The start of my freelancing journey was pretty chaotic, I didn’t have a ‘home’ so to speak and found myself living out of a suitcase between my parent’s house, boyfriends place and the house we had begun renting up in Berkshire. I rarely spent more than 7 days in one place and so my ‘office’ tended to be whichever table I could find to seat myself at for the day.
Finally, come January, we made the move to live in our rented house in Berkshire full time, and for the first time since beginning my freelancing career, I had somewhere I could start putting down roots.
I repurposed a second-hand desk, took my pink swivel chair out of hibernation and began making myself my first home office. It’s nothing fancy and won’t be winning any interior design awards but it does the trick and helps me to separate work and home from becoming one and the same under a single roof.
Over the coming weeks, my little home office has become a space I really enjoy spending time in. The windowsill is now lined with my books, plants and of course an obligatory scented candle. A few old side tables have become home to more reference material, my aromatherapy diffuser and my small but growing collection of homeworking essentials, 5 of which I’m going to share with you today.
- Hand cream
If there’s one thing I can’t stand when I’m typing, it’s the feeling of dry fingertips and so hand cream is an essential that I keep in my office, car glove box, and bedside cabinet. As a climber, my hands have seen more than their fair share of abuse and so I like to convince myself that I’m taking care of them by slathering on a generous layer of hand cream several times throughout the day. Currently, in my office, I have two different hand creams on the go, a rich, thick almond and milk cream by Burts Bees that smells like cherry Bakewell, and a lighter rose-scented cream by L’Occitane.
- Lip balm
Another essential that I like to have to hand in my office is a good old fashioned lip balm. If the central heating is on, which it quite often is, then my lips seem to feel dry in a second – one lip lick turns into two and then ten and before I know it I have sore and chapped lips which aren’t fun. Although I could probably list more than 10 different lip balms that are currently in my possession, the one that I have to hand at my desk is by eos, in their Instagram famous signature sphere pot.
- Nail treatment varnish
If climbing wasn’t tough enough on my hands, I also have the bad habit of biting my nails which means they need all the help they can get. When I’m tapping away at my computer I’m very conscious of my hands and if I can feel that my nails are dry and flaky I’m more likely to put them in my mouth to try and chew away the problem (I know – backward thinking). One thing I’ve found that helps, and also makes me feel like I’m not an evil nail torturer, is applying a nail treatment varnish to cover any dry, flaky parts of the nail, making them look and feel smooth and shiny, whilst also apparently nourishing them and helping them to grow stronger. The one I’m currently finishing off is the 7 in 1 Nail Treatment by Sally Hanson, which although pricy, does seem to be improving the condition of my nails.
- A water bottle
Having a water bottle by my desk is the only way that I’ll remember to drink anything other than tea throughout the day. I love this one by Corkcicle because it keeps water beautifully cold, never leaks, looks stylish and has a really handy rubber-bottom that stops it sliding around or being tipped over easily. I really don’t have anything negative to say about it – if you’re thinking of buying a Chilly’s bottle give Corkcicle a look first.
- My planner
Even when table-surfing my trusty planner was hauled around in my handbag everywhere I went. The one I’m currently using is the Getting Stuff Done planner by CGD London, and although not cheap, I’d be lost without it. Bound with padded leather and filled with quality paper the planner feels expensive and is a delight to write in. Each double-page is laid out the same with handy sections to help me track what’s on my to-do list alongside other useful lifestyle things such as exercise, meals, self-care and water consumption. Sitting down and physically writing out what I want to achieve from the day alongside what I am going to do for my own personal wellbeing is now a staple part of my morning routine and I’ve noticed that it helps my productivity too.