Sorry I’ve been away for a while. I’ve been a busy bee!
A lot of things have happened since my last post:
- The girls participated in their first dance recital and I was a parent volunteer. (An amazing time was had by all.)
- My daughter received a Headmaster’s Award and school ended for the year for both girls.
- I went to London for a Christmas in July press event hosted by UKMums.tv and got to try out all the latest toys for this season.
- I attended VTech’s UK Product Launch of the Innotab, tablet for kids.
- We visited our family for a week and spent some great time with grandparents and great-grandparents.
- I got bit by the Re-purposing Bug!
As you know, I love organizing. And I DEFINITELY have an obsession with containers and stationary! Unfortunately, with the times being what they are, I’m not always able to indulge my obsession, so when I came across the idea of RE-PURPOSING, I really hit the jackpot! We already recycle and re-use in our house, but we hadn’t really got into totally re-vamping an item for use as something completely different.
I. LOVE. THIS. IDEA.
For quite a while, I’ve been thinking about ways to make my office more organized, and also a more inviting space. I’m the kind of person who likes things to look nice. In fact, I would go as far as saying, I need it. I don’t understand why a thing can’t be functional and beautiful. This is who I am. My house doesn’t currently reflect this trait of mine, and I am working on transforming it one space at a time.
The inspiration for my beautiful, new office space came from this picture:
You can find it on my Blogging/Writing Board at Pinterest.com. (Pinterest is fast becoming my newest obsession too…but that’s a story for another day!) This picture just screamed ME..ME..ME! It evoked all the romantic stereotypes of an inspired and beautiful writer. I just loved everything about it look at here. Immediately I set about thinking how I could adapt it to my own office. It turns out that I had so many things that I didn’t even realize would work in this space. Here are the before and after pictures:
The very BEST thing about this project is that it is almost 100% Re-purposed!
The entire transformation cost me less than £50!
Here’s how I did it:
- The desk and chair is actually from a dining set that was given to us by Chris’s grandparents when they moved house. They were in great condition and we didn’t have to do any work on them.
- I had Chris move the computer CPU from the top of the desk to underneath it. I think the only reason we had it up there was because our youngest was a toddler when we moved in and we didn’t want her endlessly pressing the buttons to reboot the computer! (It’s funny how you just get used to things and leave them the way they are, she’s 3 1/2 now.)
- We bought the tablecloth for a plastic table and chairs in the tiny paved garden in our second apartment. It’s about 7 years old and was just sitting in a drawer. I simply draped the desk-top and pinned the corners so they weren’t free-flowing. You don’t have to do this, but it gives nice crisp corners that don’t get in your way.
- The pen holder is a mug that I bought in a sale about 10 years ago. It started out in the bathroom and has had various homes around the house since then.
- The bulletin board was the unfinished kind you get just about anywhere. I think we got it from IKEA, and they currently sell for £2.59. I bought a match-pot of Dulux paint for £1.59 to paint both the bulletin board and the To-Do Photo Frame. This board will actually be our Family Vision Board, but that is a work in progress.
- The To-Do Photo Frame is a re-purposing project that I really loved. This particular frame has been with me for about 15 years. It was bought in a Target back home for about $5. This is the third time it’s been painted and the first as a completely re-purposed item. The background is a scrapbooking paper that I already had, and I think the entire pack of papers cost about £5 in HobbyCraft. I love that it’s functional- you just use a dry-erase pen on it, but also beautiful. And the best thing is that you can change the papers for different seasons and holidays. Instant decorating! The tutorial for this project is on its way.
- The organizer above my computer is also a re-purposing project. We bought a pair of unfinished shutters from our local recycling shop. They were £3.00 for the PAIR. I painted it using another Dulux match-pot for £1.59. I loved the idea so much that I made one in black for my husband’s office space too.
- Even the photo frames of the girls are re-purposed. They were treats out of Christmas crackers!
I thought very carefully about what I wanted on my desk since there is such limited space. I decided on things that help me on a daily basis to either run the house or in my work.
- The first binder is a FAMILY ORGANIZER that I made last year. You can find out what’s inside it here.
- The second is a folder for all my writing projects and websites.
- Finally, my Filofax. I haven’t been using this much since I got my iPhone, but lately I’ve missed using real paper and pen, so I will be giving it a new lease of life. It also houses things like business cards which aren’t digital.
Here is a cost-breakdown of the project:
Desk and Chair: £0
Pen Mug: £3.50
Bulletin Board: £2.59
Dulux Match-pots: £3.18
New Paint brush: £3.99
To-Do Photo Frame: £5.00 (Probably an over-estimate but it was bought so long ago I can’t remember. This also includes the scrapbooking paper.)
Silver Photo Frames: £0
I am completely amazed at not only the transformation, but also how little it cost! I finally have an office space that I can be proud of. It certainly invites me to sit and work and the organization means that I can think clearly. Even the girls keep coming in and commenting on how much they love it. I can also look around and know that the re-purposing all around me is a lesson for all of us in respecting the things we have and not contributing to our ‘throw-away society’.
A true triumph, in every sense!
Have you re-organized your office lately? Do you have solutions for little spaces? Do you re-purpose? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.
Also, if you would like me to help you organize your own spaces, I offer consultations by email or video. Drop me a line on email, or grab me on Twitter or Facebook. It would be my pleasure to help you.