Before and After

I am taking my house back one room at a time. It’s not pretty, and I’m not proud of it, but my house has gone to heck in a handbasket in the last few years. It’s totally my fault – I allowed my last job to take over my life in an unhealthy way, and if I’m being honest, I think I was in a season of pretty serious discouragement on top of it. So I struggled to keep up with the stuff that needed to get done, and did only just enough to keep things afloat.

Now that the summer is passed and my studio is in good shape (yes, I’ll be posting a studio reveal this week!), I decided I’d better tackle the rest of the house. First up was our guest room, where our daughter lived for a year. A friend lost their A/C recently and mentioned after it had been fixed that they considered calling us to ask for a place to stay for a night and I realized that I would have been embarrassed by the request – I’d have had to say no, because it was uninhabitable. Unacceptable. I spent two days last week cleaning and boxing up and putting new linens on the bed and it’s good to have it back. I didn’t realize what a spiritual weight it had been on me until it was all cleaned up and put back together.

It felt so good that I decided the next step was to clean up my office – I really hate working in a mess, and I hadn’t figured out what needed to be in the office vs. in the studio, so I was doing a lot of running back and forth and leaving things out because I couldn’t settle on where they should really be kept. It was no fun working and writing in this mess:

Messy Office 1 by Francesca Watson Designs
Messy Office 2 by Francesca Watson Designs
Messy Office 3 by Francesca Watson Designs

Yeah, not so lovely. It took me four hours, but now I have this:

Clean Office 1 by Francesca Watson Designs
Clean Office 2 by Francesca Watson Designs
Clean Office 3 by Francesca Watson Designs

(See the very suspicious look on Rocky’s face in that last photo? I moved his bed when I vacuumed and when I put it back, it was NOT QUITE RIGHT. It took him five full minutes of rooting and digging and fluffing to get it just so, and he was watching me closely to make sure I didn’t have any further designs on it.)

All the sliding door cabinets have been reorganized – one has technology stuff (camera bags, cords, etc.), one has all my paper, office, and printing supplies, and the one near Rocky is set up for shipping, with gift boxes, padded envelopes, labels, bubble wrap, etc. within easy reach and a new digital postal scale on top. Plenty of room to do what I need. Still to come will be an ottoman between the two blue chairs and a new light fixture. This room used to be our dining room, and the huge fixture that was over the table doesn’t work in here any more – poor Nick hits his head on it every time he comes in to sit with me. I’m also bringing in a wooden trunk to put under the windows – it will be retrofitted with hanging file frames and I’ll use it as my filing cabinet. I am seriously considering painting both the trunk and the desk with chalk paint – I love the look of wood, but there’s a lot of it in here and I’d like a little contrast. And of course, I’d love to repaint the room and replace the carpet with tile or something. Those are projects for way down the road, though, since they’re more expensive.

As I’m sitting here typing this, I can tell you that the whole vibe feels different and better and more conducive to being creative. It was the right choice to remove the business side of things from the studio proper – I take my laptop upstairs when I need to work on inventory stuff, but otherwise the business stuff is taken care of down here in the office. That keeps the space in the studio focused on making jewelry and glass, and that keeps me in the right frame of mind when I’m up there working.

How about you? Have you found a specific organizational method that keeps you creating and creative?


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