Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trading Work Spaces

by Annette Dashofy

Every year, when the air turns cool and it becomes preferable to spend time indoors rather than out, my nesting instincts kick in. I start looking at my house and thinking about what I can do to make it more comfortable. Two years ago, we bought new living room furniture. Last year, it was new lace curtains. This year, I’m pondering my “office.”

Right now my so-called office is one corner of my living room. I have a space about five-by-seven that serves as my work area. Everything in this corner is all business. Bookshelves overflow with writing books, yoga books and computer books. There is a desk somewhere under this mound of papers. I have a small file cabinet and a junk drawer. And then there is my computer and phone and a lamp.

The only thing non-business in my space is my cat. But since my protagonist is a veterinarian and Samantha serves as inspiration for one of the cats in my novel, I could put up a strong argument for counting her as business-related, too.

However, I’m beginning to feel a little crowded. My first thought was, “Hey, let’s give my cousin, the re-modeler, a call.” Add on a new room. Hard wood floors, lots of windows, a huge closet. Space for my desk and computer and office machines as well as space to practice yoga without moving furniture. I had it all figured out. Except how to pay for it. My hubby nixed the idea.

So my attention has turned to my spare room, AKA “The Junk Room.”

At about ten foot square, it would provide just enough room for all my business stuff and a little to spare. I could get a comfortable chair for one corner and have a quiet reading nook. It’s just on the other side of the wall where my computer sits now, so it would be fairly easy to move all the connections into the new office.

What wouldn’t be easy is finding a new “home” for all the junk that resides in that room. I am married to a pack rat and would love to blame all the stuff on him. But if I were to be totally honest, I must claim my own share of it. Where would I put my Pfaff sewing machine? Or the huge stash of fabric from my days of making quilts. Those days are gone, but I hate to part with all that gorgeous material. Then there’s my luggage. It’s definitely MY luggage. It’s a lovely shade of lavender. Hubby wouldn’t be caught dead carrying those bags.

It’s a mess. My old computer sits on a table where I used to cut out quilt pieces. Twenty years of journals totter on top of the my old quilt frames. There’s an antique steamer trunk where I store off-season clothing. Bulk-sized boxes and bottles of household supplies, courtesy of Costco, are stacked everywhere. My husband’s gun cases and shooting boxes clutter the floor.

Where would I put all this junk…er…stuff if I moved my office in there? A dumpster comes to mind. The basement could hold some of it, I suppose.

It’s tempting to see if I could really part with most of this clutter. I sense it could actually be quite freeing. So, I’m continuing to ponder the decision: to move or not to move, that is the question. Being able to close the door and work without distraction is strong motivation. However, being able to close the door on my cluttered life is difficult to give up.

What do you all think? Should I try it? Do you have a “junk room” and could you live without it?

And, hey, Brenda, would you want a whole closet full of 100 percent cotton fabric?

14 comments:

Joyce said...

I don't have a junk room, but I do have an attic where all our stuff ends up. About a month ago, I gathered up a bunch of it, paid for a space at a church flea market and made a whopping $89.

It's not easy to part with some things, but it can be done!

Nancy said...

Do it, Annette! Go, go, go! If Brenda doesn't take that fabric, there's always the Goodwill.

Pat said...

My mother and her sisters were "sewers" --serious sewers in their youth, serious fabric buyers in their middle ages. I remember years ago a woman was arrested in what was then the Soviet Union. She had bolts and bolts of fabric stored in her tiny apartment. The charge was "hording." Despite the footage of a police confiscating the goods, bucket brigade style, my mother merely watched, sipped her tea and sighed: Sewer.

Annette said...

Oh, heavens, if hording becomes against the law here, both Ray and I will soon be locked up, never to see the light of day again.

Rebecca Drake said...

Oh my gosh, Annette, you've got to part with it!

You need to watch Clean Sweep on cable. My husband and I are both pack-rats, too, but I'm a reformed pack rat. If you're not using it, out it goes. Donate the junk to someone who'd love it, or sell it on ebay.

Think of how great your own private office will feel...

Cathy said...

Sounds like you may have made up your mind already--just by visualizing the change. Feng shui experts are applauding all over the planet. Now if I could just get my closet cleaned out. If only the clutter police could arrest me and let the authorities cart all my piles of nameless stuff away.

Annette said...

I'm visualizing quite a lot. A gorgeous new armoir to go in the living room where my desk is now to hold the off-season clothes...ripping up the old carpet and putting down laminate flooring...The visualizing is the easy part. Doing it is the hard part.

Becky, I don't get cable, but I do enjoy Fly Lady on the Internet.

Gina said...

I, for one, do not have a "junk room." I have a junk house.

Pat said...

Ripping out copper piping seems like a lot of work for 2 bucks a pound. If they are that industrious wouldn't honest work pay better? I guess just because you're a thief doesn't mean you're lazy...or especially smart.

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