{p,h,f,r} The Tidy Desk Edition

phfr desk areaThis is my desk. We picked it up at a yard sale a few years ago for $60. It came out of a local government office building, and while it’s quite unattractive, it is extremely sturdy. I have plans of maybe someday painting it, but that will require emptying it and not using it for several days while primer and paint cure, and, well, it’s just not that high on my list of priorities, you know?  I got the chair at a yard sale, too.

It looks really neat right now, doesn’t it? Like maybe I cleaned it nicely just for this shoot? I sort of did. I had a couple of papers to put in my filing drawer, a bill to mail, and Evie left a board book on the corner, but that was it. My desk hasn’t needed more than a five minute tidy since mid-December, when I spent an entire morning on its last deep clean.

This is an achievement of unparalleled greatness for me! Until lately, it was just assumed that Jennie’s desk is a mess. It always is! I have so much going on, so many interests, so many things to manage, that there were always piles of papers and books covering every inch of the surface. What changed all that for me?

These two drawers:

drawers that make it happenI used to just toss stuff in them that I wasn’t using and didn’t know what to do with. Odd office supplies. Random papers. Craft projects in progress. And then, one day, I realized, “Half of my desk storage space is held hostage by things I don’t even need here!” So I tossed them or moved them. Every single thing. Now, the top drawer is my “money drawer”, where I stow bills, cash for the kids’ allowances, the checkbook, the credit card we use for internet purchases, and other monies that come in from our farm business. I also keep stamps and address labels here.

The second drawer houses my art supplies, since I decided to make creativity a focus for myself this year. There are sketch books and watercolor papers, paints and drawing pencils, and some note cards in the back for mailing to friends.

There is a third drawer on this side of this desk. I keep things like packing tape, the three hole punch, my label maker, and a small photo printer in it. On the right, there is a small drawer for tape, scissors, hole punches, and the like, and a larger filing drawer.

Making those drawers work for me has made all the difference in my desk top!

right hand desk phfrWell, I did come up with a few more organizational tweaks, too.  Instead of keeping my favorite writing implements stuffed in a drawer, I put them in mason jars and candle jars on this lazy susan.  I love the Sakura Micron pens, both for art and everyday writing, and there are colored pencils, sharpies and highlighters, too.  In between, I tuck a pad of sticky notes.

Behind that, I keep my planning and informational books – you know, internet passwords, addresses, and the like.  They are supported by a pot lid rack turned on its side!  It was only a couple of bucks at Walmart, but it makes it easy to drop the book I was using back in the appropriate slot.  The neighbors don’t fall over and block the space so that you need both hands to put it back.  Very helpful!  I also keep a jar of chocolates here.  I like to spoil my little guests.  (I really don’t eat them myself.  I may in the future, but this pregnancy, I just can’t stomach chocolate.)

My most used camera lenses are over here, too, for quick changes.

left hand desk phfrOn the left is the phone, a lamp, and some February flowers.  Usually, my camera sits here, too, for easy access, but I was using it. 🙂  I made the lamp out of fabric scraps!  I disassembled an old, ugly lampshade, added a few extra wire supports, and wrapped torn strips of fabric around it, tying on a new strip whenever the last one ran out.  It’s cute and cheery, I think.

phfr magazinesI got the idea out of one of these crazy expensive magazines that I think are so pretty.  I buy them sometimes during extended rainy seasons, or February, or other times of drear and melancholy.  Thanks to adult allowances, I don’t have to feel badly about this little pleasure.

plannersI use a two part planning system nowadays to keep my family, my home, my farm, my homeschool, and myself running efficiently.  A weekly planning calendar helps me manage appointments, older children’s work and college schedules, calf due dates,  and usage of our single vehicle.  It wouldn’t do to have it needed in two places at once.  I also sometimes write notes about my day.  Those are my happiest spreads, but I don’t do it as regularly as I ought.  The meat and potatoes of my planning is a bullet journal.  I tell you, this thing has revolutionized my life!  I can make lists and notes to my hearts content, and it is all easily accessible in a single volume.  I actually use two per year, I make so many lists.  I love lists.  It can be endlessly tweaked to suit your needs, which is the real beauty of it.  I wrote a planning post a while back, which is still relevant, except, sadly, for the Catholic planner.  I really haven’t been able to incorporate that, so I don’t think I’ll buy another.

real computer phftI don’t want you to go away feeling like everything is too good to be true over here at my desk, so this is my computer.  It’s a laptop.  There is an external hard drive attached, because the native one regularly goes haywire.  I’d hate to lose any of my stuff, so all important files, photos, and backups are stored on the external drive, and I make it a point to drag things over there at least once a month.  The keyboard quit working some time ago – not the whole thing, mind you, just the space bar, b, n, m, and right hand shift keys – so I got a wireless keyboard, and once I needed a wireless keyboard, I needed a wireless mouse, too.  Also, because it regularly freezes up and won’t shut down unless the battery is removed, the battery is now permanently removed.  So my laptop, basically, is a glorified monitor.  It doesn’t move anymore.  I miss that mobility, but I’m hoping it’ll limp along for another year or two, because I’m not looking forward to the expense of replacing it.

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {p,h,f,r}.  I really liked Deirdre’s desk tour the other day, and I loved her idea for having a written down plan before visiting the internet.  So much distraction out here!  But so much goodness, too.

Lots of love!

9 Comment

  1. Your desk is wonderful. The lampshade is nifty!!

  2. Love your lampshade! DId you come up with that idea on your own! So creative.

  3. I found the exact same chairs at a yard sale! Four of them, for the classroom. I have recovered the seats numerous times, since they are in daily use by little people!

    1. Other things I buy regularly, besides chairs, are windows and doors. They are surprisingly versatile and pretty!

  4. Love it! Thanks for sharing!
    I am also a big fan of Micron pens! I have used so many in my days… 🙂 Lots of fun ideas here!

    1. Thanks, Deirdre! I loved your post the other day. Always fun to see someone else’s space and how it works for them. 🙂

  5. The computer made me laugh…I limped along in a similar way for quite a while. Then we bought a couple of used macs with Christmas money from grandparents. One became a “kids” computer, the other went to my college student who really wanted a light macbook to carry around campus. I inherited her much bigger old HP laptop. I have a feeling my electronics will often be hand me downs from my kids as they get older. They need computers for school so they get the better stuff!

    1. I know the feeling. Mine is a hand-me-down from my beloved, and it’s about five years old, which is two years longer than the typical laptop lasts. We’re living on borrowed time here!

  6. I love it when you can find little solutions that just make everything else work! Thanks for the tour. 🙂

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