Yes, the walls were indeed closing in on us.
The dining room had been taken over long before, as Mayhem’s desk sat on one side of the room carrying all of her homeschool work, and my desk was parked on the opposite wall. My high hopes that my desk would carry the bare minimum; computer, keyboard, wacom tablet, notebook, and pens were quickly dashed, when in reality, it became the catch-all for the various items I’d take away from Mayhem and Moxie in a day.
Upon selling the studio, Keith’s desk, found it’s new home in our “breakfast area” … you know, the other place (besides a dining room) where you’re supposed to have a table for meals. And his desk carried way more cargo than mine and Mayhem’s combined. With the desk came a couple of tall bookcases which held stacks of client orders in their various stages of process.
The breakfast area spilled directly in to our living space (our home had a VERY open layout … something we absolutely loved!) and now, in addition to our sofa, loveseat, and tables, the “living room” also held two very large photo printers. Each was perched atop it’s own shelving unit which housed the essential paper and ink supplies to keep it running.
It’s possible that I forgot to mention that our kitchen was not an “eat-in” kitchen. Thankfully, it had a counter with just enough room for three stools. We now only ate meals at a table when we visited family or ate at a restaurant.
Inside our front entryway was a really good sized closet, which we used for coats, hats, gloves and shoes. You know, like normal people. Until the day that Keith announced it would be a perfect camera closet. Out went all of the coats, hats and shoes, and in went a new custom built shelving unit to hold cameras, lenses, batteries, lights, etc.. He even installed power strips so that it would be a perfect “charging station”. Coats, hats, gloves, shoes were relocated to the master bedroom closet, which had overcrowding issues of it’s own already …
The other space which got a major overhaul was our two car garage. Or maybe I should say, our new production facility. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what kind of magic Keith worked in that space, but somehow he was able to bring in/build a complete production counter like we had at the studio, complete with built-in pneumatic die-cutter (and attached air compressor). There were new shelves lining the back and (one) side wall and everything was tucked neatly and orderly in it’s place. AND, we were still able to park both vehicles (an SUV and a truck) in the garage.
Keith’s new “work commute” was both a blessing and a curse. As most business owners can attest to, business is rarely off the brain, and there are often not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that could be done. The fact that he no longer had to check the weather before heading out the door, so to speak, was fantastic. But the ten steps from the bed to his desk meant that his new work day could start as soon as his brain kicked on … which was roughly 5am each day.
The benefits of working from home clearly outweighed any negatives though. Sure, the workday could start earlier, and it could go late late LATE into the night when need be, but there was also a new flexibility to our schedule. Starting the workday at 5am sometimes meant that by lunchtime, Keith had wrapped up the most pressing jobs, we were finished with schoolwork, and we could all have lunch together and head out to a park for the afternoon. It also meant that Keith was able to jump in and help with homeschooling or take Mayhem and Moxie off my hands when I had calls to take (versus me locking myself in a closet in an attempt to muffle the sounds of our everyday chaos.)
As fall turned to winter and the days grew colder, we had slipped into our new routine, and it was comfortable. And when those first flurries began to appear, Keith and I both smiled, knowing that we wouldn’t have to worry about getting to and from the studio everyday. Or shoveling that sidewalk in front of our old building anymore.
We really had made the right decision.
And now it was time to tackle the next move.
We knew that winter was not the ideal time to put our own home on the market, and honestly, we weren’t ready for that. But it was time for us to seriously start looking and making our lists for what we wanted/needed in our next home. At the top of the list was: more space. Both inside and out.
We loaded the Zillow and Realtor.com apps on our phones and started driving through the neighborhoods closest to us. Then, slowly, we began expanding our search area …