June 15 2017

2nd Update on Office Project

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 (Before)

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.

Middle drawer on left file cabinet (Before)
Middle drawer on left file cabinet (After)

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.

Glass & Metal Shelf (After Phase 1)
Glass & Metal Shelf (After Phase 2)

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.

Left desktop (Before)

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.

Left desktop (After)

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.

June 11 2017

1st Update on Office Project

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.

Library Book Shelf (Before)
Library Book Shelf (After)

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.

Large file cabinet drawer 1 of 4
File drawer on right small file cabinet

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.

Saddle Stool (Before)
Saddle Stool (After)

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.

Glass & Metal Shelf (Before)
Glass & Metal Shelf (After)

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!

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. Continue reading

May 14 2017

Weekly Bullet Journal Spreads

It is time to share more of my Bullet Journal with all of you. Currently, I am about to finish with Week 19 in my bullet journal. I have learned a few things about what does and doesn’t work for me in the 18 weeks I have completed so far. The biggest thing I learned was what size boxes work for me. In the January Flip Through, you will notice there were only 2 weeks where I used the narrower boxes for each day in my weekly spread. Well, in truth, I knew after the first week I didn’t like that narrow size, but when I was drawing out week 2, I messed up and drew the skinny boxes before I caught myself, so I suffered through a second week with them. You will notice some subtle changes from week to week in the photos below, but the box layout is very consistent. I keep it that way because it works. Some days you will notice not much gets written in, while other days are pretty jam-packed.

Week 7 was the first week I tried using stickers to determine the theme. These are free stickers, recycled by cutting them off the free address labels that seem to show up from time to time in my mailbox. I never could use up all the addresses but the stickers to the left seemed too nice to throw away. So I have long made a habit of cutting them off and saving them. The hearts seemed like an obvious choice for the week. Continue reading