My Office Overhaul (Part 1)

Share with:


I’ve been working on purging some things and organizing the house a bit more, now that I’m not working three+ jobs so I have a bit more free time on my hands to do home projects. Thought I’d share some progress — I am not even close to “done” nor do I suggest this is how anyone else needs to do things, but I know I like to get ideas from other folks, so figured I’d be transparent and share. If nothing else, this may make some of you feel better about your own progress!

This is a real house, where we do real living. No Pinterest fodder or magazine-worthy scenes here! I am a lot older these days (translation: not so much energy and my waning eyesight also means I sometimes don’t notice things) — so no judgment, please! Just wanted to give you a glimpse into my home — so….. welcome!

Let’s start in the office area.….

Things had gotten a bit out of hand. This was NOT my normal office look — it had been all tidy just a month earlier! But the holidays hit, and we were rearranging stuff all over the house and….. What is it with PAPER? Oh my goodness. And this room seemed to be the main floor “dumping ground” for stuff I said I’d eventually get to.

BEFORE……In my defense… again, this was not the “everyday” look but did include stuff we moved from another room to lay a rug, things we rearranged from somewhere else to start a purge elsewhere, packages waiting to ship, things to be donated, etc. But still…. not a pretty sight. Even my working counter was getting out of hand. I usually keep it decent for video conferencing, but when this was taken, we’d had houseguests in several rooms for almost a month, so things had accumulated.

I had to pack up books (I boxed up SIX bankers boxes of books  from this room — not counting what’s on those shelves!). Many things were donated to Blue Ridge Hospice, moved to their correct spots in the house, or trashed.  I lost track of how many trash bags Jim hauled out or boxes he broke down. (I love that man.)

The handyman put the leaning cabinet door back on the kitchen island where it belonged. (It had been knocked off in a cookie-decorating mishap. Don’t ask.)

BEFORE…. counter / cabinets side of office – I cringe to even post this. It’s not usually this bad, but after the holidays, well…’nuff said.

AFTER…. Not perfect, but better! The sign and mug in the center of the counter are hidden by my body in a video conference and at the time, the mug held my charging cord (plug is behind that frame). Since then, I have moved the charging station to behind the printers, and I’ve purged the left side a bit more.

Today...not perfect (still a work in progress, but I’ve condensed, purged…..). It accumulated in layers and it’s leaving in layers….

The desk side of the office

BEFORE (I show these photos ONLY to give you hope. It pains me to publish these!) Again, it’s not usually like this, but the holidays (and about 15 houseguests) got the better of me.

BEFORE (as if I had to tell you this is the “before” photo)

So at this point below, I’d gotten a lot of it cleaned up, but still needed to re-visit my systems to get the desk clutter under control and get rid of some boxes and back-door clutter.

Midway through – making SOME progress

Desk side, AFTER:

Let’s check out the desk.

This is a working desk. I write books here, work 60+ hours a week from here, create ads and graphics, run Norwex and L’BRI parties, do interviews, record classes…..  I love this desk. My friend Sharon gave this to me about 30 years ago and I love the cubbies and the drawers and the pullouts. It just works for me . . .  when I maintain my systems!

BEFORE…..I am so embarrassed to show you the piles on my desk… oh, my!

I’m an out-of-sight, out-of-mind person, so if I’m working on a project, it stays spread out, then another one piles on top….. Not a good system. I used to have a better system, but life got hectic and the old system fell by the wayside. You can see on the screen, I’m watching get-it-together videos!

The desk side, AFTER... still have a ways to go and I know some of this is still probably just “clutter” — but it’s a huge improvement and gives me breathing space.

