Monday, April 9, 2012

Customizing Your Outdoor Office

My large covered porch has a winter west wind protective wall. The Farmer put it up to keep the drifts and mounds of snow off. The drifts and mounds of snow never materialised, but my Cubby Corner, as I call it, is a bit of a greenhouse and I've been sitting outside for about a month and I've positioned a patio table so that I can hook up to hydro, have a view out to the yard and work with the sounds of nature surrounding me.

And I'm protected from the drifts and mounds of sand and dirt that inevitably blow around. Rain is kept at bay. I'm not bothered by the sounds of the house—the fan, the fridge, the corn stove— and I know my brain is in good shape because of the cacophony of birds that live around us. I have fresh air that's always in movement.

My Cubby Corner also lets me easily get out for a walk when I need it. (read more about that here, on my creativity and full-life living blog)

How to make it work:

  1. Grab the table you never put away last fall. Give it a good clean (pretty much each day: there's still dirt, no matter what) and put a tablecloth on it. It'll give you a little space to spread out.
  2. Roll out your good desk chair. Yeah, go ahead. It makes a difference.
  3. Make use of a basket or two. I have one for pens, pencils, post-its, erasers, paper clips, a cordless phone, scissors and the little notebook that holds all my passwords, because darned if I can remember them all. The other contains the files of work. Or the pile of paper you've been moving from one corner of your desk to the other.
  4. An extension cord and hydro outlet for your electronics.
  5. I've got a clock. I could use the one on the laptop, but... what do you do when you've closed it down? It lets me know in no uncertain times that I've spent way too much time trying to make a 40 point word with three consonants in Scrabble.
  6. A blanket is nice for those coolish mornings, although I wait at least until it's 5 degrees before setting up.
  7. It's a perfect place for a pot of tea. If you keep a separate little chair (mine's a purple beach chair) you can do your serious reading and cat cuddling there. Within a few weeks I will also be sleeping on the porch, so an afternoon nap is just steps away.
  8. At the end of the day... grab your baskets, yank the chair back up over the door ledge.
  9. Enjoy.

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