Creating Your Own Space

Fridays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog.

It wasn’t too long ago that I was sitting in the room that my family shares as an office. We all have our separate areas in this room, personal space that is supposed to be inviolate. There are many evenings when all of us are in the room: my husband creating art, me writing, my daughter doing homework.

The problem was that particular night I couldn’t concentrate over the music my husband was playing (he always seems to pick the artists I cannot stand) and the conversation he and my daughter were having about something completely irrelevant to what I was doing. And then both of them tried to pull me out of my concentration to give an opinion about something that wasn’t even remotely on my radar.

I put my foot down.

Actually, I put my head down on my desk and thumped it a few times.

It got their attention.

I explained that I was trying to work, and it was really disturbing to have the noise and chatter. That I couldn’t work if they kept distracting me.

As you might imagine, it changed nothing.

I finally snapped. “It would be really nice if I had a place somewhere in this house that was all mine.” I looked at my husband. “You have your train room.” (It’s a room he made up in the attic for his models). I looked at my daughter. “You have the playroom and your bedroom.” She started to protest, but I held up my hand. “I have nowhere.” And I looked back at my husband. “How much effort would it be to put electrical in the cat closet?”

And thus started the process.

We have a secondary walk-in closet off the master bath. Because of the roofline, this closet, while spacious, was completely unusable as a closet, since the racks were lower than waist high. So after moving into the house, we turned the walk-in closet into the “cat closet”. The place where we kept the litter box and various cleaning machines. It has a cat door on the door to keep the dog out, and pretty much it was used only by the felines.

Over the last month that has changed. Here are the before photos:

As you can see, not a very useful space for humans. Although the cat seemed to enjoy it.

There were a few pictures during construction. Mostly not because it involved a whole lot of dust (his) and a whole lot of swearing (mine). My husband built a bench-cover for the cat box, and put in the electrical. I pulled down the shelves, cleaned, taped and painted.


And now:

We finished it in time for National Novel Writing Month. But I have already had to retreat there after my daughter decided to go on a tirade about Justin Bieber. :)

The thing I love about this space is it is mine. I didn’t have to consult anyone about the choices in colors or furniture. I can have what I want in there. I can spend time in there and not have to make room for anyone else’s stuff.

It’s important to have a space of your own. Do you have one? Even a little corner?

[I want to thank my husband for his work in putting in the electrical, removing the overhead light and installing two “eyeball” CFL lights, building the cat box bench and the cabinet for supplies, and for putting my desk together. The paint job, with all its flaws, is mine.]