Home office renovations

My wife, mother-in-law, and children took a ten day vacation and flew to Washington state to visit my kids’ great-grandparents, my wife’s grandparents, and my mother-in-law’s parents, Art and Betty — and all the other super-fantastic Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Brothers, Sister-in-laws, second Cousins, etc., etc.

With my fear of flying, and the convenient excuses of work, mergers, corporate red tape, limited time away from work, etc., I weaseled out of the trip. Actually, the flying part really did me in — if I never fly commercially again, it’ll be too soon. I do want to go visit my wife’s family in Washington State, I’ll just have to take four weeks off and make it a road trip. Although, if I go across country for a trip like that I’d want to do it in style, like alone on a chromed out Harley Fatboy, with a leather holster for my shotgun and maybe a few more mean looking tattoos… But, I digress.

I dropped my family off at the airport, rushed home, and completely emptied out my office. Everything. Books off the shelves on the walls, all the furniture, the piles of papers on the floor… everything! I tore the wallpaper from the wall. I painted the walls. I ripped out the carpet. I purchased and put down a floating laminate flooring system that looks like a hard wood floor. I hung more shelving. I purchased a corporation sized, industrial filing cabinet. And I hung thermal drapes and shades in the newly renovated office.

I destroyed and recycled several hundred pounds of papers. I know the recycle guy wanted to hurt me. My recycle bins weighed at least 150 lbs each on two separate recycle days. I watched him curse me from the security behind my dinning room blinds.

I also organized the garage and fixed the master bathroom toilet paper holder — that’s really the important fix I made all week, it was all floppy and falling off the wall prior to being fixed. Definitely the repair I was most happy with.

But back to my office, this story is about my office. The clutter was so bad, I couldn’t take a before photo. Or maybe I was too embarrassed to take a before photo? Or maybe I had to clear out half the room to be able to get in to take a photo? Or I had to clean the room to find my camera to take a photo? Which excuse is more believable? Would you believe I was just so excited to start the project that I forgot to take photos until I needed my first break?

I do have a few old photos that might suffice as before shots.

Notice the stack of crap to the left on the floor.

Notice the stack of crap on the floor.

Well, it doesn’t look that bad because I tried to manage the image by framing it so it didn’t look too bad. It was after all, a photo of my dog. Not a photo of how messy my room was. Trust me, it was messy. There was a goat path through the room.

I’m not sure what the next photo was about. It might have been a misfire, hitting the shutter release on accident, but it does show the floor under my desk.

The sleeping bag under the desk doubled as a foot rest.

The sleeping bag under the desk doubled as a foot rest.

The official photographic record of the project can be found here. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise to Leslie. And to her family’s credit, they kept a fantastic secret. They would all make an excellent spy network. She commentted, “How did this go from being the worst room in the house to the best room in the house?” She also loves the fact that we no longer refer to my office as “the pit of hell”.

Special thanks to Bryan, who helped me with much of the renovations. It would have been a failed, nightmare without his help.

Here’s the finished product.

The Finished Product

The Finished Product

Now I wonder if my wife will leave on vacation without me more often, or if I will never be left unsupervised again?

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