Some of the things I’ll still have to work on letting go of — it’s like peeling an onion, one layer at a time. (For example, the wooden sign hanging from the drawer knob was created with balsa wood and a red crayon by a 4-yo on the occasion of his moving 9 hours away from us–he told me he wrote his name on it, so I wouldn’t forget him. <sob> Sorry, Martha Stewart or Marie Kondo — the sign stays. I don’t care that the kid is 11 now.)I’ve kept the desk uncluttered for a month because of some paper management I put (back) into place. I had to ask myself: WHY is my desk a perpetual wreck? [Because it’s projects I’m working on or paperwork I need to file.] WHY does it all stay there? [Because if I put it away, I forget about it, or I have to pull all the parts together again to work on it, and that takes up my working energy.]

So I revived an old tickler file system I’d allowed to get overrun. (Note to self: It doesn’t work to put all the “stuff to still do” or “things to decide about” into the tickler file for the next week. That just clogs the tickler and renders it useless to me.)

First, I cleared off all the paper and categorized it. (One plus to waiting so long is that a lot of it could just be trashed or shredded!)

Next, I collected projects into bins and put them into the cubbies above my desk – this works better than files or binders for me, personally. I could just toss all the parts of a project into the bin. These bins have dry-erase labels on the front so I can just re-label easily when a project is finished. (Mine were clear acrylic for about $3 from Target’s “dollar section” but I’ve linked to something similar.) I got one larger bin to match, for the books related to one of the projects.

I cleaned up the tickler file a bit and added some files-I-grab-often to a convenient desk drawer: Then I worked on some of the drawers in the desk to make them more functional for me. I didn’t clean these up—just shoved some things in better and took a photo so, again, no judgment! hahaha

And long term files need some work (another project for another day– or a day at a time)…..

A long way to go on these shelves — including swapping out the sticky notes! — but this gave me a landing spot for the papers that often accumulate on the desk. By categorizing them, I am able to actually use them. These are the “ideas” sorts of papers that seemed to defy regular file categories and so got shuffled from place to place, or buried.

 

My visual “next steps” list

My final step this week was to reorganize my “context lists” on the stand on my desk — this is my running to-do list a la David Allen’s Getting Things DoneI used 3inch memo cube paper for each category.

So there you have it — a very humbling confession of this beginning of my journey to get my house more organized so I can feel more peaceful and in control of my surroundings. So I can breathe.

The view from my office:

I’d love to hear about your organization journey!

A few resources you might like:

(These are affiliate links, so you pay the same price you would normally pay, but if you click through and purchase anything, I do earn a bit to keep posting fun content for you!)

