Monday, November 12, 2012

I Have a Shipping Room! (Before & After)

After being in business for 9 years, I now finally have a dedicated room for my business.  It's mostly a shipping room but I'm also using it to store inventory and extra supplies, and to do my product photography.  I had to kick my eldest child out of the house to make this happen, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! 

Okay, the truth is, I didn't really kick her out.  Her smart brain bought her a ticket to a bright future.  Can I just brag for a minute?  Tangereen graduated from high school in June with the following honors: International Baccalaureate diploma, Honored Scholar Award, Salutatorian, Distinguished Scholar, National Honor Society, University of Portland President's Scholarship, co-captain of Cleveland Cannibals OSAA state champion speech and debate team.

She earned enough college credit during high school, including classes at PSU through the LINK Program, to earn her bachelor's degree in three years instead of four.  Tangereen is now attending a great University and majoring in physics. She has already been invited to do research in quantum mechanics next summer - how's that for a first job?

So basically, she moved to her campus and is enjoying the dorm life.  Because she's still in Portland, we see her every weekend, and she either crashes on the couch or makes herself a nice blanket fort underneath my shipping table in her old room.  It works out just fine for everyone!

We spent a good amount of the summer working on the big transition of having our child graduate, turn 18, move out of the house, and start college.  It was a pretty intense and emotional time.  I really jumped on the excuse to keep busy by completely cleaning and organizing pretty much my entire house.  Things were getting crazy anyway because Chuck got a computer and we decided to make him a little office space in the kitchen, mostly so he can listen to people reading history books and Tolkien lore on youtube while he cooks.  This meant the kitchen table was moved out to the living room and by the time that happened the house was upside down and there was nothing for it but to throw myself into a complete and total overhaul of the whole place.  I dusted every nook and cranny, organized every closet, set a fresh "free box" on the curb every night for a week, and still took a large haul to Goodwill. 

Once Tangereen had vacated her room (with the exception of a shelf in her former closet where I'm letting her keep her personal craft supplies - of which she has a TON, mostly beads), I set about moving everything into the room that needed to be in there.  I previously had shipping supplies, craft materials, and finished products stored in various places around the house, including my closet and some areas of our basement.

The key was to consolidate everything into one room and have it be nice and organized without spending any money.  My actual studio is still located in the nook in my giant master bedroom/home office.  That's where I do all the creating.  But now instead of having to clean up my art mess in order to have space to pack orders, I have a completely separate room for shipping and I could not be happier, especially going into the holiday season. And, I did not spend hardly a dime.  I was able to incorporate Tangereen's dressing table, wardrobe, and bookshelf, and Chuck let me have the 6' foot table, since we don't really need it in the band room anymore, as well as the record player, which no longer works as a record player but does have a radio and CD player built in, so I can get my NPR fix or crank up Social Distortion while I'm in there.  And of course I can spin a mandala on it any old time.

I bought baskets for garbage and recycling from the dollar store (a total of $2) and scored a really great desk lamp on clearance at Office Depot for only $5 (normally $55!  I got it after these pics were taken but trust me, it's amazing).  That's all I bought!  I found a drawer unit on the side of the road which I cleaned up and am using to store odd-sized records.  I had originally thought about going to Ikea to get some really great shelving units and matching bins and things, but ended up not having to.  I didn't have to paint the room either, because it was already done in a great reddish pink with purple accents and matching curtains and that cool faux stained glass vinyl decal.  I decorated the room with things from my collection of children's art, jazz posters, Dartgun stuff and Eye Pop Art stuff.  I know it looks really cluttered but that's the way I like it: constant visual stimulation.


You might notice there is a sewing machine in this picture.  It was given to me several years ago and needs a tune-up. At some point I would really like to take up sewing again.  Most people don't know this but I used to love sewing.  I did a lot of hand-sewing but also have made clothing and quilts with a sewing machine.  One of these days I'm going to get that machine working and start playing with it.  At least I was finally able to liberate it from the hall closet.

In case you were wondering, the painted TV is a piece by our old friend and former Dartgun drummer Billy Brahm.  Many years ago we did a trade in which I painted his acoustic guitar in exchange for the TV art. It was only in there while I was cleaning and is now back in the living room where it belongs. 

What you see in the photo above is the majority of my collection of Psychedelic Coffee Cups (not all of them - there are still plenty hanging from hooks in our kitchen ceiling).  I have a gazillion of them.  I can't even believe they all managed to fit in the living room.  Well, I decided that I really wanted access to my books.  The cups were all over the bookshelves, collecting dust and keeping me from ever being able to put a book back properly after reading it.  So I ran them all through the dishwasher (4 or 5 loads) and put them in boxes and crates to await their next adventure.  (And yes, I completely organized all of our books too.)

I have been saying this for years - I really want to open up a vintage shop on Etsy for my groovy vintage cups.  I don't think it's going to happen before the holidays, but I'll definitely be ready to get started on the product photography and everything in the new year.

Here are a few more "before" shots of the room as it got more and more filled with stuff:


Here's what the room looks like now.  I covered the table with brown kraft paper and left space on the other side so that I can utilize light coming through that window for photography purposes.  Most of my small supplies are stored in the drawers and in various little containers scattered about the surface of the tables.  Shipping supplies are stored under the dressing table and to the right of it.  Primed records are in a crate under the table, and inventory is stored in bins on the shelving units. 

I found this drawer unit on the side of the road and it is now perfect for storing records - 45s on top, red records in the middle, and 78s on the bottom.

I put up that bumper sticker that says "Small Business Creates Jobs" as a reminder to myself that this is, in fact, my job, and the only job I have, so I better make it work! (I was laid off from my nonprofit job in April so I am truly 100% self employed now.)

Johnny Teacup just loves that brown paper on the table, and he likes to look out the window.

See that psychedelic painted trunk?  It is crammed solid with my collection of gorgeous vintage fabrics that I have been accumulating for about 20 years.  Oh, when I start sewing...

I finally found a home for my collection of crafty buttons!

Oh the joy of having enough space to assemble 18 clocks at one time!  It's like a dream come true.

Now let's bring on the holiday orders so I can make full use of this room!  Order from Eye Pop Art in November and get 20% off your entire purchase by entering the coupon code PORTLAND at checkout. Thanks for your support, and happy holidays!

No comments: