Shop Talk

A space of her own

I’ve been thinking… (yep, that smoke you smell would be the cogs going around in my brain) It’s been a year that I’ve been a mom now. I’ve been pretty much in survival mode all year but I think I’m ready to ease into something else finally. I’m not going to be any less of a mom but I think I might have some room left in my brain for other things too. Especially if I get a babysitter to come over for two hours twice a week. (Which by the way, Super Sitter Number One never responded to my very polite but delayed email but Super Sitter Number Two did and she’s lined up for Friday. Yay!)

I’ve been thinking about my freelance business a lot and I need an office. I don’t have an office any more. All my office stuff is in Baby Bug’s room but I can’t work in there any more because when I get a chance to work she’s usually SLEEPING and the sound of me tapping lightly on my laptop always wakes her up. Always. So I’ve moved my laptop out to the breakfast bar in the kitchen and it works pretty well there…except when I need to scan or print something. When I need to scan or print I just cart my laptop back to Baby Bug’s room and squeeze out whatever I need to do while she clings to my legs begging me to pick her up. It’s okay, it mostly works.

I miss having an office space though. Most of all I miss having an inspiration board. Thanks to OMSH for making me miss it even more. Unfortunately there isn’t any other cubby in my house that I can set up my office in so I was thinking maybe I could just cart my office around with me in a stylish basket. But I’m not sure where to put my inspiration board. Should I convert it into a virtual board in my computer? Should I cart around a three ring binder? What do you guys do? Does anybody have any hints for a mom who is used to having her own space but doesn’t have any space to herself any more?


  • Annika

    What about something on wheels? A little portable office – just wheel it over to an electric outlet as needed. Depending on the cart, you might be able to incorporate your inspiration board or some version of it. And you could store the whole thing in Bug’s room or under the breakfast bar or wherever works.

  • kerflop

    Darn that OMSH. I’m longing for my old office too. I have no advice (my printer is currently perched at a frightening angle on my tiny night stand and I’ve got two laptops sprawled on my bed. Not ideal.) but I’ll be lurking about and reading the suggestions.

  • OMSH

    I was just talking to kerflop about this on this very morning. I’m in the process of measuring my bedroom and all the furniture that MUST go in there. Then, I’ll pull out the anal retentive graph paper I adore. THEN I’ll try to graph some miracle of space.

    Jeff has agreed to make me the desk I want and I HAVE TO MAKE THIS WORK. Even if it is a corner – a stinkin’ corner. I’m so tired of having to move the laptop off the kitchen table for every meal. Our home is 1230 sq. feet and we’ve used nearly every square inch.

    I LOVE the inspiration board pool. LOVE.IT.

  • Wendy

    We also had to give up our “office” when the second baby came. We purchased a home office armoire. We have something similar to this:

    It has pull-out shelves for my printer and scanner. I added corkboard to the backs of the doors which you could easily use as your inspiration board. It has lots of room to store books, paper, CD’s, etc. The thing I like about it the most, though–I can just close the whole thing up when I’m not “working” and the kids can’t get into my stuff. :)

  • Jennifer

    No advice. DH is now working from home and his “office” is a desk in our livingroom. Poor guy has constant drool marks on his knees from the baby coming by to say “HI” and our 4 year old sits next to him playing Nick Jr. on the computer as he’s teleconferencing. He’s hoping to get a corner of our bedroom but will be evicted once again when baby #3 shows up and needs a nap. Maybe he’ll get some advice from a commenter here :P

  • Clownfish

    Now, if you’re sitting where you are in the photo…it’s too far away. But, if you ever sit at the bar facing your kitchen…

    Pop open cupboard door and tape up all the fun photos and inspiration you want. Open it as you click away on the keyboard and shut it when you are done.

    I have a home office but no inspiration board. I do have my Bob’s Big Boy bobble head. He doesn’t inspire but he does make me smile!

  • studebakerkim

    I am going out on a limb hear… Send your vintage beatle to storage. I have a mini carlot in my yard, what’s one more car. I would make sure the battery and fluids were maintained. then, Sheet rock the garage and smuggle in some power. the little oil space heaters are quiet,safe and small. Mr. Husband could use the new, quiet space and you could have his office. this renovation would be cheaper than renting a space, he would be close to home , but still have privacy and few interuptions. Baby bug would be free to make all the cute, loud baby noises. And you could be near by her, working, peacefully, during her extended new nap schedule.

