Organising my home office :: Before & after (+ a giveaway)

I have a confession to make: although I am a bit of a neat freak, when I’m busy my workspace ends up in all kinds of a mess. While I’m at it I may as well confess to something else. As a creative I am not fond of doing admin or office organisation. As a result things tend to get out of hand in my tiny home office. I was at that point when I was asked to do this sponsored post for Officeworks on the theme of mastering my workspace. So I set about getting organised and decluttering both my space and my head space. I have a $100 Officeworks gift voucher to giveaway to help you with your workspace too – details are at the end of the post.

This is what my desk usually looks like when I have a lot on – there are notes scribbled on bits of paper, a heap of mail, piles of paperwork that need my attention, receipts and a general mess.



This is how it looks now:

the red thread home office makeover


I have a document tray, folders, a stack of small notebooks that I’ll use one at a time to write everything in – no more scraps of paper, and just one small pen cup. Did you notice the two big pots I was using to store pens – and everything else – before? It just confirms to me that the more space you have the more you accumulate. I didn’t need all those pens, textas, scissors, knitting needles(!), etc on my desk which is already too small. Best of all it looks like the workspace of a designer… being organised doesn’t have to mean a boring aesthetic.

The top of my desk may have been a mess, but it’s the shallow drawer under my desk that became the dumping ground for anything and everything. I’m embarrassed to show you this… but I’m excited to show you the ‘after’ shot.



All of Roxy’s bits and pieces were banished to her room and everything except office supplies went somewhere else. I bought two clear trays with compartments to hold all the bits and pieces and now the drawer is a neat freak’s dream!



My old ‘to be filed’ system consisted of this orange carry bag that sat under my desk or on a shelf, which I sorted out every quarter in time to do my BAS. I now have a system of folders in the document tray on my desk and in white storage boxes in the cupboard. The before and after:



I used to stick things randomly on the wall next to my desk, now a I have a much more practical magnetic whiteboard – I use it for important notes, as a moodboard and for inspiration. I discovered that Officeworks has a Print and Copy service and you can order online, so I’m going to get a few more photos printed to include on my whiteboard. The filtered water jug is another addition to my workspace that I love because I’ve found that I am drinking a lot more now that I have water close at hand. The black folders appeal to me as a designer as well as being super practical – one for each day of the working week. So organised!

the red thread home office makeover


A white document tray houses a stack of clear A4 and A5 wallets that I’ve labeled with washi tape for fast and easy filing of everything that lands on my desk. I have no excuse now to go back to piles of paper, and the little ‘to do’ list notepad is perfect for a quick visual of things to do first thing in the morning. I used to have my vast stash of washi tape in a bowl and now I have it colour coded and neatly stacked in a storage box.



One of the other useful things I’ve done is stock up on supplies like A4 paper, envelopes, batteries (it’s such a pain when the mouse batteries die and I have none at hand), notepads, staples and markers. I’m usually racing out to get something when I really need it – it’s such an inefficient way to work. Next I’d like to get myself a shredder, and to update my old chair to a more ergonomic office chair. While I was shopping at Officeworks I checked out their range of furniture and tried out a few comfy chairs. I must write a list!

I’m inspired now that I have my home office has good, simple filing systems and storage solutions. It’s a fresh start to keep me sorting, filing and organising on a daily basis and not let things get out of hand again, and I love having an empty white desktop to work on. I achieved all of this on a budget of $200 at Officeworks and I’m feeling like admin may not be such a formidable task in future. I’m not saying I’ll enjoy it – I’d much rather be making something – but it’s going to be so much easier!



I have a $100 Officeworks voucher to giveaway to one reader to help you create a workspace that inspires you to achieve your goals. Just comment below, answering this question: How will you master your workspace with Officeworks? The giveaway ends on Tuesday 29th July. Full terms and conditions. For other ideas, check out the Officeworks video How to Personalise Your Workspace. You can also share your workspace inspiration #MasterMyWorkspace.


This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Officeworks. I only partner with brands that are a good fit with my blog, my aesthetic and what you, my readers, enjoy. All images are by me, Lisa Tilse,  for the red thread blog. All words and opinions are my own.


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Photographer Irenaeus Herok :: Bondi Haze series

We’ve all seen countless photos of sun drenched Bondi Beach, but this series by photographer Irenaeus Herok captures the iconic spot on it’s hazy days. Bondi minus the glitz and sparkle has a calm and haunting beauty that’s captivating.


Bondi-Haze_1 Bondi-Haze-2 Bondi-Haze-3 Bondi-Haze-4

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LOVING :: Tinker by Printink Studio

Last year I bought a gorgeous screen printed canvas bag with metallic foil from Tinker by Printink Studio, which I have been using constantly ever since. At that stage they didn’t have products available on their website, but now that they do I’d love to share them with you. Melbourne-based Jason Cesani and Nadia Husiak are the creative force behind Printink Studio. They design and hand screen print everything in their Collingwood studio in keeping with their passion for hand made products that are locally crafted. Tinker by Printink Studio products include home furnishings, fashion accessories, children’s wear, fabric and wallpaper.

Their gorgeous bedlinen is designed to be mismatched together in a lovely contemporary eclectic way.

tinker bed linen tinker fabric via the red thread tinker by print ink via the red thread Tinker by printink tinker bed linen aqua

Find all these great, made by hand products online at Tinker by Printink Studios.


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Make a braided cuff bangle using Hama beads

Make this braided cuff bangle with my tutorial, using just Hama beads (aka Perler beads) and memory wire. It’s a great accessory for under $10, and the perfect craft for older children to do in the school holidays.


Make-a-Hama-Bead-cuff   Wearing-Hama-Bead-cuff

the red thread hama bead cuff



You can find my step by step tutorial to make this cuff bracelet on Tuts+


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Polli studio sale :: Up to 80% off jewellery, clothing, accessories

Polli are relocating to Byron Bay next month and they are clearing out their Sydney studio over three days, starting tomorrow 19th June at 1pm. They’ll be selling jewellery at up to 80% off, as well as mirrors, jewellery stands, decorations, clothing samples, past season clothing, shelving, desks, tradeshow props, back drops and even a giant jungle screen. And a bonus: Surface Art will be joining in the sale, bringing their range of screen printed clothing and fabric.

It’s going to be huge with lots of great bargains. Go along and say goodbye to the lovely Polli girls and stock up on beautiful Australian designed and made goodies.


Polli sale via the red thread



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