Tell us about your work space

I’m always intrigued to learn about people’s work spaces. Every time I peek into my friends’ home offices I find that I learn about a new solution for my space. There are so many good ideas out there, and creativity abounds in the area of office organization.

My desk is the Ikea Vika Amon black, 47″ table top with four red Vika Curry legs. The whole thing cost me $50. I splurged for an Ikea PS Cabinet on Casters (pictured at right) for $55 to hold most of my traditional desk supplies. I’ve lined the inside of the door with magnetic spice containers to hold paper clips, binder clips, staples, and such. My printer conveniently fits on top of the cabinet, and the whole thing rolls under my desk when it’s not in use. Next to my desk is a two-tiered filing cabinet that I recently co-opted from another part of our house. It doesn’t match the industrial look of the rest of the room, but it does the job of a filing cabinet perfectly well.

On my table top are four magazine files for project boxes, and three small paint cans for pens, scissors, and computer cables (USB, firewire, etc.). Other than my laptop, speakers, and sewing machine, there isn’t much else on my work space. I like to have room to spread out papers when I’m working, and the larger table top makes that simple. Here’s a photo of my work space (please don’t laugh at the cord mess!):

Others have recently written in to tell us about their work spaces. Reader Jack sent us a picture of his office. His desk is directly mounted to the wall, and his computers are in an adjacent closet with cables running to the monitor and keyboard through the wall. It’s elegant and cable-clutter free:

Here is another reader’s office with multiple laptops. One of the laptops is tucked under the monitor stand when not in use. You can also see a third computer cased in the bookshelf. Everything is orderly despite the presence of three computers and an XBox 360:

Finally, another reader sent in a panoramic photo of his two offices that I broke into two pictures so that there would be enough detail for you to examine. What stands out in these pictures is the efficient use of space and the peg board for cords and guitars. Plus, this is a basement office that is anything but dreary:

In the comments section, I would love to hear about/see your work space. What do you use to improve your work flow? I’m always on the lookout for great ideas!

19 Comments for “Tell us about your work space”

  1. posted by Chris in Annapolis on

    I just bought one of these (in ivory) to hide my HD components for a wall mounted plasma. Works very nicely

  2. posted by Aaron on

    I like collecting found objects and thrift store fare so I here’s my set-up using an old desk someone gave me years ago.

  3. posted by Joseph Young on

    My setup:

    I’m trying to get as minimalistic as possible with a bunch of gear. It’s a difficult trade-off.

  4. posted by Katie on

    What is that thing on the right side of your desk? I thought it was a sewing machine at first, but now I’m not sure. What is its purpose?

  5. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on

    Katie —

    Good eye. It is a sewing machine–a Bernina Aurora 440 QEE. To use a lot of its functions, it needs to be connected to my computer (I dual boot Windows on my Mac). I use it regularly, so I keep it on my desk all the time. When I bought it a year ago, the sales person said, “Women as young as you don’t often buy sewing machines like this.” Ha! I’m in the market for a serger, too, so hopefully I’ll have two on my desk by the end of the year.

  6. posted by Bakari on

    The above photos make me want to weep. My office is sooo cluttered with stuff that it’s hard to know where to begin. I think I know what I need to do to get it cleaned up, but the task seems seriously daunting.

    I would like to greatly downsize my large library and have everything that I don’t use on a regular basis neatly tucked away in the office closet.

    My office as you can see is bogged down with books, files, papers, magazine and lots of other stuff that get in the way of the actual work I do.

  7. posted by nat on

    here’s mine:
    the hanging thing was made with two pushpins, a piece of cotton string tied around the pushpins at either end, and i a few binder clips i had laying around.

    i also love having a bit of greenery on my desk. makes it feel very cozy, especially when it’s in a pretty pot.

  8. posted by Amanda on

    I don’t know what I’m more envious of: the glorious, streamlined offices or that nice Eames chair and ottoman in the corner of the second picture.

  9. posted by StarXLR8 on

    My best friend recently called me a nerd for having a white board in my living room. It’s my office nook, darn it!

    My new work space

  10. posted by Jeri Dansky on

    I really like my home office – except for all the cords. I’ll probably go with wireless the next time around.

  11. posted by Sam on

    I can’t wait to move back to school and have more than half a desk and some boxes on the floor to call my own. These pictures are just filling my head with big ideas that I know I can’t fund right now.

  12. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on


    Drop us a link to a picture when you get your office how you want us on our “contact” page. We love before-and-after photos, too!!

  13. posted by beth on

    My office unfortunately also functions as my spare bedroom and music room. I found a desk from Ikea that’s quite tall giving me a lot of vertical storage, and it has a built in white board. The top part has metal pieces you can adjust for filing, I use it to store all my paper / envelopes etc. For my second computer I don’t use it as much so I keep it on top of a book case that doubles as a night stand. For a small space it works well for me.

  14. posted by Red on

    My home office is awful with two full desks, a spare full-size bed, storage closet and bookcases. My office at work is far superior. I’ll have to take a photo tomorrow to show off how a windowless office in a basement can look neat, clean, and streamlined.

  15. posted by Steve on

    I’m changing jobs later this month and I will have the opportunity to furnish my new office from scratch. The room is 10′ by 18′ with windows centred on 2 of the walls (it’s in the corner of the office building). I want a sit/stand desk and a couch. I will have a laptop, multi-function printer, external hard drive and not too much else. What are people’s best ideas for layout and features?

  16. posted by Andrea on

    Wow! I’m envious of all these office spaces! My “office” starts in my extra wide hall and ends in the eating area off my kitchen. The desk (My computer sits on one end, his on the other) is a a great dual-tasker… its a dinner table that I’ve mounted a keyboard tray onto. Clear it off et voila! Insta-steating for six! The rest of my office is scattered around the apt, wherever it will fit.

  17. posted by Betsbillabong on

    Ha, Beth. That’s a good one — my office unfortunately functions as my PRIMARY bedroom and music studio! Still trying to figure out the best way to have a hiding desk… probably going to repo my stationary desk from my brother soon.

  18. posted by PB on

    Check LifeHacker for galleries of work space photos & ideas. They run a contest every now and then…

  19. posted by Steve Spatucci on

    It’s great to see what kinds of environments people work in. My wife and I both shared a cramped work area in our two-bedroom apartment, so when we moved into our house I put a lot of effort into making my home office very function and still very fun. Here’s my space:

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