My office has been a real mess for a lot of years. I ran a very successful business selling seasonal mutual theme items and other things out of that room for several years, but the office just got … gross. I didn’t have enough space to experiment and expand the product line as I wanted to, nor did I have the space or will to do so anymore. I backed off on the business significantly after the 2018 season and closed everything down completely in January 2020.
Quitting the business didn’t magically help the office situation, however. The office was still a disgusting mess — stuff was everywhere. It was so very bad I don’t think I even have any pictures of it to show you. I just pretended it wasn’t there, you know? It gets too bad to worry about and too much to deal with so you just ignore it.
Ignoring a problem is never a good choice.
Anyway, I had already decided to move the office stuff into Caleb’s old bedroom and convert the old office into a pantry (I don’t really have one), but I hadn’t really started to work on it yet. It was hard to do much project-wise because O was so mush early mornings ferrying Sydney around and mid-late afternoon doing more driving. When I started watercolor painting in summer 2019, I set up a space to paint by the window in Caleb’s old room. Last spring when Caleb was coming home with Emma for the pandemic, I had to get his old bedroom fixed up for him to sleep in, so we quickly painted it to match the rest of the house. Shortly thereafter I found two matching television armoires on FB marketplace that looked perfect for inexpensive pantry shelving, and Jared took some buddies up to Vienna to get them. Apparently it was a big challenge. The armoires are super heavy, and we were grateful for the guys that came out to help.
But the guys got the cabinets got here safely, and the cabinets sat on our front porch for weeks waiting for a coat of paint. I can’t actually remember now why it took so long to get these suckers painted, but it did…. Oh wait — I was waiting for it to cool off to keep the bugs down and off the paint. I don’t have a paint tent. But the weather just didn’t cooperate. Anyway, there was a random day in November when the weather was going to be unseasonably warm during the day, so we moved the cabinets out to the front yard to paint. Jared said he would do it and knew how to handle all of it. I was subbing at my aunt’s house, and I wasn’t there to supervise.
Look, now, Jared is great. He wants to help, he will do what I ask, and he doesn’t complain. He is the world’s worst time manager. He just cannot operate under a time limit. When I got up the hill at 2pm, he didn’t even have all the hardware off of the cabinets, parts and pieces were everywhere in no order, the cabinets were not on tarps or blocks, and he had the paint sprayer out trying to paint! I blew up. Look, to use that professional paint sprayer, you must have everything ready to go BEFORE you start painting. The sprayer works fast — so fast you absolutely do not have time to dink around taping or whatever. Plus no tarps? Nothing on blocks? The parts in eleventy five places? With a limited window when the weather was warm enough to paint? Arg. Well, working together we got back on track and we’re able to get most of the first coat on before it got cold and the paint quit sticking. It didn’t dry ideally overnight due to the cold and dew, but luckily it warmed up enough that I could do a second coat late afternoon the next day. That coat also didn’t stick super well, but it was good enough to bring things in to finish drying.
The armoires were identical but different colors, so I painted them white to match the trim in the house.
Jared got our friends Bill and Will to come over and help move them into the house because they were too heavy for Sydney and me to lift. The painted armoires sat in my living room for four months, creeping us all out. We had them as out of the way as possible, but they are huge and still got in the way. Here are a couple of pictures with the armoires in the background so you get the idea how obnoxious they were:
I slowly moved all the stuff out of the office into Caleb’s old room where I organized it into mainly one big closet and a cabinet. It was kind of shocking to see how it ended up fitting.
Once we organized all of the office materials, we pulled up the old office flooring (BR-111 is crap), painted the walls and closet, put in the new floor, and put in baseboard, casing, and the arch over the door that I never finished.
Then we FINALLY moved in the painted armoires. Jared bought some melamine sheets and made my shelves, and now I have new pantry space!!!!!! I love it!
It has been so nice to have all of my kitchen appliances in one place. We put all of the pantry storage items in the upper part of the right-hand cabinet, which has resulted in being able to see all of the food easily and use some items up before they expire. For example, yesterday I made a Godiva chocolate cheesecake for Valentine’s Day that we didn’t know we had. It’s decadent!
At the same time we organized the pantry we reorganized all of the shelving in that room’s closet to make space for all of the cleaning gear and our coats. Wow — it has been so nice to have all of that organized and off of the floor!
I suppose eventually I will have the house completely organized and then I’ll be desperate for things to do. But right now, I’m just so relieved to have these major projects finally completed. Now all that’s left is organizing the walls and shelves in the studio/Caleb’s old room, and the entire upstairs will be DONE. Crazy.