On Wednesday, 6/14, I spent a total of about 3-1/2 hours working in the office. I didn’t intend to work so long, but I had pulled up a video on NetFlix to watch that didn’t really require much actual watching, just listening. It was a two-hour video and I told myself I would just putz around a bit while I watched so I wouldn’t feel so guilty about not doing anything constructive. I started out by moving the boxes of paper that were so overfilled they had become piles. I decided to disconnect my desktop computer and pull out all the wires. I wiped everything down to get rid of the thick coating of dust that had accumulated. I found I had tons of things connected to my computer. A few were disconnected but never reconnected because I want to reevaluate whether I even use them. I figure I will reconnect them if and when I need them.
One thing led to another and before I knew it, I could see some real progress. As the saying goes, things had to get much worse before they could get better. I felt like I was making a huge mess when I moved things out of the way to wipe the desktop and get rid of all dust bunnies hiding everywhere. Apparently, I don’t have a dust allergy. I tried arranging things a little differently but discovered they wouldn’t work in the new places I thought I would put them, so things went mostly back the way they were but without the piles of paper and clutter. Here are the before and after photos.
On Monday, 6/12/17, I put in another 3 hours of sorting and tough decision making to get a lot more accomplished in my office.
One problem I am coming up against is that until I am done going through everything, I really have no way of knowing how I want to store the things I keep.
I started by telling myself I was just going to clean out one easy drawer to put my bullet journal supplies in so they were easy to get to and off the top of the desk.
Top drawer on left file cabinet (After)
After that, I decided I needed the other small drawer under this one for additional supplies, so I kept going.
Now you might be asking yourself what I did with the weights and such from the top drawer, and that was one of those tricky things I mentioned. I put them on the bottom shelf I had already cleaned. In theory, I am telling myself I will use them more if I see them. They were after all, out of sight and thus out of mind. So here is what that looks like now.
By this time I was getting excited about the amount of progress I was making and I was enjoying listening to an audio book while I worked. So, I told myself I was just going to try to make a little bit of progress on the left side of my desk because the height of the piles was beginning to make me nervous and they really bothered me. Here is how it looked when I started, and while I made some progress, it will still need another pass or two before I am finished.
Things go a lot worse as I covered the entire desktop with various piles as I sorted. I wanted to stop a few times but I told myself just another inch of the pile, then I would stack it all back there neatly. It is difficult to know what to do with things once they are sorted because until I do something about the file cabinets and the china cabinet there is no place to put papers I am keeping. I persisted and peeled a few layers off this particular onion and finally got to what I considered to be an acceptable stopping point for the night. After pitching some and recycling some and putting a few things away where they belong, for now, it looks like this.
Now, finally, I am getting somewhere! Now I wish I had tackled this back in January when the piles were smaller. I moved everything that was on that section of desktop and washed the surface and let it dry before putting everything back. Now, I can look and see real progress. It feels good. I have reached the point where I know it can happen and I know I won’t give up before it is finished. Do I have a long way to go before I am done? You betcha! But I can do it. I can see that now. I think my confidence in my ability to finish the project was buried deep under all those piles of paperwork and such on the desk. No worries, I found it. Stay tuned. Now I am wondering how quickly I can finish the whole office. End of June? Fourth of July? End of July maybe? We shall see.
I know you are all wondering if I am actually working on the office clean out. Posting my photos of shame for all the world to see is extremely motivating to me. It is just the accountability I needed to spur me into action.
I tackled the little library shelf first. All I had to do was return a few library books so it was under control again. That got done Friday 6/2 since I was going to the library on Saturday for a meeting and could easily return them without a special trip.
Then I finally got around to doing a little more on 6/10. I worked on going through 2 of the file drawers and while I didn’t completely clean either one out, I did find lots of things I could throw away. Many of these articles and printouts were from the late 1990s! Not worthy of update photos yet but here are the 2 I worked on.
There is at least a little wiggle room in them now and several empty file folders. These drawers may be like peeling an onion…it may take getting rid of a layer or two at a time.
Sorted through the magazines stacked on the saddle stool. These are possible ideas for submitting freelance articles, so not ready to get rid of all of them yet. Eventually, they will be given a new home when the room is made somewhere else in the office to store them.
Probably the most noticeable thing I accomplished was cleaning and wiping the dust off the glass and metal shelf in the corner between the doors. Not much actually came off the shelves, but they look so much better now. I even moved it and swept the dust bunny out from under it.
It still feels overwhelming but begun truly feels like half done right now. I am excited by the small amount of progress I have made and want to keep the forward motion going. Will check in again when there is more to report. Stay tuned!
There is an elephant in the room. I will attempt to eat it one bite at a time, but I am going to need your help. So, let me tell you about my elephant. When I was setting my goals for the year, I decided one of my goals would and should be to completely go through everything and do a serious and complete cleaning of the contents of my eight-foot square office that was a breakfast nook in its former life. I recently realized that somehow five months of this year have gotten away from me and NOTHING has gotten done on this goal. I thought it was a very doable goal when I was making it and having an entire year to accomplish it seemed more than generous.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I decided to take pictures of each area I needed to tackle to complete this project. I thought it might help me to SEE the mess without actually being IN the mess because this helped me years ago to get the attic organized. Part of me is hoping that if I post my mess here and tell the world about my goal that this will force me to actually get the work done in the next seven months.
I set a mini goal over the weekend of just tackling one of the small areas so I could say I had gotten something done. Unfortunately, I was paralyzed by the overwhelming impossibility of the task as a whole and couldn’t figure out where to start. So, I did nothing. Continue reading
I discovered bullet journals back in September 2016. So, of course, when it was getting close to November and I was beginning to plan for what I would write for NaNoWriMo, I decided to make a bullet journal just for my writing. Continue reading