Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Coffee Chat Time!

Missy, here. Pull up a steaming mug of your favorite hot beverage and let's chat! Okay, so maybe it's not so much of a chat as it is me asking for your help!

I'm finally setting up another office. Ever since I escaped the basement dungeon, I've worked on my laptop on the couch--with the end of the sectional taken up with my reference books and notebooks, etc. (I'm talking like for the last 6 years or more). At Christmas, my son came home and said all he wanted for Christmas was the couch to be totally clear. (Well, actually, that's not ALL he wanted. He also wanted an iPhone. :)) SOOOO... he suggested I take over the dining room as an office. We rarely eat in here. It's been more of a catch-all room. So he cleared the table and moved all my "stuff."

On Tuesday, I finally went to buy things to organize the table into a desk. I already have a nice new chair. The printer has been moved. I have a framed collection of my book covers to put on the wall that was a wonderful gift! So now, I just need to get started.

This is where you come in! I need suggestions for making a dining room table into a work area.

In case it helps any, this is what I bought:
A decorative file box

3-Tier Letter holder
Mail in/out box
Pencil and paperclip holder

Magazine File

Can you suggest any other gadgets or ideas? How would you organize a large, flat workspace?


  1. hmm I know zilch nada nothing about organizing (my place is a total disaster) but how 'bout these?

    and one of these

    (not as hot as the studs n spurs one my friend got me for Christmas but didn't want to get kicked off here for posting a link to a shirtless cowboy calendar...besides this one has neat scenery and you can actually see the horses on the cover! :-)

    you could probably get some risers or make some or get someone who's handy at the sorta thing make some so you have shelves at the back of the table - my dad did that or the desk where I have the computer - made a hutch or something like that with shelves-but anything that would give you an extra shelf would help I'd think.


    1. ok looks like the links didn't work - the first is a coffee cup warmer, next is a foot bath/massager and last is a cowboys on horses calendar! :-)

  2. Susanna,

    I never thought of the fun things to add to an office! I'm all over that calendar. :) And a foot spa would be amazing. However, I drink one cup of coffee a day first thing in the morning and just about guzzle it. So no need to keep it warm. :)

    Thanks for the fun ideas! :)

    1. I'm loving the idea of a hutch on the back of the table, Susanna! How stinkin' clever is that???? Then it's like a supersized desk area.

      I love your father.

  3. By the way, as far as a shelf goes...

    I have a book shelf in my son's bedroom, plus there's a sideboard in the dining room. So I'm pretty good on shelf space. i just plan to put a few books I use often on the table between bookends.

  4. Congrats on setting up your new digs, Missy!!! I recently redid my space with repurposed objects. It's called upcycling -- where you reinvent the use of something. My favourite desk accessory is a dish drainer I turned into an office organizer. Here's a link to the picture. Hope it works. I love it -- especially because it's so original and it cost me zilch!

    And guess who made an omelet last night? Whooohoooo, it was good, delish in fact, BUT it was a disaster too! I almost took a picture of it so you could have a good laugh. My omelet did not flip. How do you do that?! It kind of slithered, slipped and plopped in pieces onto the pan. Made it hard to get the cheese folded in somewhere. It looked like scrambled eggs gone awry, but it still tasted good.

    1. Omelette flipping is not for the faint of heart, is it? Oy.

      Kav, what a clever idea! I love it! My bookshelf in my half-done-since-October office is a set of shelves I found on the road, painted ivory. The desk is an old library table I bought like 35 years ago. The other desk (needed drawers) was Beth's when she was like 10 years old. But a new curtain topper for the attic window makes it cheery and 'country', and when I put Christmas away (in tubs, but must go into crawl space) and organize the last boxes of my kids' lives (also in tubs, then will go to their houses), I might see if it needs other stuff.

      Missy, I had to set up a mailing area. So I bought my name stickers for return addresses, envelopes of all sizes, stocked up on priority mail boxes and envelopes from the USPS and I've got that all (with Seekerville prizes) in a small cabinet my mother-in-law gave me years ago. It keeps it dust free (big smile here!) no dog hair and it's handy.

