I Can't Believe I'm Sharing This

The cluttery chaos of my office

photo of disorganized office
photo of disorganized office

In thinking of what I was going to blog about this week, well it turns out the topic was staring me in the face—organizing the clutter that is the chaos of my office the last few months, um, years.

I even thought twice about sharing this photo. "Why am I doing this?" "People are going to think I'm a hoarder, or that I'm an awful person because I can't even keep a 12x12 room in decent shape." "Other people's homes must be just perfect." "Busier people than me find the time to clean things up, why can't I"?

But then I said to myself, "It's ok, I can let people see part of the real me."[pullquote]My goal isn't even for a room that is "open and airy". Just for items to have a home, move things out of this room that don't need to be here, donate items I no longer need, or just throw things away that need to go.[/pullquote]

Don't get me wrong, I don't lose sleep over this. I don't get depressed because of this room. But that's not to say that those negative comments don't cross my mind. But I'd like to think I'm not alone in this quest to conquer clutter?

This room frustrates me. And I feel it effecting my creativity. The time has come to do something.

I see the articles in the magazines about decluttering. They make for great reading, don't they? All optimistic and easy-breezy in their "top ten ways" of doing this or that. I've been suckered in to buying those magazines. They've helped a lot, haven't they? (Can you hear my sarcasm?)

I think I'm sharing this photo with all of you to guilt myself into following through on this project. I used to be able to remember where everything was. Apparently I've reached the point of no return, because I'm not remembering where things are. You know why? Because individual items no longer have a "home". Their rightful place. A place to go back to after they've been used.

My goal isn't even for a room that is "open and airy". Just for items to have a home, move things out of this room that don't need to be here, donate items I no longer need, or just throw things away that need to go.

You can see my initial attempts at getting this under control. I bought that fantastic cube thingy a year ago. But even that is now overrun by things that can be put somewhere else, like books I want to keep but don't need to keep quite this handy. Last weekend I went through one of the bins in the closet, my purse and tote bin. (Although I should get credit for them having their own bin. At least I know where they are!) But seriously, am I going to use all of them? No. So one bag on the floor is going to charity (they are perfectly good purses, I just don't use them), and a couple others I'll take to the Clothes Mentor and see if I can get a bit of money for them.

Do you see those running shoes on the floor, on the right side of the photo? Do you know how long they've been sitting there? I stopped wearing them a year ago after I realized they were overcorrecting my pronating feet. The shoes were out of the way, so there they sat. And sat. And still sit. Ok, I just put them in the charity bag right now. Baby steps, right?

So I'm trying. I'm even trying that method of just working on it for an hour. Because thinking about getting through all this stuff in one day is defeat just waiting to happen. It's too easy to close the door as I walk out of the room. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Yah, that works until I come back in here. Procrastination only works for so long.

storage bins to help control the chaos in my office
storage bins to help control the chaos in my office

I bought some bins at Costco this weekend in preparation for this task. They even fit nicely inside the cubes if I choose to put them there. Slap a label on each cube, and I'm good to go. Something tells me I might need more than three bins? Oh I didn't want to get too crazy!

I think just writing this blog post has helped. (Remember, the running shoes got put in the donation bag while I was writing this.) But seriously, just to clarify my own goals for this room has been helpful. "Just for items to have a home." That's the goal. That is my quest for conquering clutter.

Go ahead and ask me in a few weeks (or more realistically, in a month or two), here or on Facebook, "how's that office coming along?" Just don't be too harsh on me if my response isn't "I'm done, it looks great."

And in the time it took me to write this blog post (several hours, as I write and come back to it, eat lunch, tweak and add to it, do something else, you get the idea), I relocated some of the books I wanted to move. Like I said, baby steps.

PS: And don't get me started on digital clutter. Although that Evernote app seems worth looking into. "Stay organized, save your ideas, and improve productivity" the description says on the iTunes site. Hmmmm, sounds a bit like those promises in the magazines.

~Barb