2019 Study Cleanup

Perhaps it was a form of procrastination to kick off the year with this, but my study was really a mess and not at all a pleasant place to be in so I felt I had to do something about it before I could start tackling more critical stuff.

The last time I cleaned up my study seems to have been November 2017 (according to Twitter). Since then I moved a single-seater couch into the room so we could play Stardew Valley multiplayer more comfortably and loads of stuff got dumped on my desk, shelves and the cadenza during the process of clearing the front of the house for work on the new kitchen to commence…

Here’s what my desk looked like after the 2017 clean-up:

Desk 2017

Unfortunately, I was too stupid to take pictures before I started the clean-up process, but I’ll try to illustrate the situation using the mock-up I created for planning the new layout.

The layout looked as follows:

Study Layout Before

The real situation was much worse than that seems because there was junk on every flat surface and both shelves were nearly completely inaccessible:

Study Junk Before

I realised that the most significant part of the problem was that the couch had taken up so much space that it was no longer possible to move around the room without climbing over things. But I really liked the idea of a softer seat on which to rest my behind when reading or drawing so I decided something else has to go. I started by making a mock-up of the study to use to figure out what would stay and what would go.

After coming up with at least 6 different layouts for the study, I finally settled on this one, mainly because this design involved the least movement of the heaviest objects in the room:

Study Layout Planning

Once I had settled on a plan it probably took me two to three weeks of coming home each night and spending two or three hours throwing stuff away, cleaning up and moving furniture to get to the final result.

I got rid of the wooden desk in favour of making my larger desk clear enough so that two people can comfortably sit working next to each other.

The wooden shelf also had to go, so most of the games and books on it went into crates to be sold or donated as soon as I can find homes for them. The stuff I wanted to keep went into the shelf-cupboard and once I eventually got the wooden shelf cleared that went to our bedroom to help sort out some of the chaos in there.

The final result is a huge ergonomic improvement (with the single exception of it being very hard to plug cables in and out of my PC, which is now on the floor between the desk and the shelf-cupboard).

My desk is now almost completely empty:

Empty Desk

The shelf cupboard is reasonably well organised:


I have a nice reading and drawing area next to the cadenza:


And finally the whiteboard is more easily accessible now that all that junk next to it has been cleared:



Matt Van Der Westhuizen

Back-end service developer at Ubisoft Blue Byte by day - wannabe game designer & developer by night.