Lately I've received numerous inquiries about my live/work office space. (Does it REALLY look like that? Where's all the stuff? What is it like working and living in the same tiny space?) In this post, I'll provide a list of my go-to supplies that help keep the room organized and uncluttered.
Here is how the office generally looks on a daily basis. Sometimes it's a bit messier, sometimes it's a bit more simplified, but this is usually the norm:
First off, I should mention that nearly all of my business work is done digitally. My office is not a traditional artist's studio, so I don't have to house hundreds of materials and tools. Having said that, I do store craft supplies, a printer, a scanner, my business documents and standard materials, chords and tech accessories, reference materials, and other such office items my tiny home-office.
This is what is in, on or around my desk at all times:
1. Apple AirPort Time Capsule
Like so many people, I've experienced a total loss of my main hard drive... and it was pretty devastating, both personally and professionally. For better or worse, our computers are now our record collections, photo albums, filing cabinets, bookshelves and more, so I will never again make the mistake of failing to back up my machine. The Airport Time Capsule by Apple looks clean and minimal while backing everything up in case of calamity. Plus it provides a strong WiFi signal (with multiple network logins) so my collaborators and team members can work throughout the cottage and garden with me.
I got this particular Airport Time Capsule from ENJOY, which just launched here in LA (they're in numerous other cities as well). One of their experts (Umair) brought it to the cottage and installed it for me at no additional cost. Umair set up the Capsule and reworked the new WiFi networks within 30 minutes. (We also arranged a special discount code for $50 off any Apple product from Enjoy.com to share through 6/30/16: RAF-WHITNEY)
2. Big Jambox Bluetooth Speaker
The Big Jambox Speaker is great for small spaces. It's about 10" x 3" x 4", and comes in a variety of colors. This one blends into the cottage perfectly-- I keep it in the corner of the main room, above the kitchen cabinets. I can hear it clearly throughout our home and garden. It's wireless, and the charge lasts for around 15 hours. I stream Spotify or iTunes to it from the iPad and my old iPhone all day long.
3. Brother DS-620 Color Mobile Scanner
This little gizmo is one of the best purchases I've ever made. I scan all of our financial records, medical documents, pet paperwork, cards and notes. It saves me from accumulating piles of paper around the cottage, and helps my business run more efficiently. It measures 11.5" x 2" x 1.5" inches-- basically the size of a thick ruler. I highly recommend it, or a similar model.
4. Muji Handy Paper Shredder
After scanning all our documents, I need to shred a good deal of them. Usually it's just a page or two, along with a few receipts per day, so I use this amazing mini shredder from Muji to get the job done. It measures about 7.5" x 2", and is sleekly designed.
5. Poppin Supplies
Poppin is pretty much the best. They make modern, beautiful office supplies in a variety of colors to suit your taste. For those of us in small spaces, it helps when functional items are also pleasing to the eye-- that way we can leave them sitting out (as storage is so limited), while maintaining a clean and mindful space.
6. Cord Taco by This Is Ground
(See item #8 for details)
7. BackPack for iMac by Twelve South
The BackPack for iMac shelf is probably the handiest tool in my office. It stores my portable scanner, hand-held shredder and client hard drives-- all safely and out of sight. I recommend it to everyone with an iMac, no matter what size space you have.
Here's the description from their website: BackPack is a sleek, sturdy shelf designed exclusively for your iMac or Apple Display. This gorgeous slice of steel makes a perfect perch for hard drives, USB peripherals or business cards. Included vertical support pegs prop up tall drives, Time Capsule or even your MacBook Air. BackPack hangs on the back (or front) of your iMac using two clips and gravity. Built-in cable management rails hold your power cords in place for grab-and-go convenience. BackPack is here to help you create the minimalist zen-like workspace your Mac was made for.
8. Tech Dopp Kit by This Is Ground
I'm obsessed with This Is Ground-- they make the greatest leather organizational tools I've ever used. I also love the team behind the company-- they're based in downtown LA, and I've worked with them on several occasions in the past. This is the regular-sized Tech Dopp Kit, and I use it to hold my mirrorless camera's accessories. I also use their Cord Tacos, Mod Laptop and Mod Tablet daily.
9. Not Pictured: Organizational Pouches in Baskets
Lastly, I keep organizational pouches containing miscellaneous tools, cords, envelopes, etc. in zippered toiletry cases from West Elm (but you can get these pretty much anywhere). I keep them in baskets throughout the living room. Much like the printer, the baskets are stashed in the few built-in cabinets (some exposed, some covered) surrounding our couch.