Office organization progress report

Last week when I shared the progress I’ve made on my March projects, I was all about timelines and staying on schedule. This week, things ran off schedule a little bit… or the schedule got rescheduled.

I had two tasks left for the second half of the month: get my home office under control and pretty up my work office.

I made zero progress on my work office.

My excuse is that I made outstanding progress on my home office.

Remember this really embarrassing picture that I so reluctantly shared with you at the start of the month?

Messy office

Well, I don’t mind sharing it with you this time because now the view from the doorway looks like this. (And the poor quality of this photo in no way reflects the warm feelings I now have for this room. I was losing light. What can I say?)

VIew from my office doorway

Here’s the order of how I originally planned to tackle the to-dos in my office:

  • Sort and file the mountain of paperwork that’s built up on top of the filing cabinet – By March 16
  • Add organizers to the new dresser and start filling the drawers – By March 22
  • Make a bulletin board – By March 22
  • Pull together all of the forms that we need for our taxes this year – By March 30
  • Figure out how to make better use (temporarily) of the closet – By March 30
  • Unpack a few boxes, repack some of the boxes, repile the boxes – By March 30

Last weekend, I found myself more enthused about the last two items on this list than I was with some of the items higher up, so I decided to be flexible and follow my motivation.

When we moved into the house, my office became the dumping ground for things that we didn’t have a place for.  Since I didn’t have any furniture aside from a desk that was left by the past owners and a small bookshelf that Matt had from his childhood bedroom, everything was left in its packing boxes and piled against the wall. Even though it’s been two years since we moved in, everything was still piled.

After my organizing binge, I still have a pile of boxes, but it’s about half a dozen boxes less than it was before. That’s major progress for me.

Moving boxes stacked in my office

There were two things that allowed me to unpack some of my boxes:

1. Matt gave me a small cabinet that used to be in his office. Filling that cabinet with craft supplies, sewing patterns and some sewing tools meant that I could use Matt’s childhood bookshelf as an actual bookshelf. Even though this shelf is small, it holds all of my knitting and sewing books, magazines and patterns. I even have room for a bunch of decorating magazines. It’s so nice to have these accessible again.

Small bookshelf

2. In the category of making better use of the closet, I finally filled some storage caddies that had been left behind by the past owners. This seems like a really obvious solution, and you’re probably asking why I didn’t do this long ago. The simple answer is that the caddies were disgusting. Really, really dirty.

Dirty plastic storage caddy

It was easier to just tuck them away–empty–in the closet, rather than scrubbing them out. However, there comes a point when clutter is more annoying than cleaning, so I threw the caddies in the bathtub and scoured them inside and out. The result was 11 drawers for everything from yarn to fabric to wrapping supplies. Some of the drawers are still empty. Yay for room to grow!

Plastic storage caddies

I realize my office still isn’t pretty or even super functional. I have big plans to repaint, add more furniture, and style it into a really, really useful and really, really attractive space. However, there’s no timeline on when this is going to happen. In the meantime, I’m working with what I have and trying to make the space as organized and useable as I can.

The trick now is to avoid it turning back into a dumping ground.

Anyone have any tips to share on organizing a temporary space (one that you know you’re going to redo down the road)? What’s your “room of shame” (please tell me you have one)? How do you store craft supplies? Any recommendations for furniture I should look for when I redo my office?

9 thoughts on “Office organization progress report

  1. Oh this gives me hope for my home office. I should send you a picture. I guess I have everything put on shelves, but the shelves look so cluttered and I really need to go through everything. It’s so overwhelming. If I could organize it better I could also get more of it put in the closet. Sigh …

    Like you, my office sort of became our dumping ground for stuff when we moved. It’s also the best place to put our cats when we need to confine them at night. So, I’m blessed with a litter box and scratching post in my office.

    • Litter box, scratching post… as essential as pens and pencils.

      Honestly, there was one point when I was sitting in the middle of the floor surrounded by stuff and absolutely no idea where to start. I still can’t tell you how I did it all, but it was mainly about picking what was right in front of me and dealing with one thing at a time. You just have to start.

  2. This looks so nice now. Isn’t it such a relief to finally get to a place that’s been bugging you for ages? We just got an extra room as our last young adult moved out, so all the extra furniture that’s been cluttering up the place waiting for this room is now in it. Yay!

  3. Magazines? Yes, I keep my craft magazines, despite the the scorn of those who tell me that I can find “anything” on the web. To those, I say “pah!” and give them a challenge to find something for which I have been looking for years. None have succeeded. So, I’ll keep my magazines, thank you very much. They are a wealth of ideas and information. Some of them were my mothers (all the way back to the ’60s)! As for doing things temporarily, I don’t. If I have to wait until I can do things the way I want to do them, then I wait. I work on what I can, and make plans (and save money) for what I can’t. I wonder what bee got in my bonnet this evening?!?

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