  • BeachMama

    Space of my own??? Our house has way too many square feet and although I thought I had space of my own when I was sewing, it wasn’t completly true. I had to share my space with the family computer, the upstairs tv and now Hubby’s work computer. Everytime I try to sit and do some work I have to rearrange my machines, try to find stuff. I can’t stand it.

    On the other hand I do bring in some office work and for that I have a mobile office. I bring the box of files to whichever room is not being used and work in there with my laptop. If you can get a good enough cart that would hold your scanner and stuff then that might work well for you. Get ready, friday is coming soon!

  • Gretchen

    BeachMama – The ALVE is what I’m looking at for my 7 year old – I think it’s something she could really grow into!

    I second the idea of a rolling cart to create an office space.

    As for an inspiration board – could you get a portable display board? Maybe like this:

    Folds up for easy storage, yet can stand on it’s own.

    I’m in the process of reclaiming my craft room. When we moved, it became the dumping ground of ‘i don’t know what to do with it.’ I’ll be posting pictures when I’m done.

    Good luck!

  • Marissa

    I have used a binder to store pages from magazines, and use a scrap-book for photos I find (I like to collect them). The little clippings I have I keep in a manila envelope, because I will use them for decoupage projects. What about getting a little shoe-box or something that you can decorate, and use that for your smaller bits of inspiration? Or make collages and put them into thrift-store frames that you can mount on the wall?

  • MamaBear

    I’m in the same situation… my office WAS the baby’s room, before she was born. GOt kicked out downstairs in the basement, the stuff is still there but I never work there beecause I want to be with baby and family. My printed is on a stand in the living room, laptop gets put away and put up each day on coffee table, rest is stored. How annoying. Baby gets into everything! I want a closed hutch just like above where i can close everything up and be done, or open it up and enjoy the inspiration board on the back of the doors.

  • Marissa

    Oh yeah, and through this week Cost Plus is running a 40 percent off coupon which you can use on furniture (just not sale stuff)! Maybe they have stuff you could use there?

  • Bethany

    I so hear you! My desk is full of ‘treasures’, kleenex, wipes, bottles, and to-do lists that never get done :) You already have comments on my first idea : a rolling cart or cupboard (better if it closes up and can’t be seen inside! love that ALVE too though it also takes floor space (i have no idea what space you actually have). What about a wall-mounted cabinet? Some here though i don’t know anything about them. High enough so you can use a stool, but out of Baby bug’s reach. I also used to use a ceiling-mounted curtain between the crib and my desk, but if she hears keys then that’s no good … hope you find something that works! Glad you have a sitter coming, woo hoo!!

  • Tiel S-K

    I hear you on the whole baby vs freelance/mummy free time thing. Mine are 2.5 and 4 so I’m starting to feel like I am coming out of a long, deep and dark tunnel of no me time. Hang in there.

    Go out and splurge on 6 little journals. One for each 2 months..or 4 – one for each season. Keep a record of all the printed inspiration in them. Notes, sketches etc. I also keep a folder on my computer called..inspiration… I visit that sometimes too.

    The other option is to buy or make a a large pin board that you can hang on the back of a door.

  • Abbey

    Armoires are def. the way to go!! They don’t take up THAT much space and they hold SO much more than you think they can. You can put it in your LR or BR…anywhere!

    I don’t have an “office” as much as a nook in the corner of my guest room. I know, I know…why don’t I turn the entire guest room into an office? Mostly because we actually have a lot of company come out to see us…we live in CA, the fam is in Kentucky. Who wants to visit who? : ) And I don’t really need that much space…just a place for my laptop and books. Plus, I kinda like having a bed in there…great place to sit and read up on stuff…or take a nap. Not that that happens too often. : )

    Here’s my nook: it’s the first three pics – though who doesn’t like looking at a coffee station. : )

  • Felix

    I second the idea by studebakerkim. That sounds perfect! He could have an office that’s close enough to home to work his weird hours but far enough away to have some quite time. And you could have your old office back (and plenty of wall space for inspiration pix).