Wednesday, June 3

Office Organizing Journey 3
Decluttering




This was originally posted 1/27/2009 on Organising Queen as a guest post series.



Hi! Anne here again!

Have you been following my Office Organizing Journey? Let me recap:

Week One -Look at this mess! What in the world am I going to do with this chaos?

Week Two -I do so many things in this area. It is no wonder it is such chaos!


And this week...

Week Three -I absolutely do not need ALL this stuff. Watch the chaos diminish!

Part of my chaos was because supplies were put where they fit, not where they were needed.

Consequently the items closest at hand were often the least accessed and the items used most frequently had to be found and retrieved.

This created a feeling of anxiety because what would have been a quick task or a delightful craft opportunity took more time to recover the supplies... and often, even more time to stash them back where they came from.

Crazy! I know!

And because it was so crazy, I either avoided tasks or I left the supplies out because returning them was a hassle. So...
  • Papers were on the desk because the files were difficult to access.
  • Stamping and scrapbooking became a thing of the past.
  • The day my favorite pen ran out of ink my life stopped until I found another one.
  • My bills were lost and often paid late and my kids' school papers weren't returned on time.
  • Shredding done inconsistently takes entire weekends.
  • Projects barely get started let alone finished.

Now that I have identified what isn’t working, the necessary uses for my space and removed the non-essentials, it is time to enhance the function-ability of the work areas.

That means gathering necessary supplies and putting them in the area where they will be used. (Step Two)

I also learned that I am a VISUAL person and I do not act on things if I can't see them... and equally... I respond negatively to a disorderly work area making it highly important that action items are not only accessible, but obvious. Also making it important that tools and supplies are close at hand, but either hidden or attractive. (Step Three)

What does this all mean?

Well... just look at the differences!



My desktop has been cleared!

But more than just swiping an arm across it and hiding it in a box, my desk has been revitalized!

  • I relocated the printer to the table next to the desk
  • I removed the TV
  • I even removed the lamp because the base took up too much space.
  • I removed the messy boxes from below the desk and used the space for drawers (that had been in the closet) that hold my most essential scrapbook items.



  • My use-them-for-every-project scrapbooking tools were moved from the closet to a small bin on the desktop.
  • The pen cup was emptied except for necessary writing utensils that are used daily.
  • The paper piles and desktop files were eliminated.


  • I removed unused and overstocked amounts of supplies from the drawers.
  • I removed haven’t-touched-them-in-years reference CDs and Program CDs from the drawer.

The top desk drawer now holds at-hand tools and supplies such as a hole punch, staple remover, package of staples (I used to have 3 packages of them) and rubber bands.



The middle drawer holds printer ink refills, pencils and markers not used everyday and a *new* label maker.



Everything I need is right here!

I won't have to get up to get supplies. I certainly won't need to go digging through things to find what I need!

My space looks good, is clean and has stayed this way all week!

This whole process is sooooo exciting! I never thought I would have a well-functioning work area at home without spending THOUSANDS on custom furniture and a space planner!

The changes this system has brought are more than just physical...

Marcia has taught me a new way of thinking about what I do and how I do it. Who knew… the problem was me, not my space!
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Hi, Marcia here.

I am continually amazed at Anne's progress. She's not just throwing stuff away, labelling and putting things in pretty boxes (which is what most people think organising is) but she's actually asking herself the hard questions - why do I do this? what will work best for me? etc.

Well done, Anne - you're inspiring me and hundreds of other readers :)

Anne's busy working through 7 easy steps to organise your office. If you'd like to check it out, have a read.

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