My Portable Office

November 3, 2011 , In: Organize, Travel

Sometimes there just isn’t room for a home office. Other times the only place for a home office is in a remote corner of the house, so far from all the action that your kids have to call you on the phone to ask a question about their homework (maybe that’s not such a bad thing). A home office may be a necessity, but the size, location, and even contents are dependent upon your lifestyle (and budget).

My last home was tiny, but I still had a dedicated home office. Unfortunately, as my kids got older (and their fighting more intense) I decided to give up my office so that they could have their own rooms. I couldn’t get much work done anyway with all that fighting.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to do next; there wasn’t even a spare corner in the living room for a little desk. From that day forward I started wandering looking for a little area that I could claim for my own.

I didn’t mind working from the kitchen table or counter, but every night I had to shove my projects into a nearby cabinet so we could eat dinner at my “desk”. Some nights I would work from the sofa or even bed while my hubby or kids watched T.V. The main problem with this arrangement was that I didn’t have supplies nearby. I was running back-and-forth to grab a pad of paper or a pen or a staple-remover. What do you do without desk drawers let alone a desk?

I decided to create an office tote. I filled a canvas bag with office supplies in small pouches, project envelopes, and file folders. My office supplies are now organized and ready to go wherever I decide to work.

Here is the end result:

The canvas bag is from LL Bean. I even spent a few extra dollars to have the word “office” embroidered on the front.

Inside I put everything that I needed to get my work done, pencils, pens, highlighters, a stapler, clips, a pad of paper, sticky notes and even work-in-progress and bills-to-pay. I organized current projects and bills using file folders and project envelopes. I organized office supplies in pouches.

The canvas is so sturdy you can even clip notes or to-do lists to the side.

Here is what you will need:

Medium Canvas Tote from LL Bean

Baggu Pouches

Project Envelopes or Thomas Paul String Folios

Semikolon File Folders

Susy Jack Clips

    • Margaret Sylvester
    • November 3, 2011

    Love it! Great idea!!

    • Jessica
    • November 3, 2011

    I am going to get starting working on my “office” this weekend! I live in a tiny apartment and don’t have room for an office. I have a very small “workspace” which takes up most of my dining room table right now. But with the new year approaching, I need a new system. Thanks for the idea!!

    • Sara Lacey
    • November 8, 2011

    Such a great idea! What size is the tote bag?

      • admin
      • November 15, 2011

      I’m so sorry for not posting the size. I used the medium size tote.

    • rachel
    • November 8, 2011

    Love this idea! Can you say what size the LL Bean Tote is? Looks like medium maybe?

    I have two part time jobs with shared offices and this would be ideal to go back and forth between spaces.

      • admin
      • November 15, 2011

      It’s the medium. Sorry about that. I’ve updated the post.

    • Claire
    • November 9, 2011

    What a great idea!

    • Cason
    • November 9, 2011

    I love the idea! I am interested to know what size tote you went with. It appears that you might have chosen the medium size, but not really sure.

    • Leann
    • November 9, 2011

    Wow thank you so much…I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to set up a nice calm workable office space in my very tiny and easily cluttered apartment. This is the perfect solution to gather all my scattered office supplies and make my work portable at the same time. Thank you for posting!!!

    • karen
    • December 10, 2011

    Great idea! A few years ago I bought a scrapbooking tote for the same purpose! My laptop and all of my supplies fit in it. Lots of pockets for supplies.

Comments are closed.

Meet Jane

Holly Bohn, Founder

To learn more about See Jane Work Founder, Holly Bohn, click here

See Jane Work Newsletter

Quick Tips

Feeling Overwhelmed

When you're feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty getting started, it helps to make a list. Get all that stuff in your mind down on paper. Limit yourself to one line per item, if you have a due date include that next to the item. Don't worry about priority or additional detail at this time, just get it on paper. Once you've finished, group items into categories by priority, then type, for example errands, calls, urgent, etc. Relief will come as you work through the list and cross things off.
To read past Quick Tips click here