Office Space

There’s a running joke in this house about Melisa’s office space.

I have lots of offices here. Err, I should say “offices”, in quotes.

I have a family room “office” (on that couch), a living room “office” (on the other couch), an upstairs “office” (the little rolltop desk in D’s bedroom, which I have actually never used as an office but it sounded good when I mentally took it over a while back), and a basement “office” (which Jim now claims as HIS office, but I use it every now and then).

I am in my family room office (on that couch) about 75% of the time I’m working and sometimes I work from the living room because it’s brighter in that room. I’m basically a gyspy in my own home, by choice. Oddly enough, the one place that is completely meant to be an excellent workstation—the desk in the kitchen—has never been used that way because of a constant stream of clutter and my inability to keep it under control.

It’s not that I don’t WANT to work in the kitchen. In fact, I rather like the kitchen because it’s central to everything else in the house. It’s just that darn clutter.

Every now and then I proclaim that I’m going to clean up the desk so I can work there and I get a few giggles and snorts from the peanut gallery. It’s totally understandable. Every time I clean up the desk it lasts for about two days, MAYBE, before it’s a mess all over again. I’ve never even made it so far as to work from it. Ever. In almost fourteen years of living here.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my self-imposed work conditions, though, and last week I jumped in and started cleaning up the desk. Again.

I wasn’t surprised at the response when I announced my plan to the family.

Desk 1

It was pretty funny, actually.

But I was determined.

By the way, this is kind of what the desk usually looks like.

Desk before

Actually, it’s usually worse than that. I took THAT picture after I had worked on it for a couple of hours. So imagine THAT, with about another foot-high pile of papers and such, scattered all over the top of what you see. And maybe some bags. There are usually some bags on the desk.

I was sick over the weekend, so I continued my quest for an awesome kitchen office yesterday. I grabbed some Command strips so I could hang some frames to the left of my desk on the outside wall of my pantry (getting them off of the desk!), boxed up a few little things like my old conference badges, put a few things in the cabinets above the desk (next on my list: declutter cabinets, again), threw some stuff away, and generally revamped the whole area. My favorite part, besides the clean desk, is the stuff that will surround me as I work: pictures of family and friends, handwritten notes and cards, and various treasures like the game tokens I got during my last visit to Columbus, my name spelled out in Scrabble letters from a 2013 LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER cast member, an Adam Ant guitar pick, a couple pieces of Chicago flag art, my German lederhosen coin purse, and all kinds of other things that make me smile my face off.

I was thrilled to finish the job yesterday and made plans for my first workday in my kitchen office.

Desk 2

Of course, Jim and J laughed their heads off when I told them I would be working at the desk today, but I can’t say I blame them. I’m a bit cynical myself. I don’t have the best track record, after all, but let the record show that since I bought my new car in mid-April, I have kept that thing completely beautiful and clutter-free. Even I’m amazed.

Baby steps, you know?

I actually did a full workday at my kitchen desk today. It was pretty fantastic.

Also, I figured out that the great thing about sitting at my kitchen desk is that I can put my lunch or other snacks on the island right behind me and I only have to swivel around to grab a bite to eat. (By the way, I also figured out that the terrible thing about sitting at my kitchen desk is that I can put my lunch or other snacks on the island right behind me and I only have to swivel around to grab a bite to eat.)

I think I’m in love with working at my desk.

Day One in my kitchen office? Check.
I’m excited for Day Two.

Desk after


  • Sylvia Joy

    OMG I can’t believe it you can see the counter top and your apple is not on top of a pile of papers and other stuff.

    I think I may have asked you guys to help out to much when you where growing up. NOT! I hope you keep it like this. You may need another basket for mail when it comes in and to hold any bills.

    Good Luck I know you can do it. It is so much brighter there then in your family room.

    Grandma W

    • Melisa Wells

      I had a response in mind but then I got your text and now I’m just laughing so I’ll just say, yes. FINALLY. 😉

  • Shannon

    Looks great! And I bet it feels good too! We have two big nice desks in our house and I almost always end up writing in the chair in the corner of the living room or at the library.