A couple weeks ago we had a yard sale and got rid of all the stuff we moved with us from the old place and didn’t really need to. Once that sale was over I told Logan we’d move to the basement office next because, and I don’t know why, his boxes make my anger burn with the heat of a thousand suns.
The boxes are full of nonsense, things he packed at his desk at the job before the last one and hasn’t touched in over a year. These are things he doesn’t need and yet can’t part with, no matter how many times I tell him if he ever needs a single iridescent sheet of navy blue paper again in his life, I’m sure he can locate it for purchase when the need arises.
I can’t entirely explain my unending commitment to pestering my husband about his clutter issue. All I can say is I work from home and I need our home to be a place with some sense of order so I am able to function well in it. I feel overwhelmed by chaos, which is why we had two kids rather than the three we always planned on.
As we started working on the basement I spent the Friday before doing a ‘Pre-Sweep’ of the basement, consolidating boxes and tossing out as much as I could get my hands on before my husband came home and stymied me. “Oh! An issue of Runner’s World from 1995. I need that!” I also found some items I was fairly sure he’d never miss, but was still hesitant to toss or donate. They’re hiding around the house waiting for the day he says, “Where’s that fart machine I used to have?”
Here is the mess we started with, please tell me how a human being can function in this mess?
I will admit I had several boxes in this mess. I was hard on myself, that maternity sweater I started knitting eight years ago? I am never going to finish it. All those books I packed and had totally forgotten about for the last 9 months, gone. Sewing projects I started and never finished were trashed or donated and though it was hard it felt amazing. A fresh start, I never have to look at that half finished sweater again and berate myself for spending $100 on yarn and never completing the project. I never have to look at those drapery rods I never really liked but got a great deal on and feel stupid for spending money on something I didn’t love. I whittled things down and came up with four to six bags of trash.
And then a trunk full of even more things to donate to the Salvation Army, including half my clothes I’d weeded through a week ago. If you live in the Detroit Metropolitan area I highly recommend a trip to the Royal Oak Salvation Army Thrift Store in the next week or so.
Here is what we ended up with after some threats of hiring a professional organizer, tears and slamming doors.
Nothing special really, but a good place to start planning what we want the room to look like in the end of the process. Logan’s side of the office is pretty straightforward. He needs a place to keep all the stupid tiny things he likes to look at while he works. All the junk I would never in a million years want to look at in my bedroom, like vintage Vargas prints.
He also needs the typical office supplies within easy reach and we’ll have to come up with some sort of system for all the paperwork from his freelance work he collects and doesn’t know what to do with. Not only because I like a clean work area but because his clutter has an uncanny ability to navigate it’s way over to my work surface.
I am looking for a more flexible work space where I can bring my laptop to work from the basement but I also want to use my area for things like my sewing machine, stationary and the family’s gift wrap. I may also create a bill paying station down here but maybe not.
We’ll paint the walls, and since we’re leasing, we’ll hang a fabric wall to divide this space from the rest of the basement which will serve as a small hang out area for the kids once Santa relents and buys the family a video game system for Christmas. When we own we’ll build a wall and install a laminate flooring (after we live here for a year to see if and how much a problem water is). We are using most of what we have and wall shelving to keep costs down.
I’ve been collecting inspiration and ideas over the last few months and thought I’d share them here.
I’ve been spending a lot of time at Pretty Organized and the Craft Rooms pool watching what spaces real people have created. I love the wall shelves in this piece at HGTV, though I see mine having more color. These metal binder clips hung from cup hooks would be excellent for storing miscellaneous pieces of paper, especially with school stuff coming at me so fast my head is spinning. This image of a part time home office is lovely and I think the Elfa system at The Container Store is going to play into my office space design quite a bit.
We’ll be working on the basement office over the next few weeks and I’ll give updates as we complete our office.