Closet Writer

Closet Writer

I am writing in the closet. This is not unusual. Well, not for me anyway. This closet is my office. I pass mornings inside this windowless six by six square. I birth blog posts, craft queries, and draft articles. In the afternoon, I do medical transcription here.

Why? You ask. Isn’t it depressing to be tucked into a little closet, all alone, for forty hours a week?

Nope. It’s the best work decision I’ve made since I began working from home last year.

I live in a 450 square foot studio apartment with four closets. The only doors in the apartment are the door to the hallway and the closet doors. I live alone. If you work at home, or have ever done so in the past, you know where I’m going.

Before I worked in the closet, I worked under the big window in the dining area. I put a desk there instead of a kitchen table. I loved the open workspace, the view of Highland Avenue busy with cars, the trees in the distance, the sound of the bus stopping outside with a cool, female voice proclaiming “500, Downtown” ever twenty minutes or so.

But I couldn’t shut the door on my workspace so work snuck into my down time pretty much all the time. Unfinished poems eyed me while I lay in bed at night. Emails called to be answered while I scrambled eggs for breakfast. On Saturday afternoons when I baked desserts for my boyfriend, my list my Masters thesis soured the milk while begging for attention. It poisoned my whole life.

So, I considered my closets.

Doors are powerful. At the end of the day, when I shut that door with my desk, laptop, and notebooks behind it, my whole body relaxes. I go to the kitchen and make dinner and my unfinished sentences don’t attack me. The door holds them in. A few bits of work might slip under the crack in the door, but it’s much less.

It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the kitchen table. Work at home is a work in progress. Consider what will make you happy. Always aim to improve your office, whether it’s in the closet or not.

In a couple of weeks, I have to say good-bye to this office. I am moving in with my boyfriend (yay!) but I will be back to working in the dining room (boo) of our one-bedroom apartment.

I’m more nervous about putting my workspace in the dining room than any other aspect of moving in with Kevin. We don’t have enough closets for me to make another closet office there. It will be easy for me to work to the point of burnout, never escaping.

So it is time to get creative again.

I’m hoping the new space will tell me how to use it once I spend more time there.

For now, I’d like your suggestions. Where do you work? How do you keep your work life separate from your home life? What works and doesn’t work for you? Do you have a closet office? What’s the strangest place you’ve ever worked?

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