Saturday, October 31, 2009

Organizing My Life - the Computer Room

I have another passion in my life besides genealogy - and that is organizing. Thankfully both interests compliment each other very well. My favorite genealogy classes to attend, deal with the subject of organizing your genealogy. I, like many others, am in the pursuit of the ultimate genealogy filing system.

Over the years I have come to realize that a filing system is a very individual thing. You need to take into consideration your mindset, what makes sense or clicks for you, after all you're the one having to work with it. Yet, it still needs to be defined enough so others that pickup after you can understand.

There have been wonderful systems, that others use, that would be totally unrealistic for me. That is because I don't have much space to work with. My computer room used to be an old utility room and measures 10'3" x 4'2" a grand total of 43 sq feet.

Welcome to my domain - the computer room.

If you look closely you can see some pipes against the wall. Those are the remains of water and power lines for a washer and dryer.

The file cabinet is 36"wide x 19" deep you can barely open the drawer and fit in front of it. Most filing is best done to the side of the drawer. Needless to say a total paper system of my 15,000 people database just isn't going to work here. I have to use this computer room to hold all household papers, not just my genealogy files.

I bet you're totally surprised that a 30" wide 3 shelf high bookcase is beside my file cabinet. Between the desk and the bookcase is a trashcan/shredder set up. In the little corner between the bookcase and file cabinet is a ceramic space heater to keep me toasty warm. There is no other heat source in this room.

Thank goodness for stackable racks and keyboard trays. It would be impossible to fit all the trappings of a functional computer setup in the room otherwise. Below the desk are two roll-able plastic storage organizers. The one on the right holds my "scrapbooking" supplies (mainly photos that need to be digitized.) You can also see I have an old monitor. I would just love a newer flat screen one but every time I think of buying one I hear my ancestors saying "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without". I totally wish that monitor would die and I'm sure it will some century, when no sales are on.

Using the computer in here is a totally isolated and personal experience. There isn't room for anyone to sit beside you. I can't even fully stretch out my two arms beside me without touching the walls. Mostly visitors have to stand behind me and look at the screen. Now isn't that a comfy arrangement!

The shelves were already in the utility room when we bought the house. We just took out the bottom ones to fit in the desk. Which is an old table from the second hand store. The shelves facing you are pretty deep so a lot gets crammed up there. It's just not functional to reach stuff on the top shelf though. I have to try and fit a step ladder in or get one of my 6'3" or taller sons to reach it for me. The decorative tins behind my toys hold various office supplies, mostly backup storage.

The shelves to the right are not as deep, but I still have room to put books two levels deep. Right behind the fan is a wood brace that fits on top of the file cabinet and holds up the shelf above. When we first moved in and I filled up the shelves the bottom one collapsed.

After looking at my computer room and how much space I have, you might have guessed I am going digital in my computer filing system. There just isn't room to add any more stuff in here. Later, I will discuss my computer filing system.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!


Sandra Johnson said...

I think you have done a great job with what you have.

Have you thought of trading places with the file cabinet and the desk. That would allow a bit more space around your desk. Another person could sit next to you - you could stretch out your arms and you might not feel like you were walking into a tunnel. Just a thought

Renee Zamora said...

Yes, we tried in the beginning putting the desk the long way. The desk is 30" deep and that leaves me 20" for the chair and moving around. The chair arms hit the bottom of the desk so you can't move it in to get around it. A computer chair without arms just feels weird.

I still can't figure out how anyone ever fit a washer & dryer in here and opened the doors to them.

Oh the joys of a tiny computer room! If needs be I can use my laptop at the kitchen table to show people things. But, my computer room sure beats using the kitchen table all the time.

dianne's blog said...

Thanks for sharing your room. I had my own room but the sister missionaries moved in . . . so now I have a corner in the family room. I am truly impressed as to how much you put in a very small amount of space.