Home Office Makeover: Welcome to Horkey HandBook!

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Welcome to Horkey HandBook’s “headquarters!”

Pull up a chair, kick off your shoes and stay awhile. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On a more serious note, I thought it’d be interesting to share with you a little “behind-the-scene’s look” at my new office space, what it took (including an expense breakdown) to renovate the space and a peek into what a typical day looks like for me (including a few productivity hacks). Ready?

Let’s dive on in!

A Video Tour of My New Home Office

Total Project Cost: $1,823

So what’d I spend it on?

The two most expensive purchases were a new window (our old one had a crack in the glass and we’re slowly updating all of the windows in the house anyway) and the convertible sofa. The window was ~$600 and the sofa ~$500 (give or take $50).


I was going for a “beachy” vibe for the overall room decor (by no means do I consider myself an interior designer). My favorite purchase is actually my new desk chair:

Home office makeover2

Cute, right?

Wade actually built the desk into the closet (we removed the doors) to save space and was extremely affordable to boot (melamine is what the desk board is actually called, thanks honey!).

We had recarpeted this room when we replaced the flooring in the rest of the basement, but didn’t think to tackle the closet at that time, so we repurposed some leftover laminate squares to cover up the concrete and add to the design.

The mirrors are also leftover from a bathroom remodel we did a couple years back. It’s always awesome when you can use up leftover materials!

I picked up the desk chair, small bookshelf and modern whiteboard from Office Max – the bookshelf was on clearance for less than $10 and the whiteboard was a steal at ~$35 (normally over $100).

Wade also built me a treadmill desk (the treadmill was existing and something that “lived” in that room prior to the makeover) based on a little Pinterest inspiration for less than $20. All you need is a piece of theย melamine board, four eye hooks and some small bungee chords.

Additional expenses were paint, blinds, supplies for the vent boxes Wade built, a new printer and a desk calendar. That’s about it really, but it sure added up fast! If you take the window and couch out of the mix, the rest was done for less than $700, which isn’t so bad I guess.

Home Office Makeover3A Day in the Life

I get a lot of questions about my work schedule, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of it with y’all.

I usually start my workday at 8am and work until 4pm, taking an hour for lunch with the family and to help lay the kiddos down for their naps (we’re lucky that our almost five-year-old still cooperates!). Wade and I will hang out if we have extra time or if I’m especially busy, I’ll just go back to work.

Since I sit almost all day for work, it’s important to me that I get to the gym. My mom and I work out with a trainer on Mondays and Tuesdays at 4:30pm, we do a fitness class on Thursdays at 5pm and I recently started training for another half marathon at the end of September.

And then there’s that whole treadmill desk thing.

I have to do some research in order to trouble shoot. It worked like a charm the first week – a couple of the days I walked five miles! But since then the security magnet thingy has started screwing with my wifi, so I can’t actually use the internet while walking anymore.

Pro tip: Walk SLOW, like 1.0 mph slow and at a bit of an incline (1.0-2.0). The goal is to get movement, not a full blown workout and your productivity shouldn’t take a huge hit while you’re doing your thang on your treadmill desk!

The office remodel and keeping up with clients has taken priority, so I haven’t really spent much time trying to figure it out. (If you have any solutions, please leave them in the comments!)

The nice thing about having specific times that I have to be at the gym, is that it gives me a firm cutoff time. When I get home, I usually take a shower and it’s already time for dinner. Sometimes I’ll work a bit after dinner if I didn’t get everything done. I try to keep it as family time though.

I used to work more weekends than I do now. During nap time on weekends, I’ll try to clear out my inbox and sometimes I’ll brain dump some new business ideas (it’s hard to turn it off!). Other than that, weekends are reserved for the family.

I start and end my workday with email – both for my three virtual assistant clients and myself. During the rest of my working hours, you’ll find me writing for clients, writing for this blog, drafting sales copy, working on my courses, checking in with my Facebook groups, meeting with coaching clients or nurturing peer relationships.

At the beginning of this year, I moved all meetings to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Since I meet with my mastermind group on Fridays, I recently changed my meeting days to Thursdays and Fridays. It’s not perfect, but it helps me to focus on creating the other days of the week.

I recently listened to a great podcast from Pat Flynn about keeping up and getting ahead with your editorial calendar. Pat talks about how he has one day reserved for podcast stuff, one day (Mondays) for writing, so on and so forth.

I’ve taken the first step by batching meetings only on certain days, but I could do a better job of reserving a day for Horkey HandBook (the blog), a day for client work and a day for working on courses or something. It’s a work in progress, but such is life.

If you’re not currently batching (saving up similar tasks to tackle all at the same time), you should start. It’s a great productivity hack!

So There You Have It!

I’m hoping to do some big things in this space over the next few years.

It may not be the fanciest, but it’s practical, has good light and gives me the space/privacy that I need to spread out. I hope you enjoyed the “sneak peek” into HH operations and my life.

As always, thanks for reading!

24 thoughts on “Home Office Makeover: Welcome to Horkey HandBook!”

  1. The office looks great Gina! You’ve inspired (and reminded) me that I too can work from my elliptical.

    On my way to it right now to catch up on emails! ?

  2. Look at how CLEAN your desk is!! I tend to print out things (still like to read/file stuff) and have a stack waiting to be filed. Then there are books that I’ve pulled off my shelves, that need to go back. My “projects” stack(s) … well, I better stop talking and start ‘doing’ something about them! Love that clean desk, though. So jealous!

  3. Love the office Gina! Looks fantastic, especially with the treadmill desk – you could even go for a run in between tasks! How in the world do you keep your desk so clean?

  4. I love this! I’ve always loved the closet offices I see on Pinterest, but hate and don’t work sitting at a desk anyway so in a Manhattan apartment I can’t justify taking up the space lol. I do hope my next apartment has some space for either a treadmill desk or second couch/chair to serve as a “work only” area, though. Right now, you know it’s business time when the blankets and pillows are on the couch and my laptop tray is set up on the bed with papers spread all around me. Haha every since elementary school it’s how I’ve preferred working.

    About your wifi sitch, once thing I’ve done to help my focus while writing is bringing up all the websites I need to research a piece of writing, then turn wifi off and write the piece if Google Docs offline mode. That way I can’t bring up new (and probs distracting) sites haha. But you could also just do that before you hop on the treadmill!

    I’m pretty sure most Google products – Drive, Gmail, etc. – have offline modes. And it’s actually a lot easier to work offline for an hour or two than you think, when you know it’s happening. (You learn this when you’re wifi’s out and you go to Starbucks 5x/day lol.) Depending on how long you’re hopping on the treadmill, you could always adapt that approach and queue up the sites/apps you need before you start walking!


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