thanks for the reply cyberphine.
unfortunately, I live in a one-room studio, so my bedroom sorta *is* the apartment. But it's spacious and has good lighting and view.
ah good call. yikes.. my shopping list is getting longer, but this is exactly the tips I was looking for.
now I need to get:
- file cabinet
- better chair
Get a room divider, then. I was living with my gf and my friend in a one br apartment, my gf and i in the bedroom with our computers in there, too. Whenever I had a research project (had ~5 last semester) everyday I was researching I'd go to sleep looking in the corner where my computer is...and every morning I'd wake up and see my computer there, know I was going to spend 6+ hours there later. It's really, really demoralizing.
The room divider would probably help you get over this. My friend moved out and my gf and I moved our computers to the living room. Now, all that there's left in the bedroom is shelving for books and the TV. Makes it much easier to sleep and wake up, surprisingly.
Also, the only thing of those that you need new is the UPS. You can grab a cheap-ish one from Amazon or Newegg. The rest you can find off craigslist. My roommate worked from the apt and managed to get a biiig desk, filing cabinet, and chair for ~$100. Definitely worth the money. Get a deep desk! It's nice to be able to spread yourself, keeps the blood flowing in your arms better, and keeps the monitors far from your eyes.
Shredders and printers can be bought for ~$25-50. You don't need the best, you just need to get by with them. AFAIK a $50 printer should serve your needs. If you don't need them right away, Newegg always has a printer discounted during it's sales.
Plants. Live plants. Live plants will keep you relaxed, especially if they're the big green leafy kind. They also do well to recycle the stale air that can develop sitting in a room with the door closed for long periods. I got a large potted plant after I read that tests done with potted plants on the room reduced stress in the workplace (something to do with associating the plant with nature, and nature being calming). I tried it out, and it works. It also makes the room feel more 'fresh,' for lack of a better term.
Most importantly...I don't know how distracted you get, but I know my buddy would always get distracted from his work. He'd end up on youtube, playing CS1.6, watching a movie, or just browsing the web. If you can have a separate personal profile and use parental controls to keep yourself from entering your personal profile (i.e. one admin, one 'fun' profile) during the time you're supposed to be working, it will increase your productivity and help you relax when working (you'll realize you have all this time ahead of you to get work done, and won't be facing distractions). My roommate did this with a program that limits the websites you can go to and the times you can go to them. Once you turn it on, you can't turn it back off until the timer is up. Those were the only couple hours he'd ever be productive lol.
Most of my experiences are limited to long hours of studying, researching, or observing my roommate work from our apartment. I hope some of it is of help!