JENNY | My Office Room Makeover

April 15, 2019

This post has been a long time coming.

My work room has not been touched since the day we moved in. When we did, we literally threw everything into the shelves, bought a few trays and then the piles slowly built up higher and higher over the years. It got so bad in the last 1-2 years, that it would give me anxiety to just walk in, and I would not want to do ANY work inside there. This was just a recipe for disaster in terms of productivity. You couple that with the fact that my room gets SO little natural light, it meant that it was always dark or I would be sitting under fluorescent lighting most that reminded me of a doctor’s office or hopsital. You get the idea = it was not pleasant to be inside this space.

I am a person that thrives in a well organized and neat environment, but my only problem is time. I am VERY time poor which explains the huge clutter you will see in the ‘before photos’ further down the post. So, when it got to a slower period in work at the start of the year, I made the decision to overhaul it. I went out and bought what felt like hundreds of boxes (ok, im exaggerating, but I it was ALOT) of all kinds – cardboard ones, plastic ones that would stack and had wheels, containers of all sorts, shelves, baskets, and then a bunch of plants, little trinkets here and there to embellish the room once I was done with the organization part. Here is the final look!

But before we get any further, for full disclosure, this is the state I was living in below for YEARS:

Can you see the sheer mess? This was my life for years and years. Just throwing things on top of each other, or stuffing them inside drawers and cabinets. I have not even dared to open the cupboards to photograph what was inside, because it was SO disorganized. It wasn’t because I don’t love a beautiful space or organizing it, but I am so time poor most days, that this was a low priority on the list of things to do compared to others. Does this sound familiar to anyone? If you have been living like this for awhile, here are some tips to organization (These are particularly handy for small rooms):

  1. Start by throwing things out
    • take everything out of the room, put it in one big pile.
    • Start going through the pile, and throwing out anything you don’t want to keep (im pretty bad at this. I am a natural hoarder, especially sentimental things. But for this work room, I pretty much threw everything out. My husband’s rule is pretty good though, if you haven’t seen it or used it in the last 12 months, throw it or give it away/recycle it. Some people keep some stuff to sell, but  I have no time to sell so I tend to do the former.
  2. Organise the things you want to keep in categories
    • Start separating the ones to keep in their own individual piles
  3. Then slowly put these things into drawers/containers/shelves/boxes
    • I work pile by pile to put away stuff. That way it feels like I am actually accomplishing something when I finish one pile. It breaks down the MASSIVE task into smaller more achievable portions. It also allows for you to stop and resume the next day so you don’t feel like you need to do it all in one day.
    • During this stage, I realised there were alot of things I needed but did not have. So I think I made a good 3-5 trips for extra boxes, containers, and bits and pieces. The breaking it into achievable portions was wonderful as it allowed me to continue doing this sorting and putting away, in between the trips of purchasing the things I needed.
  4. Make sure EVERYTHING is visible when you are putting things away into boxes or containers
    • I can’t stress this one enough.
    • Being able to see everything allows you to easily access items. And also, not to forget about things after a period of time. I found the biggest hindrance to keeping stuff organised, was just not knowing what I put inside the boxes or containers previously. And so, i never opened them. Now, EVEN INSIDE the cabinets you see in my office, I’ve got clear stackable containers that store everything. Which brings me to my next point.
    • Stackable and clear containers/boxes are your best friend – if they have wheels (for the ones that sit on your floor) even better. it will help when cleaning so you can easily move things off the floor and just roll them out instead of lifting. If you need to use opaque boxes that you cannot see through, thats okay. Just make sure you clearly label them and that the labels are clearly visible in plain sight when you look at the area. Here is what the inside of my cabinets look like now:


I know this method is very similar to what Marie Kondo has been teaching, but I swear, I’ve been spring cleaning my rooms and house in a similar manner for years. It’s just that I don’t do it very often. Which explains the re-build up of ‘stuff’.



In terms of decorating your space, here are the guidelines I went by:

  1. Pick a colour palette
    • I went with white/wood/gold because I wanted a bright room (since the space does not get alot of natural light). The white helps to lighten a space, and the wood/gold touches help to add warm elements to the room so it does not feel too clinical.
  2. Consider adding greenery
    • Putting plants inside a room adds a touch of life. I love draping plants (to draw the eye up and down, and elongates an area) and big leafy plants such as Monstera plants for statement plants. I always think its good to have:
      • one statement plant to put in a corner and have it sit in a large pot or vase.
      • 1 or 2 draping plants (these can sit on a shelf ledge, or be hung from the ceiling or a hook you nail into your wall)
      • And a bunch of small plants to pepper across your desk or shelving area (some people like to put them at the window sill. I don’t have one so I put my small plants on the shelf or my table area)
      • If you have the money, you can also incorporate one vase for fresh flowers to sit at the side of your computer for a pop of colour. Because I don’t have time to go to the markets or florist very often, I have opted for a bunch of cotton stems (dried flower arrangements are another great option!)
      • Doing the above creates layers and textures to the eye of different sizes and shapes, so that your room as a whole can have variety without looking too busy).
  3. Add Art/prints/Photography
    • You can hang them on your wall, sit one on your desk, and have a few more scattered across your shelving using different sizes.
    • This is a great way to personalise your space. As well as a good method to incorporate some colour and add life to your room. At this point in time, I’ve already put in personal photographs, but I am still waiting for some vintage fashion prints to arrive so I can fill in my final frames. Below are some examples (these were the inspiration. Not the actual prints I put in:
  4. Lighting
    • Lamps or little fairylights strung across shelves or walls are a wonderful way to add textural light to a room that does not get a lot of natural light. My desk does not have space for a lamp, so I’ve decided to forgo this. That said, I do own fairylights and I will turn them on one day for a night time photo for this blog post or our instagram.

LASTLY, for those wondering where I got everything you can see it here:


1 – Plant from Hooga Official // 2 – White cardboard boxes from Ikea // 3 – Paper tray from Ikea // 4 – Gold glass box from Hooga Official // 5 – Plant from Ikea // 6 – Wooden containers from Ikea

7 – Cotton plants from Target Australia // 8 – Monstera Leaf from Ikea // 9 – White frame from Ikea // 10 – Woven pencil holder from Ikea (it actually is originally something to hold plants) // 11 – Bookshelf from Target Australia // 12 – White wide cabinets from Ikea

13 – Stackable clear drawers with wheels from Muji (they come in alot of different sizes and widths) // 14 – Chair from Lazada // 15 – Cup containers which can hang off ledges from Ikea // 16 – Woven baskets from Ikea // 17 – White furry rug from Target Australia


And that’s it! Hope you all enjoyed this post! Comment below if you liked this! Or have any questions! Or can relate to small dark spaces that need alot of help! haha! Til the next post!

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