My to-do list is long. My I-need-to-organize list is even longer. Unfortunately the time available for organizing projects is short. So how in the world can I manage my ever-growing organization list without losing my sanity? Simple. One thing at a time.
I’ll often look over my organization wish list and realize how much there is to be done. And I freeze. I don’t know where to begin. So I just don’t… I don’t even start. And of course that means that I don’t finish any of those great projects either.
One prime example of this is our office. Overall we’ve been keeping our house in decent order. We’ve established some routines that are helping us maintain order. But right now our office is a mess. It’s been a mess for quite a while. I started getting it cleaned out and organized last year, but I didn’t get very far. I did clear a path by unpacking a few unfinished boxes from our move. So the main floor area is somewhat clear. But our work spaces are overflowing with paper. The to-be-filed pile is an ever-increasing monster. The to-be-shredded box grows daily. And there’s stuff in there that just plain doesn’t belong.
The problem is that I walk in the door determined to get the place organized and then I get so discouraged because I don’t know where to start. I flit from area to area, making bits of progress here and there. But when I’m done, there’s no real visible progress.
It’s simply overwhelming.
So I’m changing my plan of attack. Instead of looking at the big picture, I’m going to focus on one small project at a time. It might take me two weeks to get the office looking decent, but at least I’ll have some noticeable progress after two weeks.
To keep me accountable, I’m going to share a few BEFORE pictures. You can commiserate with me about the mess…. and then celebrate the finished product with me in a couple of weeks.
Our desk area is under construction right now… literally. Jason is building us a desk, and we’re using these tables in the meantime. The biggest problem with them is that there’s no storage space other than what fits on the surface. I find myself allowing paper clutter to take over. That’s my biggest goal with this area… clear the paper.
The printer area is sporting tons of papers that need to be filed and shredded. I’m not sure why there are multiple totes and my coupon binder and a 3-ring binder and our box of greeting cards hanging out there. There’s also a tub full of I-don’t-know-what that’s been there since we moved. And that paper grocery bag? I don’t even know what’s in it. I think this area stresses me out the most.
The pile in the left photo isn’t huge, but it’s in the way. The dry erase board that we use to track our design projects is on the wall above the pile, and it’s really hard to get to it around the stuff.
We started organizing the closet (right photo) late last year. We removed the doors, added shelving, and bought cute fabric bins to contain what we were storing there. Unfortunately, some of those bins have gotten too full and cluttery. It’s time to purge some of what’s in those and only keep what we need. And as you can see, this in-front-of-the-closet area has become the drop zone for our house. You can’t see the closet area from the room’s doorway, so we can toss things in there when we don’t want them to be visible in our main living areas. The stuff just seems to STAY wherever we toss it.
So that, my friends, is the mission. Since we use this room for our business, it needs to be clutter-free and inviting. How else will creativity flow freely? Since I’ve been so overwhelmed with the room, I’m going to stop looking at the whole room. I’m going to focus on smaller tasks within the room. I’m guessing that it’s going to take me a couple of weeks to tackle it, but I will. I’ll be back to share the results!