So this week I finally decided to keep my art/craft workspace (studio just sounds so, eh, pretentious) downstairs as part of the dining room/family room L. Sidenote: is it a family room if there is no family to sit in it? Should I call it the den now? But den sounds so wood paneled, and my family room/den/TV space is bright and airy and open.
Anyway, the choice was whether to leave the artspace (I like that) downstairs, where it’s open to the dining room/family room, or move it upstairs to the office. Now, office is a bit of a misnomer (I have this problem with misnamed rooms, I guess), because all it does is house a couple of printers and a computer that I never use. Never. Well, except for when I have to scan because the scanner is hooked up to it. But I do all my work on a laptop, generally in the bedroom. So the office turned into this, well, storage space with a couple of printers and a computer. When Mr. Ex lived here, it was virtually unusable because he had crap all over it. A mere 10 months after his departure, it’s getting a little bit better, but it still was this hodge-podge of big bulky shelves and, well, junk. A certain daughter who just left for Israel also used it as her junk spot so it took on that neglected, filled-with-important-stuff-that-doesn’t-go-anywhere-else space.
Moving all my art/craft stuff up to the office didn’t exactly appeal to me. First of all, the moving part didn’t. But I also grappled with the space itself. The upstairs office (which at one time was a bedroom – and at one time or another each of the girls used it) is tiny, tiny, tiny. When it was a bedroom it essentially housed a bed, a dresser and a desk. And no more. It’s also hot. I don’t know why, but that room never cools off. It faces southeast and has two windows, but never ever cools off. In the winter I never even open the vent.
I just couldn’t see myself sitting in there. I would also have to put a TV in there (I need the news and views for a muse, I guess). And I would have had to move these 7-feet tall cabinets up from the artspace. Two of those suckers.
The other issue is the space downstairs is adjacent to my laundry room, which means I have ready access to the laundry tub for cleaning off paint brushes, etc.
So, after about two weeks of consideration I decided to (a) keep the artspace downstairs and (b) clean out the rest of the junk from the office and move books into it. There are books everywhere – the family room, the art cabinets – everywhere.
In order to create a nice book space in the office I had to clean it up. First the items placed there by my youngest had to be neatened up and put in the closet. That was easy. Then there was the issue of the bookcase. There was a bookcase in that office that matches the 7-foot cabinets in the artspace. 7 feet high and about 2-feet wide. And 16 inches deep. It’s a big sucker. I didn’t want it in the office. It dwarfs the space and, since it matches the cabinets downstairs, I figured it would make more sense to move it down there, and get rid of a smaller bookcase in the artspace.
Follow me so far?
So I had to move the monster bookcase out of the office. By myself. Using a shift, push, tilt maneuver, I got it out of the office, around the corner and down the stairs. I have discovered that by carefully tilting large furniture you can kind of slide it down the stairs. Without killing yourself or breaking the furniture. I got it into the artspace and replaced the existing bookcase with the monster one. Then I moved the smaller bookcase into the garage (which actually was harder because I did it by moving it over the patio, which is a bumpy aggregate of some sort, so dragging it wasn’t really an option). This stuff is heavy – it’s fiberboard or laminate or whatever, and it’s heavy.
Then it was time to figure out what to do in the office. After I cleaned it out I figured out I needed two smaller bookcases – no more than 4 feet high. I don’t own those, so I had to buy a couple. The last time I needed bookcases (which was right after Mr. Ex moved out), I went online and found the magic words “no assembly required,” but I didn’t want to spend that much money this time.
Of to my friend Target to find some.
Sometimes you just live right, I guess. Or, it was because I was buying small bookcases during “get ready for college” time. At any rate, I found exactly what I was looking for – at $20 each to boot.
I pulled them off the shelf. Put them in the cart. Bought them. Got them out of the cart, into the car, out of the car, into the house, up the stairs. Put them together. I rock.
Things I learned:
If a nice lady offers to help you get the bookcases out of the cart and into your car, tell her yes. And offer to buy her dinner if she follows you home and helps you unload them too.
Don’t try to put them together on the bed. it doesn’t work. You need the floor or a desk.
Don’t pull the identifying stickers off the pieces until you know it’s all put together properly.
Keep the cordless screwdriver charged.
If the house is hot, it will be especially hot while you’re shlepping bookcases and putting them together. If ever there was a time for air conditioning, that is it.
Oh – and I did it all without breaking a nail OR messing up my fresh manicure. Life is good.