    2. my dogs would LOVE for me to flip an omelet - they're already so optimistic that I'll 'fail'and drop some delectable goodie on the floor that the minute they hear me in the kitchen they trot in and assume positions - the lab likes right by the stove so if something alls she can jut stretch her neck a bit to reach it.the shepherd grabs whatever spot she can including the lab's fave if she gets there first!

    3. Susanna, my dogs do the same! Especially around the trash can. :)

  5. Kav, I love your dish drainer!! It's such a pretty one and works just perfectly! You know, I read the word upcycle for the first time yesterday. I'll have to dig around the house and see what I might be able to upcycle for my desk. :)

    I'm sorry to hear about your scrambled omelet. LOL I've actually done the same thing. I think it happens when you have too many veggies for the amount of egg. I've found it's easier to turn if I use more eggs. So a good excuse to eat more! LOL Man, I wish you'd shared a photo. That way I would't feel so badly about my burned omelet photo! :)

  6. Missy, I use an old table for a desk, too - but once I have my computer and tea cup on it, there's not much room for anything else (it's a small table - 30" x 42"). The biggest problem is that I usually have stuff stacked all over it! Every time I start cleaning it off, I get sidetracked by the computer.

    Oh well, sometimes the computer time is actually productive...

    I have tons of bookshelves in my office/college girl's bedroom/former school room - and tons of books. They inspire me. Yesterday I set up the counter-height folding table (so I can stand while I work at the computer - I go back and forth) and brought the printer into the same room as the computer (I know, what a concept!), and my husband joked that I might want to put a few more things in the room since he can still get to the closet.

    But back to your beautiful dining room/office! It sounds fantastic! The only additional thing I would have to have is some kind of planning board. I'm a visual person, and it really helps to have things in front of me.

    I have two 2' x 4' white boards (we used to use them for school) on the walls of my office. I used Vis-a-vis markers to put a grid on one - 20 boxes so I can outline and make notes about chapters as I go. I write my notes with dry-erase markers, and they erase easily without destroying the grid.

    I use the other one to jot notes about upcoming projects, self-imposed deadlines, quotes from Seekervillians, and one column I've titled "Cowboy Up and Just Do It" for those less pleasant things I tend to put off.

    Have fun setting up your office! Isn't it great to have your own space?

  7. Jan, thanks for the idea. I don't have a bit of space in that room since it opens to the kitchen and to the entry hall. There's also a window and coat rack on the 3rd wall. That leaves one large wall, and it has a huge mirror. I like it there since it makes the room feel bigger. I do keep my calendar beside me at all times, so that takes care of the scheduling part. It would be nice to have a plotting board, though! I'll have to think on that.

  8. By the way, Jan. Your husband's comment about the closet really cracked me up! :)

  9. Ruthy, I really, really need a mailing area! Right now, I have a basket with mailers and stuff in it. I just gathered the stamps and return addy labels that I used to keep near my couch. I need more room than a basket, though. Also need room for my author copies so the boxes don't sit out in the floor all the time! A cabinet would be great. But my sideboard is full of table linens and infrequently used glassware, etc. Hmmm.... may have to move some of that stuff to the basement.

    Bless me! I just sneezed a huge one. I'm stirring up too much dust!

  10. By the way...did I mention I need to get this done in one day??? The Athens newspaper photographer is coming tomorrow! I'm thrilled to get an article in the paper, though. Just hope the office isn't embarrassing! He may have to reeeealllly zoom in. LOL

    1. In a day????

      Oh, honey.

      You haven't got a prayer. ;)

      I thought we had a year, minimal.

  11. Well, I got enough done that I can sit in my chair and have him zoom in so only my computer, my printer, a few books and I show. :)

  12. By the way!! If anyone is still around...

    I sold another book to LI yesterday!!! I wish we had chocolate to celebrate!! :) :)