Utron 12pcs White Basket Labels, 3.5x2.7” Basket Labels Clip On, Bin Labels Clip On, Removable PVC Clip On Labels for Storage Bins Label HoldersUtron 12pcs White Basket Labels, 3.5×2.7” Basket Labels Clip On, Bin Labels Clip On, Removable PVC Clip On Labels for Storage Bins Label HoldersUtron 12pcs White Basket Labels, 3.5x2.7” Basket Labels Clip On, Bin Labels Clip On, Removable PVC Clip On Labels for Storage Bins Label HoldersBasket Labels Clip On for Pantry Organization and Storage Baskets Bin Labels - Small Chalk Labels for Baskets - Black Bin Clip Labels for Baskets - Chalkboard Basket Tags Dry Erase Bin Labels Clip OnBasket Labels Clip On for Pantry Organization and Storage Baskets Bin Labels – Small Chalk Labels for Baskets – Black Bin Clip Labels for Baskets – Chalkboard Basket Tags Dry Erase Bin Labels Clip OnBasket Labels Clip On for Pantry Organization and Storage Baskets Bin Labels - Small Chalk Labels for Baskets - Black Bin Clip Labels for Baskets - Chalkboard Basket Tags Dry Erase Bin Labels Clip OnStorage Bin Labels Clip On,60PCS Clear Plastic Bin Labels Clips,Extra 80 Label Papers Included,Perfect for Wire Shelf,Baskets,Fabric Storage Cubes,Storage Closet,Cloth Bins,Food Pantry (6X4.2CM)Storage Bin Labels Clip On,60PCS Clear Plastic Bin Labels Clips,Extra 80 Label Papers Included,Perfect for Wire Shelf,Baskets,Fabric Storage Cubes,Storage Closet,Cloth Bins,Food Pantry (6X4.2CM)Storage Bin Labels Clip On,60PCS Clear Plastic Bin Labels Clips,Extra 80 Label Papers Included,Perfect for Wire Shelf,Baskets,Fabric Storage Cubes,Storage Closet,Cloth Bins,Food Pantry (6X4.2CM)How ADHD Affects Home Organization: Understanding the Role of the 8 Key Executive Functions of the MindHow ADHD Affects Home Organization: Understanding the Role of the 8 Key Executive Functions of the MindHow ADHD Affects Home Organization: Understanding the Role of the 8 Key Executive Functions of the MindI Used to Be So Organized: Help for Reclaiming Order and PeaceI Used to Be So Organized: Help for Reclaiming Order and PeaceI Used to Be So Organized: Help for Reclaiming Order and PeaceNever Check E-Mail In the Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work Reprint edition by Morgenstern, Julie (2005) PaperbackNever Check E-Mail In the Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work Reprint edition by Morgenstern, Julie (2005) PaperbackNever Check E-Mail In the Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work Reprint edition by Morgenstern, Julie (2005) PaperbackTime Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule and Your lifeTime Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule and Your lifeTime Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule and Your lifeWhen Organizing Isn't Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your LifeWhen Organizing Isn’t Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your LifeWhen Organizing Isn't Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your LifeOrganizing from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your LifeOrganizing from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your LifeOrganizing from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your LifeHUAPRINT Red Magazine Holder,Cardboard Magazine File Holder (Pack of 3),Magazine Organizer Box,with LabelsHUAPRINT Red Magazine Holder,Cardboard Magazine File Holder (Pack of 3),Magazine Organizer Box,with LabelsHUAPRINT Red Magazine Holder,Cardboard Magazine File Holder (Pack of 3),Magazine Organizer Box,with LabelsFoldable Desk File Holder Organizer Sturdy Cardboard Magazine Storage Box Document Rack with Blank Label Stickers for Home School Office (15, Brown)Foldable Desk File Holder Organizer Sturdy Cardboard Magazine Storage Box Document Rack with Blank Label Stickers for Home School Office (15, Brown)Foldable Desk File Holder Organizer Sturdy Cardboard Magazine Storage Box Document Rack with Blank Label Stickers for Home School Office (15, Brown)Evelots Magazine File Holder Organizer Box (6, 12, or 24 Pack) Storage for Desk and Shelves Multiple Color Options - Includes Labels for OrganizationEvelots Magazine File Holder Organizer Box (6, 12, or 24 Pack) Storage for Desk and Shelves Multiple Color Options – Includes Labels for OrganizationEvelots Magazine File Holder Organizer Box (6, 12, or 24 Pack) Storage for Desk and Shelves Multiple Color Options - Includes Labels for OrganizationVoittozege 24 Pcs Magazine Holder Magazine File Holde Cardboard Magazine Holder 10.6 x 10.2 x 3.5 Inch White Magazine File Holder Sturdy Cardboard Magazine Holder for Home, Office, Desk SuppliesVoittozege 24 Pcs Magazine Holder Magazine File Holde Cardboard Magazine Holder 10.6 x 10.2 x 3.5 Inch White Magazine File Holder Sturdy Cardboard Magazine Holder for Home, Office, Desk SuppliesVoittozege 24 Pcs Magazine Holder Magazine File Holde Cardboard Magazine Holder 10.6 x 10.2 x 3.5 Inch White Magazine File Holder Sturdy Cardboard Magazine Holder for Home, Office, Desk SuppliesSTOBOK Desktop Pocket Chart, Blue Self-Standing Tabletop Pocket Chart with 20pcs 12x13 Inch White Cards Double Sided Table Top Pocket Chart for Home Office ClassroomSTOBOK Desktop Pocket Chart, Blue Self-Standing Tabletop Pocket Chart with 20pcs 12×13 Inch White Cards Double Sided Table Top Pocket Chart for Home Office ClassroomSTOBOK Desktop Pocket Chart, Blue Self-Standing Tabletop Pocket Chart with 20pcs 12x13 Inch White Cards Double Sided Table Top Pocket Chart for Home Office ClassroomDouble Sided Desktop Pocket Chart, 17 x 13inch Self-Standing Tabletop Desktop Pocket Chart with Bonus 20 Dry Erase Cards for Classroom/Home/OfficeDouble Sided Desktop Pocket Chart, 17 x 13inch Self-Standing Tabletop Desktop Pocket Chart with Bonus 20 Dry Erase Cards for Classroom/Home/OfficeDouble Sided Desktop Pocket Chart, 17 x 13inch Self-Standing Tabletop Desktop Pocket Chart with Bonus 20 Dry Erase Cards for Classroom/Home/OfficeStandard Pocket Charts for Classroom Teacher Teaching Supplies, Sentence Strip Pocket Chart with 10 Dry-Eraser Cards for School Activities Teacher Lessons Class Demonstrations or Home UseStandard Pocket Charts for Classroom Teacher Teaching Supplies, Sentence Strip Pocket Chart with 10 Dry-Eraser Cards for School Activities Teacher Lessons Class Demonstrations or Home UseStandard Pocket Charts for Classroom Teacher Teaching Supplies, Sentence Strip Pocket Chart with 10 Dry-Eraser Cards for School Activities Teacher Lessons Class Demonstrations or Home UseThe Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized: *manage Your Time *eliminate Clutter and Experience Order *keep Your Family FirstThe Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized: *manage Your Time *eliminate Clutter and Experience Order *keep Your Family FirstThe Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized: *manage Your Time *eliminate Clutter and Experience Order *keep Your Family FirstFitfirst Light Therapy Lamp, 15000 Lux Simulated Sunlight, UV-Free LED Lamp with 3 Color Temperature & 4 Brightness Settings, Adjustable Timer, Foldable Stand for Home Office TravelFitfirst Light Therapy Lamp, 15000 Lux Simulated Sunlight, UV-Free LED Lamp with 3 Color Temperature & 4 Brightness Settings, Adjustable Timer, Foldable Stand for Home Office TravelFitfirst Light Therapy Lamp, 15000 Lux Simulated Sunlight, UV-Free LED Lamp with 3 Color Temperature & 4 Brightness Settings, Adjustable Timer, Foldable Stand for Home Office TravelTIME TIMER Home MOD - 60 Minute Kids Visual Timer Home Edition - for Homeschool Supplies Study Tool, Timer for Kids Desk, Office Desk and Meetings with Silent Operation (Pale Shale)TIME TIMER Home MOD – 60 Minute Kids Visual Timer Home Edition – for Homeschool Supplies Study Tool, Timer for Kids Desk, Office Desk and Meetings with Silent Operation (Pale Shale)TIME TIMER Home MOD - 60 Minute Kids Visual Timer Home Edition - for Homeschool Supplies Study Tool, Timer for Kids