Office Reclamation Progress… Show-n-Tell

How Goes the Ol’ Office Progress?
I thought you might be curious about my office reclamation process. As it turns out, I had started this post about my progress with my office. But as things sometimes happen, the post fell through the cracks and got stuck on the back burner. It’s been a “draft” for ages! I think I was probably waiting to upload photos and got distracted.

I believe the last photos I showed you were of the extreme, overwhelming disarray–stacks of… stuff from my April 2016 post, you can see to the right (->).
Uggh! Talk about stressing me out!?

So here (to the left) is May 12, 2016, when I decided to move things around, create space and add some color–to make this reclamation process more fun. I really needed to get moving on it. The longer I waited, the more stressed I became. I figured adding the color might inspire me. Please enjoy my story in photos (22 of them), as I walk you through the process.

Even though I choose to use those low/no VOC paints, I needed warmer weather so I could have open windows and plenty of ventilation. May 2016 worked out nicely.

The project took all of May and went throughout the summer. I had to work on it when I had some energy and I could have the windows open.

I started by unloading and moving the bookcase out to another room. That took a day in itself. I probably took a week to decide on colors. Once, I chose the colors and bought the paint, I opened the windows and went at it.

I decided my east wall should be the warmest, like a sunrise. I love the way it came out. This wall took a couple of days, because it’s a zig-zaggy wall, as you’ll see in a moment. I also had to maneuver things around. My bookcase was out of the way, but my treadmill lives against the next segment of the wall. Since I was doing this on my own, I had to pace myself, big-time.

I also still had a big shelving unit in the way. You can see it in the photo to the left (on the right-hand side of the photo). It was supposed to be temporary but ended up staying there for a couple of years. So I had to wedge myself in to get the treadmill moved out. That sucker is heavy! I’m not sure how I managed it, but I remember I had to take a couple of breaks to get it done. I believe it was sheer tenacity. By then, it was a vendetta. I would get it done if it took me a week.

I also had to remove the little, wood iPad shelf Danny made and put on the wall for me. It’s a handy little shelf. My iPad sits there so I can watch a video, or tv, or listen to an audiobook while I walk.

As you can see, the next color is blue, although this first photo of it (in the middle of the day, with white blinds reflecting white on it), isn’t so true. I chose the turquoise-blue based on a beautiful postcard I’d received from AWAI in Delray Beach, Florida, back in 2012. It was my first invitation to the Copywriters Bootcamp. Of course, the photo of this postcard isn’t exact either, but I wanted a color close to that turquoise in the center. Blue with a hint of green.

I had ideas on how I might tie it together later. If I remember correctly, I had to take a break for a day or two after I finished the first segment of blue. I was exhausted and achy. But I was also anxious to get the project done. I love working with colors. The next evening, once the paint on those walls had dried, I did the trim work, and then hung my Golden Gate Bridge poster, replaced my iPad shelf, and moved the treadmill back into place. It was another few days before I could finish the turquoise wall.

In the meantime, I tended to easier jobs. I sorted through a few boxes, took the drawers out of my little roll-top desk, scooched it out of the far corner of the room, vacuumed, and scooched it over to the alcove-like, zig-zag space beside the door. It was a perfect fit! I love the way my little roll-top desk looks there, by the door. I’m proud of it.

I moved more stuff out of the areas I would be painting soon. My pattern became: paint for half a day, rest a day and sort through a few boxes, hopefully–get rid of a bunch of stuff, another day paint some trim, hang a couple of certificates or photos, clear a path, then paint another segment of wall the next day. The progress felt painfully slow. I wanted to get it done… nowyesterday! 

But I know good things take time–and doing it right takes time. Doing it right and taking care of myself–takes time. What is it they say… “Slow and steady wins the race”? Yea, I guess it applies here. It seemed to take forever, but I eventually jockeyed enough boxes around, cleared enough path, and built up enough energy to paint the next segment of turquoise.

For whatever reason, I believe the turquoise was the most fun to paint. There was just… something about it. It was pleasing and fulfilling to finish the turquoise wall. Maybe it was because it’s like the color of the sea? Afterall, a photo of a tropical beach and it’s beautiful ocean is where the inspiration came from.

As much as I enjoyed painting that wall, it took a while to get all its trim done. Even though the big shelving unit was on wheels, it was still in the way. It was difficult to get my short step ladder in where I needed it. I had to carefully roll the shelving a few inches–maybe a foot, squeeze in behind and do the trim in cramped quarters.

