What’s my home office secret? Organization — I don’t haz it.

My home office is a chaotic mess, but it’s MY mess. It’s a comfortable place to work, allows the cat lots of places to throw up, and causes lots of creativity to happen as a pile of filing cascades over a pile of client proposals. (This gives me a no-cost brainstorming session, something that I charge my clients big bucks to facilitate in their neat offices.)

Need to find a receipt from several months ago? That’s about two inches down. A proposal for a client from last year? Just search the “C:” drive for “*.doc” and it’s sure to show up. One of the pugs barking angrily and can’t find him? Poke those back corners with a stick and wait for the squeal.

max_in_laundry2The computer equipment is even more entertaining. As a former Microsoft employee, I’m sure my clients envision some kind of “clean room” environment, with gleaming server racks and cables with wy-ties on every bundle. Nope. Few of the boxes even have the covers on, dust bunnies are everywhere, and cables loop and swoop.

There’s a nice color printer I don’t use anymore, because the ink ran out. Now I rely on an old HP Laserjet I got for $50, because there’s still some toner in the cartridge. My speakers are a little tinny, because the puppy chewed on the bass unit under the deck and it’s never really worked right since then. And it’s hard to see the keyboard, because the bulbs burned out in the overhead light a few weeks ago.

Wireless? Not too reliable. The router is balanced precariously on a windowsill, and when kitty suns herself we get unexpectedly disconnected. Not to mention that it’s plugged in to a bus bar with about 20 other power plugs, all on a 15-amp circuit in a very old house. Spikes? Nah — I doubt the power here ever gets above about 90 volts on a good day.

But I don’t have to worry about any of my customers EVER seeing the truth. For all they know, it looks like a NASA Shuttle Assembly Bay here.

Ah, Working At Home. Not bad — not bad at all.


  1. Sherra Scott says

    Sadly, my desk looks a lot like you describe. I’ve got an unused router sitting on a pile of papers that should have been sorted through & either scanned or shredded over a year ago. The wires connecting all my stuff together is insane. If you look at the “output” area for the ADF on the top of my multi-function you’ll find papers from I’ve a year ago. It all drives my overly organized husband nuts. He rarely goes up there anymore.