Cary Farrell

A Make Over Story with Pictures

by Cary Farrell
March 11, 2020
 We all have times of transition and our home needs to transition with where we are in our lives to be a support to us. I enjoy walking with my clients through their space  to help them determine what their home needs to be, for them.

I have tried and true processes and simple systems that make life transitions easier. These systems help clients with the way they use their Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill home and the way they think about their home and possessions. These are not cookie-cutter approaches, each one is personalized and unique organizing system. I listen to the needs and help then create systems that work for the client and their family.

As I walked with Julie through her home this was an observation I made: 
“Julie, there is a part of you and your work in every room. This tells me that you spend a lot of time going from room to room and in each place are reminded of the “work” that you should be doing, instead of having designated space for work and rest. Your eyes take in your “to-do” list and that adds to the lack of rest that is leading to fatigue.
Your workspace should be clear, uncluttered and be surrounded by visual items that inspire creativity and help you think clearly.
You and your family are all working from home. Your husband has a standing desk in the corner of the living room, your son’s photography studio is squeezed into a small bedroom and you have a desk in the corner of the large guest room. Let’s process that together.”

On one of our sessions together I commented to Julie:
“We have talked about the need for an office space. I was thinking about an idea that I wanted to run by you. What about making the dining room the office?  it would be a whole lot easier to soundproof because you already have a door frame from the living room and kitchen to be able to put up doors and it would not require any construction versus the front living room that opens up to your vaulted ceilings in the entry way.” 

Clutter-Free is not about storage containers and getting rid of things, it is about a personal strategy for using your home as a space that works. The client has someone on their team thinking through aspects of the structure and function of your home.

I pointed out the real estate value of having a first-floor office versus a dining room. More and more people are working from home and if they do entertain they are far more casual and enjoy sitting around in the less formal rooms of the home.
There is no right or wrong way to use your home, it is your preference. No one is going to show up at your door to see if you are using the room your builder designed as a dining room as a home office. But it is very likely that in the future when you decide to put your home on the market, the future home owner will be excited to see a first floor home office. 

Julie and her family got excited about repurposing some rooms in their home to better fit their current needs.

They realized that they did not need the dining room furniture and immediately got rid of it.



They painted the dining room a calm blue, put up a large white board, moved in the husband’s standing desk and Julie’s desk and the small file cabinet that was tucked away in the corner of the guest room.  Julie’s husband got creative and adjusted the desk so that the file cabinet could fit under his desk. And they put up beautiful farm doors to separate the living room from the home office (former formal dining room).

They moved the son’s studio into the larger guest bedroom and turned the smaller room into the occasional guest room.  ross-before-studio.jpg    Ross-guest-room-(1).jpg


Everyone is excited about their new work spaces and the home has been transformed to fit the family’s current needs.  

I was watching a YouTube video of the interview of Joanna Gains giving a tour of her home and she made a statement that made me smile. She said she wanted her home to feel welcoming and to feel like a hug.  I couldn’t agree more!  

Do you need help transitioning your home to fit your current needs?  Contact Clutter Free today!  Together we can create a home that welcomes you with a hug and functions the way you need it to.