Of course, I had taken down most of the photos, certificates, and my diploma from the walls I was to paint. I had a stack of them waiting to go back up– most in new, and better locations. As soon as the turquoise paint was dry above the closet, I hung the doggie diplomas for Bow, Cricket, and Arrow in their new location. I knew they would look great up there against the turquoise-blue.

Next, I got busy hanging my diploma, and other certificates in their new locations, above my small roll-top desk.They are looking pretty great up there, although I think I will reframe the top one to better match the others. But this is only the first two walls. I had one more wall to do and the other wall I left off-white, for now.

I played with feathering in the lavender paint. When Danny saw it, he thought I was going to paint a palm tree there. It was an interesting idea, but it would have taken too long and I wanted to get done. It was a relatively easy wall to paint, as I didn’t have a bunch of shelves or a treadmill to maneuver around. The two small shelves in the photo were lightweight and on wheels. They easily rolled out of the way.

Once I had the trim painting done on the lavender wall, it was a relief to be able to roll up the dropcloth and toss it. I felt great satisfaction to wash out the rollers, brushes, and pan for the last time. And it was kind of fulfilling to gently remove the painter’s tape from the edges. But the best part was always being able to move a piece of furniture to the new location I had planned for it.

I probably don’t need three desks, and perhaps I’ll give the bigger roll-top away–eventually. But it belonged to my maternal grandparents. It’s not as well-built as the small roll-top I built. Besides, the small one is a source of pride in workmanship for me. I bought the kit in the autumn of 1989. I stained, varnished, built, and finished it the last winter I lived in Maryland, in 1989-1990. I’ll keep it my lifetime.

The desk in the corner, with the hutch, is functional for my amateur radio equipment. So this bigger roll-top (to the left)–it’s here for now. But I’d eventually like to make room for a small futon–to sit on, lounge on, relax and read on.

Funny, I had to move several boxes out while I painted. Then, once I finished painting, I had to get them out of the garage or living room. So now my office is cluttered with too many boxes. Not as many as before painting, but I still have a lot of boxes to sort through. The GOOD News is I’ve already gone through this mess of a closet you see here to the right. I’ve moved all that out, sorted through most of it, tossed some of it, and rearranged things enough to fit a tall filing cabinet in it.

Although not this filing cabinet to the left. It turned out not to be sturdy enough to hold some of my heavy files. The drawers were twerking and buckling when I pulled them out. So I upgraded to my grandfather’s old file cabinet. The only issue with this choice, his cabinet is deeper than my closet is. I could no longer close the one side of the sliding closet door. Humm… I had a puzzle to solve.

Meet my solution– the fashionable, colorful, and ever changeable, closet curtain. This was not the style I had in mind, but I couldn’t find what I wanted in the local stores. So I went online and looked for what I initially wanted. I knew it would tie in with my colors. It would be soothing and relaxing to look at. And, since it shows up behind me when I sit at my desk and talk on video conferencing calls, it would make a great background.

It took a couple of months of searching, but I found it. I love the way it ties in with my turquoise ocean color and feeling of the beach. I like the way it helps me manifest the tropics into my life, as vacations.

Well, I thought you’d be able to see it better, but the photo doesn’t show it very well. My beach curtain really does make a great background for video calls. I’ll have to take a better photo of me working on a conferencing call. Unfortunately, mostly what you see is my great big, Yeti microphone.
Update–Dec. 2017: Well, that’s it–my office project, in progress–in a nutshell. There is still a lot to sort, toss and rearrange. I worked on it steadily for several months, then kind of pooped out on it. But as I finally post this, it’s a new year. So I’m re-amping my get-it-done attitude. I intend to get the extraneous boxes and clutter outta here this next year. It’s on my Goals List.
One box every couple of weeks… and I’ll be golden.

I hope all your projects are progressing as well as, or better than, mine.
Be well,

BTW–Just in case you are suddenly getting notification of this post & wondering why it seems so outdated (from early 2017), here’s the reason. It was stuck as a forgotten draft post for a while. I posted it, keeping the date I apparently started it, even though the time I’m actually posting is much later. I’m simply getting the opportunity to catch-up on these things during some holiday downtime. Sorry for any confusion.

One thought on “Office Reclamation Progress… Show-n-Tell

  1. You’ve given me and everyone reading this post hope for our own goals! What a great attitude and plan of action! You were so wise to be clear about your intentions. That really sets the stage for success! If you weren’t so busy, I’d hire you to fix my office space!! It could use your loving touch!

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