AE Projects In Progress | The Office

Big things are happening here in the office this week.

Katie and I are moving everything out in anticipation of new laminate wood floors being put in early next week.

August marks three years of living in this house. Last January (2012) my Mom and Katie helped me paint the walls white (here's a look at it before it was painted).

I still love the white walls but there's a lot I don't like about how I function in this space. It seems to be more an issue of space allocation since the room is definitely big enough. Right now I really only use about 1/4 of the space for actual creating - the space between my computer desk and my stand-up table where I usually work on pages. Right now there are things covering every surface and nothing feels very functional.

That said, we've haven't been keeping the office very organized or even picked up lately because we knew we were going to be moving everything out and most likely not bringing it all back. We've been making plans for ways to re-arrange the space to make it more functional and I'll share more about that as we begin the process of moving things around and back in once the floors are done.

In the meantime, here's a look at what it looks like right now - before everything is moved out - with a bit of commentary about things that have/haven't worked:

This is looking into the office. It's basically a bonus room that sits above my garage. There are four main "sections" to this space, each with storage options: (1) Katie's desk/computer, (2) a couch/tv, (3) the kitchen island where I stand to make stuff (this includes a bunch of different storage spots like shelves, lockers, and a bakers rack), and (4) my computer desk.

Initially I liked this sectioned set-up but now that I've been in the room for a few years I know there's quite a bit of wasted space - especially over by the tv. I'm also not using my storage very effectively - evidenced by way too many piles on the ground.

A look at Katie's current working area. Her table is just big enough for the computer and when she scrapbooks she sits on the ground.

Across from Katie is the couch/TV area. The kids hang out on the couch. We store things on the shelves below the tv. The white drawer unit next to the tv is from Ikea and it was missing pieces that we had to order.

Now that I have a guest room/tv room downstairs I'm not sure I need this little hide-a-bed couch in my office anymore. I do want to still have the tv but we could move that around and get a bunch more usable space at the same time.

Shelf unit that currently divides the space between my work table and Katie's desk. Love the look of it but it's holding things that are longer term storage (less-used stuff). On top of it are paper trays from Display Dynamics that hold pattern papers arranged by color and type (embossed, etc).

The top of that shelf unit would actually be a great work space to hold something like Project Life out in the open. Considering that as we decide how to arrange things this next week.

I've done lots of different styles of organization over the years. Most of the time I end up back at some sort of open organization - such as baskets - seeing things helps me remember I have them. As you might notice though, there's more stuff in piles on the floor than there are on these shelves.

And even though I love those red drawer units from Ikea, once something goes in there it's like it never existed. I forget to check there.

Having the sewing machine out and available is key for me. I will definitely create a station for that in the new set-up.

One thing I've continued to use from close to the beginning of my scrapbooking adventure is this kitchen island. I'm still a stand-up scrapbooker and that's not changing anytime soon. My plan in the office re-do is to sell/share/or use this one somewhere else and get two new kitchen islands from Ikea that can be put back to back to form one large work surface that will be in a similar space in the middle of the floor.

I like that I can work on either side of the table. I don't like that the work surface feels so small and I also don't like that I'm prone to piling things on this table too. I end up with this tiny working area in this nice big room.

I still love the lockers and they will come back in here for sure. They are great for holding paints, ribbons, cards, inks, etc.

The other big piece I added this past year was a baking rack.

I first saw this idea in an issue of Better Homes & Gardens Scrapbook Etc. magazine. I thought it was genius. One tray for each project in progress. I still think it's an awesome idea but lately I've just used it for storage vs. part of a working system of in-process projects (or projects-in-waiting). I'm hoping to use that more in the new incarnation of my working space.

I purchased this locally at a restaurant supply store that delivered and brought it upstairs into my office.

Looking from the kitchen island over towards my computer desk.

The spot where I sit and do most of my work. Small metal shelves hold printers, hard-drives, etc.

And this is looking towards the door of the office that leads to a small room before going out into the main part of the house. The shelves that hold all my albums were built by my friend Kim's husband right after we moved in to the house. Across from those built-ins is an "under-the-eaves" storage room that currently holds luggage and a bunch of canvases that are just waiting to be used for something.

Moving all this stuff out is going to be a major undertaking. I've got some ideas about purging and making decisions on what to keep and what to donate that I'll share in another post this week or next.

Here we go!

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68 thoughts

  1. Project Life 2013 | Week Eight | Ali Edwards says…

    [...] feeling a renewed energy around here. Maybe it’s packing up and cleaning out the office for the new floors, maybe it’s the start spring (even if mainly just by the calendar), maybe [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Irma P. says…

    Hi Ali,
    I'm thrilled that you shared the reorganization of your scrap space process. I'll be moving into a new - just a wee bit larger - scrap room, so I'm reading up on other people's tips & ideas on this topic.

    One thing I was hoping to see you mention (perhaps you can do that in a future blog post ;) is the use of an inspiration board. I see the resemblance of it hanging on your wall. Do you still use it for inspiration for new projects and ideas? I'm wrestling with having one in my scrap room because placing storage shelving across the entire wall of my room would give me much needed extra storage space. However, then I won't have space for the inspiration board. So far I'm going with extra shelving.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Melody says…

    If you like the concept of the bakers rack, and if closed drawers don't work well for you, please google "Otsuka-Gofukuten kimono store by Yusuke Seki". Look at the photos and imagine this space is your home office..... YUM!

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  4. Jen Morris says…

    Loved this! Please would you link to this post in my "Your mess tells your story" link up party? You can find it here:

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. vicki dutcher says…

    I am completely in awe over the Baker's rack! Genius would be the word for sure! Amazing space -- the after should be very nice

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Norma Gaston says…

    I so enjoy your blog! Your office looks like mine and I'm not getting new floors! Lots of creative genius in the clutter......yours and mine! Good luck with the redo! I love to see how scrap rooms evolve!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Mallory says…

    Love the ideas! I'm constantly changing up my space too! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Brandie Partello says…

    I think you have too many types of storage for the same items. All your paper should be in one type of storage, Pens in another, stickers in one etc. That is how you can stream line it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. AE Projects In Progress | The Office, Part II | Ali Edwards says…

    [...] You can check out the first part of this series here. [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Amy B says…

    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas to organize our supplies and also making our scrapbooking area look wonderful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. AE Projects In Progress | The Office, Part IV + A $150 Minted Giveaway | Ali Edwards says…

    [...] more about the transformation and the process here and here and [...]

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Suzanne says…

    Ali, could you share what paint you used for your studio? For some reason I am having a difficult time with the right white! I think it's because I've only used color before. Thank you for your help!


    Reply 0 Replies
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