This post is in partnership with PayPal.
I’ve been working from home exclusively since 2009. You may be shocked to hear that I just recently created myself a home office. Before, I used to use my laptop while sitting on the couch. I’ve come to the realization that when working, I always want to be where the action is, in the heart of the home, aka the living room.
When I upgraded from a laptop to my new iMac, I needed a dedicated desk. So I set out to create an office space that I would actually use – in a corner of our living room. Now, for most people, this spot wouldn’t be their first choice for an office location. I can’t blame them! Who wants a bunch of tech sitting as a focal point in their living room? Far be it for me to pass up a challenge! So I set out to create an office space that functioned well for me, as well as looked great (and subtle) enough to be a part of our living room.
Once I had the desk and computer set up, it was time to figure out the functionality of the space. I wanted to make sure I could realistically use the space without creating a disaster area in our living room. There were three main rules I knew I had to follow in order to make this office work:
No Clutter | Use it or lose it!
Why is it that desks are magnets for clutter? I decided to get rid of all “typical” office supplies and see if I really missed them. Bye bye stapler, hole punch, paper clips and pen holder! By getting rid of everything at first I was able to slowly bring back only the things I actually used. A pair of scissors, tape, a pen, etc. I found that there was more than enough room to store the things I actually needed in my drawers, so there was no need to have them out cluttering the desktop.
Go Wireless – Time to cut the cord!
Cords are pretty much any decorator’s pet peeve. Cords are messy, cords are ugly…AND cords are unnecessary! I went on the hunt for the best wireless office accessories I could find. The process was a huge trial and error. I went through several printers before I found the right one. It’s hard finding an all-in-one printer that’s compact, works well AND looks good. Speaking of, did you know that PayPal offers to pay for your return shipping? That takes away one of the huge cons of online shopping. Most places offer return refunds, but more often than not, the shipping is not included. I was pretty amazed that PayPal offers this! It definitely takes the worry out of online shopping. And since we all know how expensive tech can be… PayPal Credit comes in pretty handy. They’re basically offering you a loan on purchases over $99. And you have 6 months to pay it back interest-free. That makes most of these items super attainable.
Some other great wireless devices that I couldn’t live without?
Trackpad: I ditched my mouse and couldn’t be happier! The trackpad subtly blends in with my desktop. AND no more mouse-cramped fingers and wrists!
UE Boom: This wireless speaker is my best friend during the day. It’s also great for road trips!
Headphones: These stylish headphones are comfy and easy.
Go Paperless – Ditch the paper trail!
Paperless Bills/Statements: Everything gets emailed to me in digital form. Apple mail really helps me keep my emails organized. I have an embarrassing amount of email aliases :X I can access them all at once with Apple Mail. I create folders and nested folders to organize my emails.
Calendars/Planners: I moved my calendar online and use Apple Calendar. I created different calendars for each member of my family as well as my work schedule and even a daily schedule. I set reminders and alerts so I never miss a meeting, call or pick up.
To Do Lists/Shopping Lists: I use the Apple Notes app on my computer and phone to keep track of my daily to-do list as well as any shopping lists or random notes I need to make. What makes this app so great? It syncs across all of your devices (computer, iPad, phone, laptop) AND you can share lists with other people. So my husband and I keep a shared grocery list. And it’s always on hand, no more forgotten grocery items!
Google Drive: I keep all of my work documents here so it’s always accessible. I have sheets for each project I’m personally working on. And I also have a shared sheet with all of my blog contributors that maps out our blog posts for the next two months. It’s a perfect (and free) way to keep us all organized and on track! You can even assign people tasks through mentions and comments.
It’s been several months now and I still adore everything about my office. It’s easy to keep it tidy, which in turn makes me more motivated and productive. I’m definitely more aware of the items on my desk and more conscious of what gets placed there since it’s all out in the open. I think that’s a really good thing, because keeping things organized and functioning is always a top priority!
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