One Step at a Time

This year we’re running with the mantra One Step at a Time. We’re tackling tons of little tasks and making small changes that will hopefully add up to help us reach our big goals for the year. Taking it one step at a time keeps us from getting overwhelmed, and we’ve been getting a ton done as a result. We’re working on a bunch of steps simultaneously all the time, but we wait until we’re done until we share it with you.


In February, we created an office in what was meant to be our house’s living room. That room happens to be pretty much the first thing you see when you walk into our house, but we don’t really care what the floor plan says; we’re trying to figure out how to make our layout work for us. It went from looking like this:

This is what 4,000 records looks like.

to this:

2012-02-02 14.53.23

and then was never clean again.

Here’s a (really dark) look at what it looked like 99.9% of the time:

Before

We don’t really care that the space was so messy (or house is always messy, everyone we know knows it), but we’re ready to start fresh on our first floor in 2013. We have a hodge podge of furniture given to us or made by relatives, and we’re ready to replace the things we don’t love and start making custom things to create our dream space. It will take us all year (maybe longer), but we’re planning on using the space the way we had imagined using it when we bought the house two years ago. Which means that the office had to move.

Jake has been talking about this for awhile, but I refused to hear it because I love that drafting table. It’s supposed to be shared, but I took it over. If the drafting table can only be on the first floor, then I will only work on the first floor. Then–lightbulb–we learned that the drafting table can be taken apart. It’s a pain in the rear-end, but it can be done. That was super exciting. So we decided to move our office into the master bedroom, which was two rooms in our house’s original state and is way too big for our bed, nightstands, and one dresser. Our bed went to the smaller side of our room (what is that for? a sitting room?) and the office started to go into the bigger side of the room.

During

We took the stuff moving one step at a time. I moved the smaller stuff myself while Jake was at work (bed, nightstands, computer desks, which come apart in three pieces). Here’s what part of the room looked like mid-shuffle. That bench went downstairs the same day I moved stuff on my own, the next day we moved the dresser and the filing cabinet, then the tall breakfast-room-type table that was in our room was taken apart and reassembled downstairs, and then the next day was for taking apart and moving the drafting table. So we took the moving process one step at a time, but it’s also one step toward the big goal of making our house make sense for us.

So here’s what we have now:

Bedroom / Office

Bedroom / Office

Bedroom / Office

Bedroom / Office

Bedroom / Office

Bedroom / Office

Bedroom / Office

Bedroom / Office

There’s a lot of work to be done (painting walls, finding a big rug, hanging art, getting stuff more organized, getting the TV off my pretty antique dresser, eventually replacing our horrible carpet, buying a vacuum cleaner that actually works), but I like where this is going. Creating a shared office last year was great for our productivity and our relationship (as we like to work after the kids go to bed), and we’re finding that having the office in our bedroom is even better. I get that it would kill it for most couples, but I’m finding that we’re going to bed earlier, and are spending more time working, as we avoid the very cold first floor in the winter.

The old office space is totally temporary. Here’s what it looks like now:

Front Room

Front Room

Front Room

Front Room

Front Room

We’re thinking of maybe turning this space into a dining room. We currently have a table in what’s supposed to be the “breakfast room” (really, how many rooms for eating do you need?) off to the side of the kitchen, but it’s not big enough in there for a table that will fit our future family of hopefully seven. So we’re thinking about making our own long dining table next year (but Jake and I have very different ideas about what it should look like; so that won’t be happening any time soon).

It’ll be slow going, but I’m excited about this shuffle and I’m excited to see where 2013 takes our house.


Relating to some things in this post:


What would your one step be right now?

P.S. Looking at these posts makes me so grateful for Poppy (my grandpa), who made a lot of the furniture pictured here (both our desks, a bookshelf, and the sitting bench) and gave us/found a lot of the other pieces for us (the drafting table–which was in my great-grandpa’s office–he was an architect, my nightstand, the dresser, our filing cabinet). And that’s only two rooms of our house: there’s so much more. We’re so grateful for him and all of the other family members who have donated furniture to us over the years!