Desk, Office Desk and Meetings with Silent Operation (Pale Shale)TIME TIMER Home MOD - 60 Minute Kids Visual Timer Home Edition - for Homeschool Supplies Study Tool, Timer for Kids Desk, Office Desk and Meetings with Silent Operation (Lake Day Blue)TIME TIMER Home MOD – 60 Minute Kids Visual Timer Home Edition – for Homeschool Supplies Study Tool, Timer for Kids Desk, Office Desk and Meetings with Silent Operation (Lake Day Blue)TIME TIMER Home MOD - 60 Minute Kids Visual Timer Home Edition - for Homeschool Supplies Study Tool, Timer for Kids Desk, Office Desk and Meetings with Silent Operation (Lake Day Blue)Black Cube Timer, Kitchen Gravity Sensor Flip Digital Timer for Time Management and Countdown Settings,15-20-30-60 Minutes Work Timer for Kids Focus StudyBlack Cube Timer, Kitchen Gravity Sensor Flip Digital Timer for Time Management and Countdown Settings,15-20-30-60 Minutes Work Timer for Kids Focus StudyBlack Cube Timer, Kitchen Gravity Sensor Flip Digital Timer for Time Management and Countdown Settings,15-20-30-60 Minutes Work Timer for Kids Focus StudyHexagon Rotating Productivity Timer with Clock, Pomodoro Timer with 5,15, 30, 45, 60 Minute Presets, Timer for ADHD Kids and Adults (White)Hexagon Rotating Productivity Timer with Clock, Pomodoro Timer with 5,15, 30, 45, 60 Minute Presets, Timer for ADHD Kids and Adults (White)Hexagon Rotating Productivity Timer with Clock, Pomodoro Timer with 5,15, 30, 45, 60 Minute Presets, Timer for ADHD Kids and Adults (White)Memo cube refill, 90 x 90mm, 900 sheets (LOOSE), refill pad, ZERO plastic packaging, FSC paperMemo cube refill, 90 x 90mm, 900 sheets (LOOSE), refill pad, ZERO plastic packaging, FSC paperMemo cube refill, 90 x 90mm, 900 sheets (LOOSE), refill pad, ZERO plastic packaging, FSC paper10 Ft Surge Protector Power Strip - YISHU 3 Side Outlet Extender with 8 Widely AC Outlets and 4 USB Ports, 10 Feet Extension Cord with Flat Plug, Wall Mount Desk USB Charging Station, ETL,White10 Ft Surge Protector Power Strip – YISHU 3 Side Outlet Extender with 8 Widely AC Outlets and 4 USB Ports, 10 Feet Extension Cord with Flat Plug, Wall Mount Desk USB Charging Station, ETL,White10 Ft Surge Protector Power Strip - YISHU 3 Side Outlet Extender with 8 Widely AC Outlets and 4 USB Ports, 10 Feet Extension Cord with Flat Plug, Wall Mount Desk USB Charging Station, ETL,White6 Ft Surge Protector Power Strip - 8 Widely Outlets with 4 USB Ports, 3 Side Outlet Extender with 6 Feet Extension Cord, Flat Plug, Wall Mount, Desk USB Charging Station, ETL,White6 Ft Surge Protector Power Strip – 8 Widely Outlets with 4 USB Ports, 3 Side Outlet Extender with 6 Feet Extension Cord, Flat Plug, Wall Mount, Desk USB Charging Station, ETL,White6 Ft Surge Protector Power Strip - 8 Widely Outlets with 4 USB Ports, 3 Side Outlet Extender with 6 Feet Extension Cord, Flat Plug, Wall Mount, Desk USB Charging Station, ETL,WhiteJONATHAN Y SMB100B-8 Tela Bohemian Textured Weave Floral Indoor/Outdoor Navy/Gray 8 ft. x 10 ft. Area-Rug, Coastal,Easy-Cleaning,HighTraffic,LivingRoom,Backyard, Non SheddingJONATHAN Y SMB100B-8 Tela Bohemian Textured Weave Floral Indoor/Outdoor Navy/Gray 8 ft. x 10 ft. Area-Rug, Coastal,Easy-Cleaning,HighTraffic,LivingRoom,Backyard, Non SheddingJONATHAN Y SMB100B-8 Tela Bohemian Textured Weave Floral Indoor/Outdoor Navy/Gray 8 ft. x 10 ft. Area-Rug, Coastal,Easy-Cleaning,HighTraffic,LivingRoom,Backyard, Non SheddingGet Your Act Together: A 7-Day Get-Organized Program for the Overworked, Overbooked, and OverwhelmedGet Your Act Together: A 7-Day Get-Organized Program for the Overworked, Overbooked, and OverwhelmedGet Your Act Together: A 7-Day Get-Organized Program for the Overworked, Overbooked, and OverwhelmedSidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to ParadiseSidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to ParadiseSidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise

Share with:


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.