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I run this little business from what is probably supposed to be the dining room of this small suburban family home, but is way too small for the big table my family sits at for meals.  It is sort of a whole room, but feels like a corner because it is in the corner of the house with two rooms leading off it. 

There are double sliding doors on one wall leading into the kitchen/meals area, and a double archway with no doors leading into the lounge room/family room.  I can keep a good eye on the kids from here, and get to my desk easily while I’m cooking, cleaning, washing and so on.  It contains an Ikea desk, a filing cabinet, a couple of chairs and a piano, and until recently one overloaded Ikea Billy bookcase.

The problem with my office until recently, was lack of storage.  The two drawer filing cabinet was broken and overloaded, and books were in piles on the floor with nowhere for them to go.  So, I have finally treated myself to a new, three drawer filing cabinet and three new Billy bookcases.  I chose black metal for the filing cabinet and dark brown for the bookcases.

The bookcases have been arranged in the corner, one against the wall, and the other two at a right angle to it, creating a bigger corner, so that they partly block the large archway, creating more privacy for me, and making it easy for me to reach things on the shelves.  I like the darker colours too.  This room has plenty of light from a window looking out into the back yard – yet another view of what my kids are up to – jumping on the trampoline and playing with the new puppy.

Although the bookcases were inexpensive flat packed ones I assembled myself, the fact that they are in a uniform colour and grouped together makes them look more impressive.  I’m really enjoying the feeling I’m creating in my little space.  If I ever move to a larger home, Ikea will still be making the same range, and I can add to it if needed.  They have stopped making the oak colour of the ones I already had though.  Two of those ended up in kids rooms, and the one I was using is now in the lounge full of toys and games.

To make up for the lack of drawers, I bought some inexpensive baskets, some stud together black vinyl look boxes with lids, and some fabric containers which perfectly hold CDs.  I am able to hide stationary, computer parts, computer CDs, cameras, and all manner of commonly used bits and pieces in these containers and get to them easily.  It’s really been quite fun letting things find their new home on the empty shelves which have very quickly almost filled up now.

A giant heavy atlas which was gathering dust in the pantry now has a shelf of it’s own to lie flat on where the school aged children can reach it and look at it.  My pretty sewing basket sits right where I can reach it when I need to sew on a button or ribbon onto ballet shoes.  The cameras have a basket where I can grab them quickly whenever the kids or pets are doing something I want to capture, and all the spare batteries, instruction books, cords and chargers are right there with them. 

The copy paper that goes in my printer is kept on a lower shelf where kids can reach it easily when they want to draw, or grab paper for their own printers.  The kids can find the spare sticky tape and pens without having to ask me to find it for them.

Framed pictures of my kids which were hiding are now displayed on shelves where I can enjoy them, and inspiring me to get around to getting a new portrait done which I can hang proudly on the wall. 

The headphones which work for playing the piano silently or me listening to music on my computer while the kids have the TV on are easily accessible in their own basket.  The beautifully organized filing system now actually works because the hanging files containing the folders don’t keep falling off, and are not so squashed up.  I’m even feeling inspired to do more regular clearing out and sorting as I look through them and put things away.

The whole area was not put together in one go, and is not what I would call finished.  It probably never will be – it’s an ever-evolving thing.  But the space created has made it possible for things to find their own logical place, and made it natural to tidy up and sort out as I go along in my daily life, now that there is room to move, places to put things.

The computer cables had to be tidied up as I moved the PC to the other side of my desk to fit things in, so that gave me access to dust some awkward places, and I’m feeling more drawn towards the project of complete computer cable organizing I intend to tackle one day.  I made a space for a power board with plenty of free spaces to be right out on the top shelf of my desk where I can easily plug in battery chargers, camera chargers and the vacuum cleaner – in fact anything I want to quickly and easily plug in that is not permanently plugged in.  This is a big help.

I even lowered my parrot’s “boing”.  This is his hanging coiled rope perch where he sits near me and talks to me and watches me work.  Well, he makes noises as if he is chatting to me.  He’s supposed to be able to talk, but nothing yet.  There is also a puppy under my feet and a cat hogging half my chair.

The still messy bits?  An old nappy (diaper) box containing pre-school artwork still to be sorted, plastic bags containing books “de-cluttered” by my older children, that I need to look through and decide whether to keep any of it for the other kids, untidy looking labels made on masking tape and on the price tags I didn’t cut off the baskets – just turned them over and wrote on them – things to be fixed, things to be returned, things to put away.

I should mention my desk too.  I once had a glass topped desk.  I got rid of it because it was cold on my arms and easily looked grubby.  I bought this Ikea one second hand on e-Bay – it’s the Jerker style, which I’m not sure if they still make, but I’m sure they still make something similar.  What is great about it is that it can be completely dismantled if you move house, it is as solid as a rock, it has an easy to clean laminate work top, and it has adjustable shelves above it.  Extensions and extra shelves are available.

Mine has two shelves.  One holds my two (yes two, don’t know how I ever managed with one, I want more) monitors, and the PC.  Being height adjustable, I have it so that the monitors are at a comfortable eye height for me.  The desk height is just right for me so that my feet are flat on the floor and I can type comfortably.  There is another shelf above the monitors, with a printer, a big power board, two of the music speakers, the router and modem, and room for an ornament, which is a cheap candelabra.  The desk worktop is deep, and I can slide the keyboard to the back under the monitor shelf if I want room to spread papers or books out in front of me.

There is a place for everything of course – charged batteries, telephone, pen jar, hand cream, water bottle (so the cats can’t drink out of it), hook for my keys, spot for my handbag (purse), spot for my calculator, an “in” tray where mail and school notices are to land, various notebooks and commonly used folders.  I can reach the filing cabinet and access it without moving my bottom from the chair.

Ok, so there is also a large plastic dinosaur waiting for new batteries, younger daughter’s iPod, a tea cup, and a little box containing mysterious small things which have just landed here homeless and had nowhere to go – a light bulb for my car, some rubber bands, a tire from a toy truck, some Christmas tree light bulbs, an “alive or dead, don’t know, just found it” battery, some needles for pumping up sports balls, a screw that looks important but I don’t know where it belongs.

A badly designed USB port hub thing dangles awkwardly, but where it can easily be accessed.  It works.  There is a timetable taped to the side of the PC showing me which children need driving where on each day of the week, and a note from one of my kids saying “don’t stress mum xxoo”.  (This makes me smile).

So there you have it – a real life home office evolving and improving over time.  A workable and comfortable, friendly and real place from where I can run my home, my business and my life, as well as listen to my music.  I could also easily do my piano practice without even moving, but that’s not really happening yet.

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"I am grateful to Yvette for the changes that she has facilitated in me. I feel that my learning from Yvette will stay with me for the rest of my life, and has brought me to a brighter, positive more confident and happy place in my family and work life."

Anshula Ohri, Toronto,

"Before I met Yvette I had many opportunities in front of me but I was feeling overwhelmed and I had no confidence in making the decisions.  I was feeling stuck and confusedd.  My career has progressed in a positive direction and I am now functioning better in physical and emotional health.  Thank you Yvette for your help.  This was one of the best decisions I have ever made."


Sarah Grudzien,
Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia