Shelves at last -- and future plans!

I had huge help this weekend from Crystal and Jacob. Because of Jeff's accident, I wasn't able to take my earned holidays for Christmas and New Year's, and since it was nearing the end of March, it was verging on use-or-lose status for them. I'd been babbling incessantly about doing a Great Shelving Project to anyone who would listen (and several people who politely wished I'd just shut up) and we finally got cracking on it. Of course, about halfway through, Jacob had an insight which totally changed the course of the project -- more on that insight after the photos.

Previously, the only shelving in the master bedroom had been the tiny corner shelves, which you see empty in this photo. The white ones are all new. Five new sturdy shelves for books I don't want to keep in the main areas, plus the random items that need keeping in a bedroom:

No shelving existed in this room. Added five shelves, reunited books I wanted to keep out of the main shelving areas, and started shifting personal items to these shelves. I will probably eventually move some more personal items (high school yearbooks, etc.) from the reading room -- soon to be the sewing room.Master bedroom shelving

['Master bedroom shelving']

In the guest bedroom, we took down the three undersized (and massively overloaded) shelves and replaced them with six generously-sized shelves spaced appropriately for hardbacks. The contents of the three shelves, plus books previously piled on the floor, are already on the shelves and there's still plenty of room to move books from the main room.

Took down three undersized shelves, replaced with six generous ones spaced to hold hardbacks. All contents of the old shelves are up; there's plenty of room left to move books from the reading room -- soon to be the sewing room.Guest bedroom shelving

['Guest bedroom shelving']

...and THE BEST SHELVES EVER. I've wanted and needed these for years: seven wide, sturdy shelves in the back corner of the computer room. Right now they're a temporary holding space for my fabric, but very soon now this fabric will move, and these shelves will be the start of the massive computer room pare-down / clean-up I've wanted for years.

No shelving existed in this room. Added 7 shelves, organized writing supplies, moved Jeff's old computer books to top shelf. Bottom two shelves are temporary storage for fabric until the sewing room is completed.Computer room, first stage

['Computer room, first stage']

So what was the insight? Blindingly obvious in retrospect: why not empty out the furniture in the reading room, and turn it into a sewing and creative space? See? It's a total "duh" when you say it out loud, but it took Jacob blurting it out for me to realize how right the idea was. Prior to Jeff's accident, we'd been planning to move, and we'd assumed that we'd get rid of every piece of furniture in the reading room anyway, so it's not like we have a major attachment to any of it.

My quilt habit has been taking over several places in the house:

  • the kitchen table is where I sew, because it's the largest table in the house
  • the far corner of the living room, the spare rocker, and the couch in the reading room are holding spots for the carload (literally) of fabric I was given unexpectedly around Thanksgiving 2010
  • my stash of quilt fabric was stored in the computer room

My sewing (and knitting!) had no home, and it showed -- in clutter throughout the house. My original intent was to do a smaller de-cluttering by getting shelving up, but the help from Jacob and Crystal meant the shelving project became larger (read: appropriate for our needs) and additional opportunities quickly arose. There would indeed be space to move all the books out of the reading room, if I planned carefully, and that plus de-cluttering and freecycling the furniture meant I'd have a room just for sewing.

Yep. After completing 25 quilts, and with about another ten on deck ... a sewing room. About time, huh? It does seem rather obvious now, doesn't it? Sure, anyone who is even barely conversant in psychology will recognize I'm dealing with life trauma by finding a way to take control over some aspect of my life, but putting my house in order feels good.


While "obviously" a byproduct of lack of control in Big Major Life Events, it's a useful byproduct. It was needed, necessary, and will look and feel great when complete.

Also, don't forget the coffee table-cum-cutting station!

I only wish they had five-foot-wide shelves for the computer room. The good news is that we can always get more standards if that corner frees up. More brackets and longer shelves become automatic, and then you have four-foot-wide shelves that can go elsewhere. Like your sewing room.

And I still think we could get a nice workbench in the garage, so your tools and such are properly organized.

Agreed - getting 5' shelves would've been nice, but the world's not going to end. I'm not sure which side of the room will end up having the computer desk that stays, but we'll replace at least one of them.

Can't do it until the current mess is cleaned up, though. It will definitely happen, though:

  • tidy up Jeff's desk
  • pack up all the loose stuff (DVDs, CDs, etc)
  • install extra shelving in closet

Once those are done, I can start cleaning the room, and once it's tidy, I can ask a knowledgeable networking friend or two to come over and help me assess what's being used, and figure out a layout that will let us combine our desks into one. This room will be the hardest to do, and will undoubtedly be the last. The sewing room will get finished first.