June 1 2017

The Elephant in the Room

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.

Several weeks ago, I attempted one of the file drawers that I knew I hadn’t used anything out of for a year or more thinking it would be easy to declutter that drawer. I thought it was full of old craft ideas and travel articles and such that I could easily get rid of after all this time. Unfortunately, I discovered it was full of genealogy research files that I want and need to keep indefinitely. I think I may have moved most of the unused files to a file cabinet in the basement to archive them but these files, being genealogy files couldn’t be archived that way.

So, if anyone is out there reading this, I need your help. Please help hold me accountable. I am thinking that I will try to do an update on any progress every month or two. If I don’t do an update, I need someone to be willing to call me on it. That is where you dear reader come in. If you have a suggestion on which area I should tackle next or want to see what progress I have made, please comment here or email me. I may do a quick video update from time to time. If you think it would be helpful, I could even try video recording the declutter/cleaning process. Let me know what suggestions or tips you have, please.

Here are all the areas needing to be tackled:

  1. Six full file drawers that are so tight I can’t file anything.
  2. Four smaller drawers of stuff in the two small file cabinets
  3. Four shelves in the top of the china cabinet
  4. Two shelves in the bottom of the china cabinet
  5. Top of the hutch
  6. Left and right sides of the hutch
  7. Middle library book shelf of the hutch
  8. Area between china cabinet doors and file cabinet
  9. Area between right side of desk and large black file cabinet
  10. Corner under desks
  11. Top of saddle stool under desk
  12. Top of short file on left of desk
  13. Top of tall black file cabinet
  14. Left side of desktop
  15. Drawer under left desktop (forgot to take photo of this)
  16. Scanner area of desktop
  17. Right side of right desktop
  18. Shelf under right side of hutch
  19. Glass and metal shelf in corner between doors

A piece of cake right? Yeah, a nutty fruitcake, maybe. Oh, did I forget to mention that one of my superpowers is being able to pack tons of stuff into incredibly small spaces?

Right side under hutch
Tall black file cabinet and space beside it
Scanner area of desktop
Top of hutch
Right inside of hutch
Left inside of hutch
Library book shelf
Left small file cabinet and beside it
Left desktop
Drawer Slot
Top four shelves in china cabinet
Bottom 2 shelves in china cabinet
Top small drawer on left small file cabinet
Middle drawer on left small file cabinet
File drawer on left small file cabinet
Top small drawer on right small file cabinet
Middle drawer on right small file cabinet
File drawer on right small file cabinet
Under left desk & trashcan
Under right desk & saddle stool
Large file cabinet drawer 1 of 4
Large file cabinet drawer 2 of 4
Large file cabinet drawer 3 of 4
Large file cabinet drawer 4 of 4
Top of tall black 4-drawer file cabinet
Glass & metal shelf between doors
Whiteboard between doors
Wall calendar & china cabinet doors closed

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Posted June 1, 2017 by Karen Beidelman in category "Organizing", "Planning

About the Author

I am a writer, blogger, and bullet journaler who also likes to read, crochet, do genealogy, create forms in Excel and spend way too much time on YouTube. Hubby and I have been married for over 31 years and have 2 adult children, a couple of fish tanks, a pet rabbit and a pet snapping turtle. I'd love it if you subscribe so you don't miss reading what I've been up to. I hope you will stop by and read my blog regularly. Bring your friends.


  1. By Sharon Pielemeier on

    I understand what you’re going through. I’m packing up my house to move, and at times I feel like putting on really dark sunglasses, even though I would be bumping into things in the dark, at least I wouldn’t have to look at all the things I need to do.
    Don’t know if it would help you, but I print off calendar pages and write in what I want to get done each day. Often my goals are a little lofty and I don’t reach them, so I’m trying not to overload the days anymore. Sometimes I finish everything and pick something from another day to lighten the load further on.
    Also it’s a good idea to put rewards or breaks/days off on your calendar. Going out to dinner with a friend, reading a book, taking a walk.
    Try not to see it as a whole project, but smaller ones. And on your break, read Bird by Bird. It’s a writing book, but the same concept will work with many things. The author remembers when she was a child and had to do a large paper on birds. Overwhelmed, she turned to her father for help. His advice: Just do it bird by bird.
    Good luck!

  2. By Janeen on

    so…bop back into this post & put colorful checkmarks over the pics that are complete 😉 bravo! keep it up!

  3. Pingback: 4th Update on Office Project ⋆ Light House Life Lessons

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