Now that I’ve launched my travel agency, I can share what I’ve been working on since we got back from the US.
See, when I got married and moved in my husband’s house, his house became one big mess. With him owning A LOT of stuff and I having A LOT too (hoarders unite!), we couldn’t figure out how in the world we’ll make everything fit. A few days after our wedding, we left for Ilocos with my family, and a few weeks later, we flew to the US where we stayed for a little over a month.
It was when we came back that it dawned on me – I had to fix my house, or I’d be annoyed every single day of my life. Being the OC person I am, you can imagine why I would feel that. I cannot work in a messy environment (well, not everyday!) and I surely can’t stand the fact that my own house is messy. Hard work it was, but it had to be done.
So, this room was sort of my husband and I’s “tambak” room. This was where we’d put things we didn’t know where to place when we were dating, like stuff we were selling online, or furniture from friends. Then I moved in, and a lot more boxes were stored here. Believe it or not, this was already cleaner. I forgot to take a shot when I first untangled the vines this jungle created.
After sleepless nights, tired bodies and endless organizing (from office supplies to books to everything else), we finally ended up with this:
Welcome to our office. It inspires me to work harder everyday. The main table is temporary, we will replace it with wooden narra planks (from an oooold house), but my husband has yet to make it.
When I posted that photo in Instagram, I didn’t expect that many people to like it (and actually comment)! Words like organic, pretty, very pinteresting, looks like from a magazine and other beautiful, flattering comments were made. Truth is, I just organized it according to my needs without shelling out so much. I’m just glad they all fit together in the end.
Take this long table for example. This long table has always been there. But it’s actually a buffet table, so it’s a bit narrow to be an office table. In the future, I will have a table made for my things, but since we didn’t want to spend just yet, I had to deal with this one. It wasn’t the narrow plank that proved to be a challenge! It’s the bar that holds the table together! It’s not the kind of table wherein the legs are just on the edges. There’s a bar that stretches from one end to the other, which meant I couldn’t put drawers because I couldn’t push them to the wall (because of the bar). So I had to improvise. I was about to give away my shoe rack when I realized I could use it for now to hold my things together. Since my shoe rack has enough space to go in between the bar, I used it to organize my things. The white shoe rack on the left was a bit short, so to raise it higher, I looked for plastic boxes and tada, it went between the bar without a problem! The right side are all recyclable materials – scratch paper, envelopes, etc. The left side are colored papers, notebooks, etc.
And then of course my favorite (and everyone else’s) part of the office: my shelves!!! These shelves were lovingly handmade by my husband – from cutting the wood to putting them together to painting them! The middle shelf was bought off a store.
I love how this whole area organizes my traveling life. My travel books, magazines and other resources are all there! Since we like buying baskets when we travel locally, I finally found space for them, too! Some baskets actually keep memorabilia like plane tickets, some photos, travel souvenir, etc.
Some people ask me what are inside the baskets! Honestly, I’ve been dreaming of those shelves for a long time for the same purpose, and now that I have a travel agency, I was able to justify to my husband my need for it, hehehe 🙂
Can you guess them now?
Ok, so the traveler in me can’t help but collect all these brochures (who knows when I’ll need them again, right?) whenever we travel. I love the idea of going outside the airport and getting all those free maps, guides, etc. Sadly, there’s not much of those in our airport. But anyway, it’s suffice to say I’ve collected a lot of waste I like to call educational materials over the years.
It started with just a bag and then they were kept in a box, and then 2 boxes, and then clearbooks and then they couldn’t fit and the clearbooks would break, and so……I finally found space for them. Now, it’s easier for me to plan my travels (and yours too! I can make detailed, hassle-free itineraries for you for a fee!)
Some have been asking me where I got the baskets. THIS IS WHERE I GOT THEM. Dapitan Arcade is a haven for baskets and everything native, but they’re not exactly in mall-perfect condition. So you have to do a little upcycling. I varnished my baskets. Also, they’re not arranged the way malls style their goods, so you have to be creative in imagining how you’ll execute them.
Some people have also been asking where I got the labels. I MADE THEM through Photoshop. I had them printed, laminated and then used a puncher for the hole and a cute rope to tie it to the basket.
Now sharing the other interesting parts of the office:
Welcome! Can you spot our business license? Thank you San Juan City Hall for not issuing a license with the face of a politician.
Yes, our travel agency is registered. Here are some of our permits. I honestly didn’t want to display them the usual way – they’re more of an eyesore to me. So I had to make extra effort to make them prettier.
I had existing black frames so I didn’t want to spend on new ones. My husband spray painted them to white while I worked on printing high-res designs on inkjet for the background:
The secret to making a neat corkboard? Dress it up with pretty fabric or wallpaper! I reused an old map (I used this in most of my rooms) and the BON VOYAGE letters my sister made for my despedida party before getting married!
This drawer is a recent addition. We got it for PHP 1,000 second hand. It was painted in silver but worn out and honestly really ugly. Thankfully, I know a coat of paint can make all the difference, and it did on this one! Now it looks pretty with that modern chevron print, Eiffel Tower display that my husband turned into a lamp several years ago and owl display that has space at the back for my stash of keychains!
Just outside the office is a skimboard turned table. Actually, we just put it on top of table legs with no table (you can buy that from stores!) so we can still use it as a skimboard.
Some of my books and travel souvenir…
So there, welcome to my office – a place where my travels are organized and a lot of things were handmade with love.
We are open for visitors for the travel agency. Just let us know when you’d like to visit for travel bookings and consultation.
Hope to hear from you guys soon!:)