When we moved last year and downsized to a house almost half the size of the one we were leaving, I knew I was going to have to seriously rethink my book storage. I decided to combine our library with my home office. Since all I really require is a desk and a recliner to write in, we were able to fit 5 good sized bookcases in my little office.
This post contains affiliate links to items I bought for this office.
I don’t have a before photo of what the office looked like when we bought the house, but it looked pretty much exactly like this other bedroom that we also changed. The previous owners were big on diagonal wood paneling. Because who doesn’t want to look at diagonal wood paneling all day?
Notice the nice, smooth walls in the photo below! My husband ripped the paneling out with his bare hands and it was the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. Sorry if you weren’t planning on reading about my sexy husband in a post about my home office. You just never know what life is going to throw at you.
Back to my office. Here is my desk. I wanted a nice, big one, so that I could write on my laptop while surrounded by books or papers. This one has plenty of room to do so.
I wanted a huge bulletin board, but in the end, I opted for two separate ones. Since I write fiction and non-fiction, I can use one for my story ideas and one for my current book and blog notes. Here are the bulletin boards pictured below, and the cute pink pins I found.
I can’t wait to get these all decorated and organized. My fiction one will probably end up as a huge, beautifully messy collage, and the non-fiction one will be neatly organized and color coded. It will be like looking at both sides of my very interesting brain. Half chaotic-free-spirit, half task-managing-organizer.
I needed a task lamp (or as my girls both said, a Pixar lamp!) so that I could use it while working at my desk, and swivel it over and use it when writing in my recliner. This photo below is the only full photo of the desk I could get. I had to use my cell phone for this one. I wasn’t kidding about the office being small. I couldn’t get the whole thing in a photo using my regular camera lens.
On the other side of the room is our little library.
Below is another cell phone pic, since I couldn’t fit the whole wall into a regular photo. We have a few more boxes of books to find and unpack, so I left room for those. Most of our homeschooling books and children’s books are in our family room.
Next to the end of the library is this little closet, in which I’m storing yet more school books and we’re adding a shelf for the printer. On the closet door is a poster of my favorite small town. Because I know you’re going to ask, I found it on Etsy, here. They also sent a certificate from the Stars Hollow Museum, which totally rocked my world.
If you’re thinking I’m spoiled because I have a cozy recliner in my office, you’re kind of right. But, when I write for long stretches of time it starts to aggravate some pain issues I have. In this chair, I can recline and write for hours without getting sore. So it’s almost a necessity. I use this laptop tray meant for using in bed to keep the laptop off of my lap because even my light MacBook starts to hurt after holding it for awhile. This tray has made a huge difference in being able to work when I’m having a bad pain day. It’s a lifesaver!
Bonus, this chair is excellent for rocking grandbabies and for reading on lazy afternoons. Yes, that was a plural Grandbabies. Did you miss this announcement?!
I am obsessed with letter boards. I found this all-white letter board on Amazon here, where I also got the large letters and small letters. I don’t usually have the title of my book on it, I just did it for this post. I never said I wasn’t a dork.
Does this letter board remind you of anything? PS: You can Pre-order my book here. PPS: I obviously get a complimentary copy of my book from the publisher, but I still pre-ordered one for myself, and it was super thrilling. #dork
This sparkly pink “a” bookend is so me. I love it.
I have a thing for pink things. Pink just makes me happy! I found these pink hanging files and it makes filing so much more fun. I have 2 file drawers in my desk. It was a must-have when desk shopping, since my office doesn’t have room for a filing cabinet. I use one drawer for work files and one for home and finances.
More pink. Don’t hate me. I will eventually get drawer dividers, but for now I am using Birchbox boxes. They fit perfectly in the top drawer of my desk and they are pretty, too.
How Our Home Library is Organized.
Nonfiction is organized by genre, then by size. It’s more aesthetically pleasing to me to have the books organized by sized than by author.
Current research and work. If you notice the books that are facing spine-in (next to the “We can do it” Lunch box), those are books I am currently reviewing for a Summer Reading Guide I’m putting together. More on that later this month! I also have a ton of books on Redlands, CA, and some Mexican cookbooks and books on Mexican American Culture, WWII, and Opera. Research is fun.
Biographies and Memoirs
Bible and Bible Study
Women’s Bible Study and Issues
Parenting and Family
Alternative Medicine and Natural Remedies
Dieting. I have waaaay too many diet books. Anyone else?
Homeschool Mom Books
TV Shows. I have a little stack of books about TV Shows I love. Mainly, Gilmore Girls books, Downton Abbey books, The Crown Book, and I Love Lucy Books. I have a few more that aren’t unpacked yet. I also enjoy cookbooks based on movies, TV shows, and novels. I just love to read about what I’m watching and watch what I’m reading about. And eating what I’m reading about or watching is just even more fun, especially if I’m eating it while I’m watching or reading. Right?
A Small section of Photography and other random non-fiction books.
Cookbooks and lots of other homeschool books are in our family room.
Fiction books are alphabetized by author on each shelf, then by size. I have a shelf just for Christmas books, because I am me, and a few shelves of classics that we’ve studied for school and based entire school years on. (Like our Little Women Unit Study)
I also have a shelf for small paperbacks, because they just don’t look right mixed in on the other shelves.
I must admit, I have 2 entire shelves for my To-Read list. I have a nasty little used bookstore habit and when I see a book for $1 that’s been in my Amazon cart for weeks, I have to buy it. I have to! So, I’m not allowing myself to go to the used bookstores until my To-Reads are down to like half a shelf. Except maybe for the library sale that’s happening next weekend. IT ONLY HAPPENS ONCE A YEAR, GUYS. Sorry I yelled, but I felt you were judging me just now. Anyway…
Also on my To-Read shelf is a huge stack of John Grisham and David Baldacci books that my Dad loaned me right before we moved. Unfortunately, I only just recently found and unpacked them. I can’t wait to get to these once I get my Summer Reading Guide written. Dad, you’ll get these back soon. I promise! PPPS: Loaning me books might not be the best idea.
Like I said, I have some empty shelves waiting for more books to be unpacked. It’s a mystery what those shelves will hold.
My Working at Home/Entire Life Planner
While I’m showing you my office, I have to show you my planner. It’s customize-able, so I was able to choose exactly what categories I wanted space for each day. I got mine from Plum Paper.
Inside, there are monthly calendars that I use for my editorial calendar. There are all kinds of other planning helps, but I bought it for the weekly planning pages. I specifically chose the categories I wanted to make room for each day, and it really helps when planning my week. The only thing not included in this planner is school. I have a different planner for that.
I try to keep work and family separate, but the truth is, as long as my kids are still at home, work and family get jumbled up quite a bit. Having most of my responsibilities in one planner helps me keep things straight. I also use a large fridge calendar that I can look at each day and see at a glance what we have going on.
That’s my home office and library!
What is your favorite reading spot?