On the right, is my DIY footstool/storage ottoman! I took a milk crate that I had used in my classroom last year and added wheels to it. I just took the wheels from a plastic set of storage drawers and they fit right in the milk crate. Then I covered a piece of plywood with some fabric (hot glue and a stapler) and attached a thick ribbon pull. I used some left over fabric and left over fiber fill to sew up a pillow. I toss my purse and lunchbox in the crate for the day and use it as a footstool. That works out for me really well because I am so short that without the footstool, I couldn't touch my feet to the floor without lowering the chair way down. A footstool is comfy for the long hours I now some times spend at my desk so that my legs don't get fatigued from dangling like a little kid! Short people problems, I tell ya.
So now let's look at some of the other spaces in our office. Here you see our "kitchen". One of my awesome office buddies brought in her Keurig for all of us to use. Today I was having a rough morning so around 10:30 I made myself a cup of coffee. It was so nice! And the "cheese" on the floor is our doorstop! How cute is that? You can find them on Amazon.
We also have this conference table that is set up. I need to start making myself eat lunch there instead of at my desk, so at least I feel like I took a lunch break! This photo was taken the day we got our furniture in, so that's why it looks a bit bare. Also, if you're wondering why the desks all have so many computers and monitors, it's because I'm housed with Information and Technology Services so they need lots of devices for all the different techy stuff they do. Also, the way our office is set up is kind of interesting. It's the space between two technology classrooms and was originally set up as an observation room for lessons. So the windows you see actually don't look outside, they look into the classrooms like a one way glass. We can see out, but they can't see in. We keep the blinds closed any way to minimize the distractions. There are also three doors in our office. One on each side of the conference table connect to each of the classrooms (but lock from our side) and behind the conference table is the door to the hallway and main entrance of our office.
One thing that wasn't great about the doors leading to the classrooms was that when people had trainings in there, people would stare at us through the little windows in the connecting doors. It was pretty creepy! So one day I got ambitious and sewed up some black curtains, using old fabric that used to be the background for a bulletin board when I was teaching. I did sew in a gusset for a curtain rod, but we found that it was easier to use my magnetic clips, since the window frame is metal. And the magnetic clips were already cute because I had hot glued flowers to them. These cute clips also used to be in my classroom, holding stuff up on my white board. The fact that they are magnetic means they can easily be moved if we need to.
And finally, here's what my view looked like for most of the day today! On the left, I had my iPad pulled up with my email open. In the center, I was working on fixing the problems that were emailed to me with the software program that I spend a lot of time in. To the right, I had my mason jar tumbler with my coffee and also a tumbler of ice water. I wear my headphones a lot and listen to music on my phone while I work, since I share an office so you see those too. And if you look next to the box of tissues, you can see one of my most recent additions to my desk, what I am calling my "lipstick mirror". It's a really small pink mirror so I can apply lipstick or quickly check my hair before heading off to meetings, which is how I often spend my mornings.
And if you read this entire post, then you deserve a prize! Virtual high five for your focus!