NaNoWriMo ’17 Prep #1: Clean Your Desk

Desk Before

This is what my computer desk looked like when I woke up this morning. I’ll admit, I was tempted to dust it off and straighten it up a bit before taking this picture–but in the interest of complete disclosure, my working area is usually a mess.

It’s been on my mind to fix that.

I hated that my monitor’s been propped up by three of my fat cookbooks since…well, since I got this desk years ago. I meant to replace them with something more useful, some kind of storage unit. But what could I possibly find that would be the right size? So I never did.

But it’s not a very inviting place to work, is it?

A week or so ago, I stumbled across a blurb on making cardboard furniture, and I had my answer.

Desk After

This is what my desk looks like now.

It only took me about two hours (including the glue-drying time!) to put together an incredibly simple structure. The whole thing is 7″ deep, and the three units are two 5×5″ and one 7×5″ tubes, glued side by side, then topped with a single continuous piece of cardboard to give the monitor base something flat to sit on. After I had that all together, I measured and cut the brace pieces to divide the smaller sections and make the whole thing more stable.

It doesn’t buckle, it doesn’t shift, and it supports the weight of the monitor easily. I’m sold.

Yes, it’s still obviously made of cardboard, glue, and reinforced paper packing tape. (That stuff’s magic, let me tell you.) I’m going to leave it as is for at least a few days to see if it’s a comfortable height for me–it’s a bit taller than the book stack was. If I like it, I won’t need to make a new one, so I can paint and finish it. (Black, of course, to go with my desk.)

I dusted, I sorted through my random stack of papers and threw out the old stuff. My pens and lip glosses don’t have to share a teacup anymore. I have room for my journals in the center unit, hurray! And my camera goes in the space that’s empty in the picture, because I’m using the camera to take the picture.

Also, I don’t intend to burn the candles where they are now–I’ll bring them forward when I do. Setting the small one alight while it’s directly underneath my monitor is a terrible idea.

So there’s my first recommendation to get ready for NaNo this year–clean your desk. Or wherever your working space is. Make it pleasant and comfortable, because next month, you’re going to be spending a lot of time there.

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