While much of the world is starting to adapt to a life of working from home, I am in the process of setting up a home office in preparation for my new life. What form that will take exactly, I’m not sure.
I was recently laid-off from my job of 19 years. This lay-off occurred just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the globe. Unlike other people who have lost jobs as a result of the pandemic, I was already unemployed and largely staying at home before our current shelter-at-home policy took effect.
I had not really started thinking about how or where I would work until the shelter-at-home requirements had been put into place. My timing is terrible, I know. The BWI Pen Show and the Arkansas Pen Show were immediately after my lay-off and I hoped they would provide an infusion of funds and much-needed time with friends and penthusiasts.
Once I returned home after the Arkansas Pen Show, I realized it was time to get serious about dusting off my resume and portfolio and start planning for my new life, whatever form that may take.
Part of that planning included needing to set-up an actual work space at home. Previously, I had been making do, working from the kitchen counter or precariously balancing my CINTIQ on the edge of a tiny tabletop when freelance work was needed. This was not comfortable or the least bit ergonomic.
Initially, we were planning to acquire various new pieces from IKEA including an adjustable standing desk, new drawer units and accessories however the whole non-essential travel ban made it necessary to think inside the box. By that I mean, we needed to poke around our packrat house and try to locate items we could use or reuse. Bob found an old, extra-large (30″x40″) drafting board in the basement that he had purchased at a yard sale several years ago. He got out the power sander and some stain and urethane and refinished the drafting board into a new worktop for me. He also found an old set of IKEA legs at the print shop and mounted them on the bottom. Voila! a new-old desk.
It has enough room for my CINTIQ touch screen, laptop, bluetooth keyboard and some pretty bits so that it doesn’t feel too austere.
We rescued an old metal drawer unit from the print shop as well that I could use to put various ephemera bits. It currently has our postal scale (yes, we are still shipping out orders!) and I’ve added a couple of my Dudek pen blocks so I have both beautiful and useful writing tools at the ready.
Also on my desk are:
- Galen Leather washi tape dispenser ($35 via Vanness PenShop)
- Japanese tea warmer ($18.99 via Amazon)
- Bunny Desk Scissors ($29.95 via Amazon)
- Anker Soundcore Boost Bluetooth speaker ($59.99 via Amazon)
- Kathy Weller “We are the Weirdos” mug ($20.50 via Etsy)
- Kate Spade stationery box ($30)
- sheep pushpin keeper ($9.95 via Amazon)
- Pelikan Star Ruby Fountain Pen ($167.95 via Goldspot Pens)
- Lamy 2000 Multi-Color Ballpoint (€56.20 via Appelboom)
- Parker Jotter Fountain Pen ($24 via Goldspot Pens)
And before anyone asks, it looks like the cover on my laptop is no longer available on Amazon but similar designs can be found here.
Have you set-up a work-from-home space? Are you making do on your couch or kitchen table? Or are you still able to go to your job wherever it may be?
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