APW’s Work From Home Survival Guide

Because six weeks is too long

As some of you may know (or maybe you don’t), A Practical Wedding began at Meg’s kitchen table back in 2008, as a hobby project while she was working at an investment bank. A side-hustle quickly turned into a work from home job, and that work from home continued for years, until she got the first APW office in Oakland, back in 2015. Since then, there have been four different offices, and a bunch of working environments for APW staff. We’re a team of movers and shakers, so you name it, and we’ve done it: working from the office, working from home, working from cafes… and pretty much anything else you can think of.

So we were so excited to finally move into our new office after dealing with office break ins at our old location then sticking it out in a temporary office (glamorized storage unit) for a year, so we could move in to this beautiful space, newly renovated a the giant historic Oakland warehouse.

And after a grand total of two weeks in the new office, having just unpacked, and finally (finally) feeling settled… then… well you know the story. This damn pandemic flipped our world upside down and we had to start working from home. (That picture above seems like it’s from a different—dreamy—world.)

I will be the first one to tell you that I thought my home “office” situation was great… until I worked at my kitchen table for a week and realized my lower back was on fire. I needed my office chair, the one with back support. So I ran down to the office and brought my chair home with me. I will however, tell you that I didn’t have a desk so I pulled my outdoor cafe style table in to act as a desk and I’m currently not hating it (it’s bright turquoise and that brings me small joy).

Tips that’ll make your work from home Experience (hopefully) a little better

I want to take a minute to acknowledge that this probably isn’t a regular work from home situation for you either. Because you and your partner might both be working from home. Or one of you might be out of a job trying to figure out WTF to do next. And you might be home trying to figure out how to suddenly homeschool your kids until at least until the end of the school year (and then, you know, summer). That’s the reality for our staff members right now and imagine it’s probably yours too.

So, I chatted with my teammates that work remotely all the time, and they let me in on all their work from home secrets.

APW’s Best Work From Home Tips

  1. Set a Morning routine for yourself: Yes, basic hygiene is a thing folx. Even if you won’t be sitting in a conference room next to your work BFF that doesn’t mean you should skip the basics. Wash your face, brush your teeth, do a morning exercise routine, meditate. Anything it takes to get you ready for the day, do those things before you start checking emails and notifications from Slack.
  2. Get dressed: I know. Working from your couch, or your bed, or your kitchen table is a great way to not have to change out of your pajamas and I feel you! But getting dressed will change your mind set to get ready to be in “work mode.” Personally, once I throw on my eyeliner it’s go-time (and makes me feel ready to hop into my google hangouts with the team).
  3. Separate your work space from your living space (if you can): If you have the space to separate where you work from where majority of the daily activity is in your house take full advantage of that. You’ll be able to separate work from home easier this way, boundaries, friends. If it’s near a window, even better!
  4. Tidy Up: Clean your clutter, y’all. A tidy space makes for a clear mind.

Onto the good stuff

Got all those handy tips down? Great. What else could you possibly need to productively work from home? If you ask me, yummy snacks for starters, but you also need to equip yourself with a comfortable (and dare I say inspiring?) workspace if you can. So the team rounded up our favorite functional (and stylish) work from home supplies just for you. I’m calling dibs on the disco tape though 😉.

APW’s Favorite WFH Products

hand changing a calendar date card on a brass easel

Brass Easel Photo Desk Calendar

For those of us that can’t keep track of the day of the week anymore, choose a dozen of your favorite pics to customize this modern desktop calendar. Meg swears by this one.

mirrored tape to make work from home more fun

Disco Tape via Paper Source

Sometimes you just need to spice things up, this time in the adhesive department. You can use it to stick up pictures of the outside world, to remind yourself of what you’ll get back to one day.

turquoise notebook to organize WFH days

Standard Issue Notebook No. 12 by Design Works Ink

As a self proclaimed notebook snob, this Standard Issue notebook checks all the boxes for me. It keeps me tidy and my notes organized without feeling overwhelmed by the structure of the pages.

black noise canceling headphones

JBL Live650 BT Noise Canceling Headphones via Amazon

These headphones are your golden ticket to tune out and get shit done. Bonus points if you have kids. Meg calls them “kid canceling headphones.” If their squabbling doesn’t bother them, it doesn’t need to bother you.

white and black blanket that says "it's ok"

It’s OK Woven Throw by Frankie Print Co. via Etsy

For places where you still need to live that cozy life: a warm reminder that things will really be ok.

wood hutch desk with black legs

Woodford Wide Desk with Hutch via Wayfair 

Working from the dining room table isn’t cutting it anymore? Upgrade yourself with a modern hutch desk and create your own WFH space.

multi color booklet of assorted sticky notes

Hommie Sticky Notes Set via Amazon

I love color coding my notes and these sticky notes set give me all the options! (Bonus points for dot grid sticky notes)

hand vacuum sucking up confetti

MECO Desktop Vacuum via Amazon

Working at APW means confetti and glitter are always close by (seriously). If you need something to banish the dust on your keyboard or small pieces of confetti this desktop vac works wonders.

acrylic monday through friday wall calendar

Weekly Acrylic Calendar – 9×23 by Circle and Square Decor via Etsy 

Big picture planning is the name of the game with this modern acrylic calendar. It’s simple enough to not screw up the vibe in your living room, but big enough to make sure you always know what the goals are.

open rainbow file folder

Get It Together File Folder by Bando via Amazon

I don’t have room for a filing cabinet in my house (and you probably don’t either) so I make do with compact file folders like this one. This lets you ROYGBIV those papers.

hand made and painted ceramic mugs

Ola Mug by Gabrielle Silverlight via Etsy

Do you have a go-to coffee cup? I do. I think I might have to upgrade myself with a Gabrielle Silverlight handmade piece soon though! *Swoon*

black electric mug warmer to keep your coffee hot while you work from home

Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer via Amazon

Never let your coffee or tea you were meaning to drink an hour ago go room temp ever again. This mug warmer will keep your beverage the perfect temp, whether you forget about it or not.

white desktop organizer with books and accessories to make WFH easier

Expandable Desktop Organizer via Amazon

Can you tell I’m serious about keeping my workspace organized? This is the customizable desktop organizer of my dreams!

rainbow square glass magnets

48 Pack Glass Magnets via Amazon

Remember how I mentioned color coding? That applies to magnets too.

black ergonomic mouse for a comfortable WFH experience

Delux Ergonomic Virtual Mouse via Amazon

Historically speaking, ergonomic office supplies are not the most stylish but your hand and wrist will thank you later for using this standup mouse.

Do you enjoy working from home? Or are you longing for the day you can work beside your peers? Let us know how you’re holding up in the comments. And if you have a special tool you love, lay it on us.

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