Office Style: 3 Quick Tips for Sprucing Up Your Office at Work

The firm I work for recently moved locations, so a couple weeks ago I drove to the new place to hunt out my new space and found this:

So. Much. Stuff.

By time I dragged the desk and filing cabinets into a better position and unpacked so, so, so many bins… my office looked like this:

Better. But so boring. So, I figured it was the perfect time to write a quick blog post on easy ways I like to spruce up my work office!

Tip 1: Add some texture

In the past, I’ve added a pretty rug in front of my desk, but this time I decided to grab a couple of those handmade blankets I keep thrifting and put them to work. I draped one over the back of my chair to bring in some comfiness, color and an extra layer when my lap is a little cold. I also put one over the guest chair (which I forgot to take a photo of).

In addition to the blankets, I picked up a couple colorful fake flowers from the Marshall’s clearance section. They bring in some prettiness and color… and I can’t kill them.

Tip 2: Order a few hooks

I love these Command hooks – I’ve used them in my office, at home in my closet, and I even bought a two pack for inside our new shower to hold our towels. This set is a nice, heavy metal and does a great job of keeping my purse and laptop bag off the floor.

Tip 3: Don’t forget some pictures

Sure, lots of people like to hang their diplomas… but mine are hung up in my home office. So, I grabbed a few unused frames from my closet (previously used for Jack’s room years ago), and purchased a 4-print set of mid-century modern prints. They remind me of our trips to Utah and Arizona and they look professional, but also soothe my graphic design itch. What more could you want?!

I also found this fabulous ‘cow’ picture at Marshalls in the clearance section. With his swoopy bangs, he looks like an emo cow to me, which makes me giggle. So obviously I had to add it to my office wall!

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An Easy How-To Guide for a Coat Closet Cleanout

The front entrance area of our house is typically neat-ish. We have designated shoe areas and we are all good at putting our shoes in the proper places. And then there is the coat closet… which is A MESS. In addition to dozens of coats and sweatshirts, there is also our luggage, hats, gloves, old boots that should have been trashed, multiple picnic blankets, a bunch of retired pillows, dog stuff, and so much more.

A few weekends ago, I’d had enough and decided that it had to be cleaned out RIGHT THAT SECOND. I don’t know if there was a *smell* or if it was in my imagination, but I felt like our front entrance smelled stinky. And the only way to deal with the funk is a full-on closet cleanout!

Step 1: Remove every single thing from the closet and throw it on the floor. The closet should be totally empty other than any sort of organizer system you may have going on. Use this opportunity to vacuum it out and/or wipe down the floor with bleach wipes to get rid of any yuck that might have accumulated.

Step 2: Pick up every single item one at a time and make a ‘stay or go’ decision. That’s right, we’re going full-on Marie Kondo on this stuff. Does it give you joy?? If the item stays, it gets added to the ‘needs to be washed’ laundry basket. If an item goes, pick whether it goes into the ‘consignment/Poshmark sale’ laundry basket or the donation trash bag.

If you’re not sure whether an item stays or goes, add it to a pile to compare/contrast with what you already have. In our case, my husband has a category of clothes called his ‘garage work sweatshirts’. Each time we came across a ‘garage work sweatshirt’ it went into the pile. Then, we picked his three favorites to keep (aka add to the ‘needs to be washed’ basket) and the rest were donated or trashed, depending on how bad they were.

We did the same thing with the pile of gloves we somehow accumulated over the years. And the winter hats. And pillows. And picnic blankets. Every. Single. Thing.

Before too long, we had multiple bags to get donated to the thrift store, one pile to get listed on Poshmark or consigned, and a huge overflowing laundry basket of coats, sweatshirts, gloves and more that needed to be washed.

Step 3: Do ALL the laundry. I swear, the rest of the day was spent doing laundry — I did load after load and washed every single item that went back into the closet.

Step 4: Put the donation bags directly into your vehicle and take them to be donated at the thrift store. Don’t shove the bags in a corner or out of the way somewhere. This is how they get reabsorbed into the house! Donate them and move on.

Step 5: List the items you’re selling on Poshmark or make an appointment to drop them off at the consignment shop ASAP.

That’s it! The main part of the cleanout only took us an hour or so (the laundry took much longer), but now we have an organized hall closet and NO funky smells (imagined or otherwise).

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May Thrift Haul

This was an extra lucky thrifting month for me and I’m excited to share it with you guys! I ended up with some fantastic home items, a super sparkly tank top and some adorable kid’s clothes that I chopped apart.

Let’s take a look:

Cactus picture, $14.50

You guys, this cactus picture was love at second sight. Not first sight – I left it behind at the Goodwill the first time I saw it – but second sight, when I realized a week later that it was a missed connection. Luckily, the picture was waiting for me, still with the brand-new box and tags on it! It looks perfect in it’s rightful place by my bed. Now, that is absolutely giving me more than $14.50 worth of happiness.

Sparkly tank top, $2

When I was planning my outfit for the Taylor Swift show, I knew I wanted something to go with my star + moon tulle skirt for my Midnight’s Era look. Obviously, sparkles was what I needed! I picked up three potential sparkly tops, brought them home to try on, and this one was the winner…for just $1.99! The other two tops went back (my new Goodwill takes returns within 7 days) to the store for someone else to love.

Here it is with my fabulous skirt:

Lu-Ray Cups and Saucer set, $12.50

When I saw these, I loved them. But when I did a little research on the brand… I loved them even more. Lu-Ray Pastels was Taylor, Smith & Taylor’s most popular line of dinnerware. They were made in the United States and was first introduced in the summer of 1938 and discontinued in 1961. Each piece is stamped on the bottom with the date it was made, and my pieces are from the 1940’s.

I purchased the whole set of 4 saucers and 4 mugs for $12.50 total and I’m thrilled to add them to my home!

2 Pottery Cups, $2 each

Here are two more items that I fell in love with immediately. I found these little pottery cups tucked in with the glasses section, but I love them as homes for my tiny succulent plants. These are definitely handmade, but there are no markings (other than a “12” written on the bottom in pencil) to tell me where they came from. They look adorable in my bathroom.

Chive Pooley 2 Vase, $4.50

I’ve seen this vase online before, so when it popped up at my local thrift store in perfect condition with no chips or breaks, I had to grab it. It’s sold online on the Chive website for $34.95, but I purchased mine secondhand for $4.50.

It looks adorable with an assortment of little stems in it on my kitchen counter.

Kid’s clothes, $7.50 (one on half price) down to $6.25 total for three

Last, but not least, I checked the kid’s section for some denim in fun colors and prints. I found these three items, which totaled $6.25 for all of them. These cute little pants and dress were cut down into patches, which I used for a visible mending project on a pair of favorite jeans. And I still have plenty of patches left for future projects!

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