Home Office Organization

Week Two: A Bowl Full Of Lemons “14-Week Organization Challenge”

For the second week of the organization challenge, participants organized their home office or office type space. My designated office space is my apartment’s “Den”, which is a pretty small space that doubles as a guest room when I have people visiting. I already have decent organization in this space, however, I do sometimes get in the habit of using it as a dumping ground … which you will see in the before photos.

Before

My office isn’t large, it is comprised of an antique pine table, and Pottery Barn Daily system which I got for an incredible deal. On the opposite wall I have an Ikea fold out couch that turns into a queen bed for guests!

Process

The first thing I did was go through everything in my office. The main challenge was sorting through all of my paper I’ve been holding onto – mail, paid bills that I have digital versions of, and just things that I’ve kept for far too long. Once I figured out what was staying and what was going I shredded, recycled, relocated and filed away into my current system.

To clean the office I took everything off the desk and shelving. Next I dusted and cleaned the surfaces. I also vacuumed before putting everything back. When placing everything back in it’s place I ended up restyling the shelves and also did some minor cable management.

After

Office Details

Incase you are curious, here are some of the things in my office pictured above!

Hanging Wall Organizer (Pottery Barn)

Wall Shelves (Pottery Barn)

Table Lamp (Ralph Lauren, can find on Ebay or other Re-selling sites)

What’s Next

I have aspirations to warm up my office space with more personal touches. This year, I plan to wallpaper and hang some art or a mirror to make the space feel more special. Also, I think I can streamline my filing system a bit more, but for now this is working for me!

This Organization is hosted by the incredible and inspiring A Bowl Full Of Lemons – be sure to check out her blog for more on the challenge!

I Created My Dream Office On a Budget Using Facebook Marketplace

The Dream

As an avid consumer of Youtube, Blogs, IG, Pinterest for many years – I have created an idea in my head of what my dream home office would be. A giant sun-filled room, perhaps in South Hampton, surrounded by book cases and substantial furniture. Closets filled with perfectly organized paper, pens …. you get where I am going with this vision.


The iconic office in “Something’s Gotta Give” | Image: Sony Pictures

The Inspiration

If you are from the same corner of the internet as I am, you know Jen Ross of Pretty Neat Living (formerly Organized Jen). Over the years Jen has shared her AMAZING Office/ Craft Room and it’s evolution. This is where my obsession with the Pottery Barn Daily System kicked into gear. I knew I wanted to have this look and organization.

image courtesy of PrettyNeatLiving.Com

Jen has shared many detailed videos of the space on her channel. For a start – here is an overall tour:

Jen Ross Craft Room Tour: Youtube.Com
Image: Pottery Barn

Reality Check …

When I began the process of creating my home office I had a few hurdles. Firstly, space. Living in a moderately sized apartment, I didn’t have a ton of space to work with. The “den” I was working with also had to accommodate a pull out couch to sleep guests – so I was working with about a ten foot span of wall …. that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful to even HAVE a space to house an office just for me – but this was a far cry from my Pinterest dream space.

image courtesy of PotteryBarn.com

The next obstacle was budget. Again – grateful to have any extra cash to put towards this project that was very much a “want” and not a “need”. I was alarmed when I went onto the Pottery Barn website to learn that to create my dream space with all the bells and whistles I would be out THOUSANDS of dollars. This was not in the cards. So – I had to get crafty!

The Solution

After I came to the quick realization that I would have to get creative to achieve my “dream” office I began researching. I scoured the internet for similar furniture and organizers I was left disappointed – I couldn’t get the vision out of my head!

image courtesy of Facebook

I had never used Facebook Marketplace before, but have heard friends, family and influencers rave about the deals and finds they had scored on the platform. I went on and began searching. I tried keywords like “Pottery Barn”, “Pottery Barn Office”, “Pottery Barn Organizers” …. you get the idea. Eventually after doing this for a few days A MIRACLE HAPPENED! Someone in my city was selling two pieces of the Daily System, in the right colour and everything!

Facebook Market Place Buyer Tips:

  • Make sure listing photos show ALL aspects of the item for sale, don’t be afraid to ask the seller to share more photos so you can avoid buying chipped, dented or heavily used items without knowing it
  • Research pricing of the item at retail value, as well as what other people are re-selling it for to know if you are getting a good deal
  • Message the seller about the item! I have had awful experiences with sellers not being friendly over messages, which makes me uncomfortable with the prospect of potentially meeting them to obtain the item. You have to be careful! I always like to get a feel for them via how the communicate over messages as an extra safety precaution
  • Ask questions about the item and inclusions. For example, when I was buying the daily system on FB Marketplace, I double checked with the seller that she was also including the mounting rods and necessary hardware that was pictured

The Finds

As mentioned, I got lucky and found mint condition Daily System pieces in my desired colour, creamy white. I lovely lady was selling both the linen pin board and mail sorter with accompanying mounting rods – all of which is usually sold separately. After acquiring these pieces I was determined to find another deal. Eventually, I found a seller who was offering two, mint condition, white, Pottery Barn Kids shelves (you would never know they are kids furniture, they are simple/ classic white shelves).

The SAVINGS !!!

For pictured, the retail value would be $440 (plus tax).

Here is what I paid:

  • Letter Bin, Linen Pin Board, 12″ Display Rod and 24″ Display rod $45
  • Two Shelves $25

I saved $370 ! I don’t know about you, but I love a good bargain so putting in the extra time to find the items being sold and driving time/ gas to pick up the items was way worth it.

End Result

In the end it all came together nicely. I was very pleased with the way the Pottery Barn pieces were able to fit into the space. I paired my new daily system and shelves with an antique pine table I already had, as well as a lamp to add warmth to the space. The final touch was adding books and personal items. I will be sharing more on my office space in posts to come. I spend a lot of time in my little office nook and I love it a lot.

I hope this inspired you to checkout Facebook Marketplace for your dream “out of reach” items. Happy searching!