Anatomy of a Home Office

So I've decided that really the best way to start off the organizational posts on this blog is by showing you one of my own personal projects.  Many people ask me what exactly happens in a reorganization, so I'll bring you photos and details on this blog from time to time to help explain. When I go on an organizing/weeding spree in my home (which happens quarterly) I call it a "feng shui attack."  I call it this because sometimes the feelings just "attack" and I have to stop everything and work on it.   I have a small area in my small, studio style home that is dedicated to the business.  Materials grew quickly and without good systems in place, I was quickly overrun with stacks of papers. 

Everyone has their own clutter tolerance.  My is really low, so every time I saw this my head would spin with everything that needed to be done.  Multiple stacks of papers to be sorted through.  Items shoved into available spaces they'd fit, a meekly started vision board and almost an entire shelf that sat unused.  When it got to the point that I was having memory problems because I could no longer think straight, it was time. 

I started by removing everything from the desk and trunk.  (The trunk holds office supplies and various other office-y things.)

Once everything was removed (except for select computer equipment) then I cleaned off the desk area.

Then comes the sorting...

In the above picture, everything is separated out, like with like.  I determined what needed to stay, what could be donated and what would be shredded or thrown away.  Some objects stay, but can be scanned into the computer.  Other items I was keeping as reminders to research particular vendors.  Instead of keeping a bunch of paperwork I'll never use, I added them to a database for when I block time for research.

After everything is worked through, then comes the task of replacing everything in a way that I'll be able to keep up with the ebb and flow of paperwork and other business needs.

Timeline of the project:

  • Before photos were taken beginning of August for a home office makeover contest
  • October - clutter kept building and really became unbearable when the monitor I my laptop blew out and I had to make room for an external one.
  • From beginning to end, the process was worked on for 4 days (working off and on through the days).
  • Save for a few changes, the desk is just as uncluttered today as it was when I finished.

Most notable difference include:

  • Removing all stacks of paper and giving them a proper home.
  • Display of event magazines on trunk. (Visual reminder to me that those are unread.)
  • Better utilization of all shelves.
  • Easy access to items in magazine racks.
  • Bringing printer to within arms reach while moving files that don't need to be in arms reach to another location.
  • Creating free space so there is room for the new and the eye has a place to rest.