Zen and the Art of Home-Office Relocation

Over the last few weeks, we at Caffeinated Press have slowly migrated up a flight of stairs. Our two-year lease in Suite 104 at the Ken-O-Sha Professional Building expired June 30. Instead of renewing, we opted to move to a smaller unit within the same building — Suite 102, which comes at roughly a third of the space and roughly 40 percent of the per-month rent. Given that we previously enjoyed a very large office that two people used for less than half time, this change frees working capital for the publishing company while preserving a central hub for files, inventory, a workstation and a small conference space. We paid a heck of a lot of money for a space that would sit vacant for days or a week at a stretch, so this transformation is fiscally prudent.
Good change, right?
The caveat is that I had a large U-shaped desk there, with a filing cabinet and sundry other things (like a reading chair, a microfridge, a whiteboard) that couldn’t fit in the new suite. So I had to bring them home. But as configured, I didn’t have space at home, either.
Long story short, I hired a moving company (Quick & Careful Moving, a Local First member) to schlep the big furniture from the old suite to the new suite and to bring my stuff home. To accommodate it, I flip-flopped my bedroom and my office. Until yesterday, my office was a long, narrow room overlooking the front porch, filled with “temporary” furniture I built and stained myself. And also until yesterday, my bedroom was the house’s original solarium, with a fireplace and built-in cabinetry and terra-cotta tile flooring.
So yesterday I moved rooms. Fascinating experience — not least, because of how much trauma such a move inflicted upon the feline overlords, who are not accustomed to change. But also fascinating in the sense of how one choice leads to a cascade effect:

  • To accept the desk from the movers, I needed to clear out the solarium
  • To clear the solarium, I needed to partially clear the front room
  • To clear the front room, I needed to relocate roughly 80 linear feet of books from the front room to the solarium
  • To relocate the books, I needed to move the stuff from the solarium cabinets to the front room.

Et cetera. It’s like playing a game of Jenga: To do X, Y must be moved first, and Z has to be yanked out before Y’s in play. The living room — the no-man’s-land between the two rooms — can only hold so much stuff as a staging area, so a lot of this move required sequenced swapping of items in fixed spaces.
But after about 15 cumulative hours’ effort, and the muscle of the movers, I got ‘er done:

Some conclusions:

  • I have a heck of a lot of filing to do, some of which reflects holdovers from when I left my apartment in Kentwood nearly a decade ago. Yikes.
  • I need “real” bedroom furniture, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a small dresser and perhaps a tiny secretary’s desk and chair. I relied on the cabinets, before, but the new bedroom features a shelved alcove and a closet but not much else.
  • I think I want a recliner for my reading chair instead of my more spartan cushioned wooden chair.
  • Holy hell, I need curtains with blackout fabric instead of just blinds. I have no clue why the neighbors think the nighttime outside requires 1 billion candela of auxiliary lighting.

And on the bright side, although I still have to deal with cats, they have more places to sleep and play in the new office, so at present, they’ve left me mostly to myself. Except for that one time Murphy jumped off the desk hutch, without advance warning, and used the back of my neck as a landing strip. It took a full 15 minutes for the bleeding to subside. Anyway — now, all my stuff is put into one convenient room, so regardless of what work I’m doing, everything’s concentrated within the same four walls. There’s something to be said for efficiency.
I’ll miss being able to decamp to the CafPress office to work long periods without feline interruption, but I’ll adapt.

The Next Adventure

Tomorrow, I vacate my apartment at Apple Ridge.  I have lived there since late May. The place itself was pleasant — I enjoyed having two bedrooms, one of which served as my office, and there was a definite benefit to being located conveniently close to the essentials in Standale. Essentials like Blockbuster, Peppino’s Pizza and Meijer.

That said, it’s time to move on. Some exciting things are under development, and the next four-to-six weeks will witness some extraordinary change in the life of Jason.  This is for the good.  Sometimes it takes a “hard break” like a residential relocation to keep one motivated and moving forward, focused on goals and on the people we love.

In the interim, I’ll be shacking up with family, which has its strengths and weaknesses, but it reinforces the temporary nature of the arrangement.  Today, I’ve been shedding stuff — I sold my desk, recliner, and dinette.  I have a ton of stuff that will either be junked, or given away to scavengers.  When the move is done, I’ll have very little left, which suits me just fine.  The reduction of “stuff” is healthy and appropriate.

So, one chapter in live’s novel is closing, and a new one is about to begin. Yay!