Tag Archives: Home Office

My Long-Time Obsession with Office Supplies

When I was a little girl, I used to look at and play with all of the cool stuff on and in my mom’s desk. She had a long metal ruler that flexed, some kind of long horsehair brush (I think it was used for dusting out the typewriter), a beige heavy metal stapler with a matching tape dispenser, and cool ledgers, and a desk pad.

I lover pens and mechanical pencils. I sat in awe as I stared at all of the different types of paper clips. I punched holes with three different types of hole punchers into any scraps of paper that I could find. I used those paper hole reinforcements–you know those little circles with a hole in the center–as eyes on my notebook covers.

I even played with her rubber cement! It was the coolest thing ever! I also loved her big, heavy, silver scissors. I have no idea what brand they were, but they were beautiful and fun to use. She even had a tiny pair of scissors in her desk that I loved to use.

I also loved her filing cabinet. There was something magical about the way the files were organized. I loved that you could run your finger down all of those File tabs until you found what you were looking for. Organization at its peak.

Everything was so grown-up and sophisticated. I wanted to work in an office someday, or have a job where I got to use all that really cool stuff.

1980s Office Supplies
1980s Office Supplies

Today I am grown up. My obsession with office supplies has not waned one bit. The only difference is that instead of them being magical, they are practical and useful. They are tools. However, I still get excited about purchasing them. I appreciate quality tools. Moreover, I enjoy organization.

Today I received my first good quality stapler and tape dispenser. My Swingline 747 stapler is beautiful, sleek, heavy, and works better than any stapler I have ever owned.  I just used it for the first time to staple a 20-page journal article and the Swingline staple went through like a knife through butter. No jamming. No hang-ups. I am in love. Now I cannot wait to fill my tape dispenser and use it for the first time!

I had forgotten about my youthful fascination with my mom’s office supplies.  Using that stapler seemed to bring it all back to me. In fact, I think I will give her a call now.  Just to say thanks for never yelling at me whenever I would play with her office supplies. If not for her, I would not be the quirky, weird person that I am today.  Thanks mom. I love you for that.

Ikea Office: Getting Started

When we left Colorado, I got rid of all my office furniture—which turned out to be a blessing—because we expected to move into a small three bedroom apartment in Germany.  We were lucky and received a four-bedroom apartment, so I turned the fourth bedroom—a small, dark room—into my office space and guest room.

For the past year, I made do with an old dining table set on bed risers for my huge printer and PC Tower, two cheap pressboard shelves that I put under the table, a flimsy metal and glass computer desk for the monitor and keyboard, and a DVD tower that I used as a bookcase.  The closet is full of boxes and Hubby’s Army gear.  The room is so dark, that I get terrible headaches while I’m studying.  It drove me NUTS!

I need organization. If you’ve seen this post or this one, you know just how organized I like to be.  Without an organized space to work in, I feel anxious and can’t focus. Now that I am feeling much better, I decided that it was time to fix my office–where I spend s most of my time.  You can also see my obsession with Ikea in this post and this one.

I have been planning this room for the past four months.  After weeks of looking at Ikea’s website and working out a reasonable budget, I came up with this design.

Ikea Office Design
Ikea Office Design

Once we received our tax refund, it was time to plan my shopping trip to Ikea.  I put everything that I wanted on my office wish list and printed it out to take with us.  Ikea’s lists are great!  You can check the available stock at your local store, and when you print it out, it gives you the exact location of the furniture items.  With list in hand, we headed to Ikea in Regensburg on Saturday.

This was our haul.  That large black bin in the cart was full of stuff, and there is a bulging ikea bag attached to the cart behind all of those yellow boxes.

Ikea Treasures
Ikea Treasures

We had enough room in the van to go back in the store and get my Ektorp sofas for the living room (next weekend’s shopping trip), but Hubby was not thrilled about going back inside.

Hey honey, we still have room for sofas!
Hey honey, we still have room for sofas!

We got home a little later than we wanted and still had to make dinner, so we got a very late start on putting the furniture together. The ALEX drawers were not difficult to assemble, but they were time-consuming.  Here’s a photolog of how our night went.

Assembling the Ikea ERIK Drawer Units
Assembling the Ikea ALEX Drawer Units
Connecting ALDIS legs to the LINTORP Desktop
Connecting ADILS legs to the LINNMON Desktop

Aaaand that’s where we stopped. It was midnight and we were exhausted.

It's midnight...we'll finish in the morning.
It’s midnight…we’ll finish in the morning.

I did a little more throughout the day, but I also had a lot of studying and writing to do for school. Here’s how my day went.

Sunday afternoon
Sunday afternoon
Sunday evening
Sunday evening

I bought the wrong light bulbs for my ARSTID wall lamps, so I had to bring in a spare table lamp.  I also bought the wrong LINNMON desktop, so I will have to remedy that next weekend when we go shopping for the living room.  Still to do: BILLY Bookcases and organizing. It’s going to be a long week.

Do you have any Ikea rooms to share?

Project Time!

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I started classes again, but didn’t realize how tough these eight week courses would be! Now I know how they pack a semester’s worth of material into short sessions–they bombard you with reading and about 12 hours of homework a week per course.  Never. Ever. Again.  Two courses per eight week session for this girl from now on!

Here is what I have been working on when I am avoiding school work have spare time. These are just a couple of mood boards that I worked up using Oliboard.

First up we have the general “bones” of my office space.

Ikea Office
Ikea Office

Next up is the Ikea Living Room

Mostly Ikea Living Room
Mostly Ikea Living Room

Over the next few weeks I will be posting bits and pieces of the progress and will hopefully have a full reveal in May.

Hope you all have a happy week!