From Chaos to Calm...

From Chaos to Calm...

I started my website in 1999. At the time, I worked alone at an old desk I’d stuck into a corner of my dining room. In the other corner was my drawing table. We ate at a table in the kitchen and never used the table in the dining room anyway, so why not? I have a small, older home with a simple floor plan, so my dining room office was really just at the end of my living room.

That worked fine for a couple of years but then I needed to hire some help; I couldn’t keep up with commissions, travel-teaching, writing the magazine, filling orders and answering emails by myself anymore. And I also wanted to start teaching locally from my home. About that time, I realized we actually only used the living room once a year when I put up our Christmas tree; the rest of the time we congregated in the family room off the kitchen. The living room was a waste of space! So I sold or gave away what little living room furniture I had and dedicated the space to my art and business, moving in three folding tables. A part-time assistant worked at a small computer station at one of the tables. I bought a filing cabinet and other small cabinets, started Saturday morning classes and was oh-so pleased!

But the business kept growing. The more project kits and products I developed, the more space we needed for inventory. Within a few years, none of this was really working anymore, and I’d grown tired of teaching every Saturday morning. (Mostly, I think I got tired of trying to keep my two young children quiet and behaved for 2.5 hours during class!) I also was ready to do some badly needed home renovation, so once again, I sold or stored items, and we started from scratch in the office.

It was crowded but workable…at least for a while. But, darn it, the business kept growing! With more and more books, products, shipping supplies and electronics to store, by 2016, we were literally spilling out all over the place. My linen closets were filling with inventory, a bedroom closet held more and still the floors were too often covered with even more stuff. It was inefficient and ugly and depressing and was dark and gloomy on cloudy days. Yuck.  My depression-era parents had done such a good job of raising us to “make do,” though, that it was tough for me to make a change.  But you can see how badly I needed to make a decision:

Finally, the constant chaos got to be too much. I reached a breaking point and started doing some research in the fall of 2016. Since I’d recently gotten onto a minimalizing kick, I knew I wanted a custom design that was clean, sleek and that would perfectly fit our products. I wanted a calm work space! We were so tired of trying to fit books and other stuff into storage solutions that weren’t really solutions at all! After some online research, I stumbled on Organized Spaces, a smaller local business in the Seattle area that custom designs closets, home offices and garage storage. Bryce, our fun and friendly designer, came out to the house, saw our crowded mess and product needs and got a feel for my design sense in January of this year.

After a bit of back and forth over the next few weeks, we settled on a design. Now the really tough part began – emptying out that horribly over-stuffed office. Where to put everything? Once again, I sold some of the furniture, gave some away and then filled every room in the rest of the house with stuff, stuff and more stuff. The last bit of preparation was some thorough cleaning and then the space was ready for magic!


Installation of the new desks and storage units took just three nice men and three short days and all went perfectly without a hitch. It was so amazing to see everything go up, piece by piece. The last step was one that our designer Bryce suggested -  to hire an electrician to put in ceiling lights and the new lighting made a huge difference, too. To say that we are thrilled with our new work area is like saying the Arctic can get a bit cool – a huge understatement. I can hardly believe how beautiful it us and how easy it is to keep neat and tidy. It’s efficient, sleek, clean, minimal and absolutely perfect! I couldn’t be happier with Organized Spaces or my decision to bite the bullet and reach for something beautiful.

Comments (1)

Wow! What a great story Ann, you definitely have a way with words.
Thank you for trusting us with your space. I am very pleased that we were able to Transform your space so dramatically! I love your new lighting as well! Your new Office is amazing ;o)

Bryce Wheeler - Jun 14, 2017

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