Monday, August 7, 2017

34 Weeks of Clean: Rinse and Repeat: Week 31- The Office

Welcome back to 34 Weeks of Clean!  We are nearing the end of our series and by now you should be feeling really good about your homes.  One week at a time, we have been on a mission to take back our homes!  If you are just finding us, it is still not too late to get started.  Just pick a room, set a timer for 15 minutes if that is all you have, and go!  If you do that each day, you WILL see results.

Slow and steady wins the race, promise!

It is not by coincidence that I saved the "Office" for the end.  Or that I will be breaking it down for you in three week assignments. This is a hard place for me.   Obviously!

The sad thing is that this is not even in a room by itself where I can shut the doors and pretend it doesn't exist.  Our current home does not have a separate office room and so this desk sits right in the corner of our living room.  Nice, huh?  In my defense it starts out relatively clean on Monday, but by the end of the week, between two boys using it for school, me using it for work and blogging as well as our personal family desk needs (bills and such) and all of us being lazy, it usually looks pretty rough by Friday.

See, right in the open for the world to see.

It has been brought to my attention that we are fighting three problems really-




Here is how we are currently dealing with those issues.

Laziness.  We have, all of us, got to commit to finishing what we start.  That includes if you take something out, you put it up.  Sadly, the kids are not the only ones guilty of this.  We are working on it, I promise.

Too much stuff.  Well, by now you know that I like to throw things away! Each year I sort through desk things and get rid of extras.  Notice I said extras, not just what we did not need. I think there is a difference.  Yes, we need pens,  No we do not need 200 of them.  I seriously went through this whole house on a war path against pens and threw every last one of them away that did not fit my fancy.  The reality is I have never had to throw a pen away because it actually ran out of ink.  Do they even do that?  The other reality is that when I go to use a pen I seek out one of two kinds, ignoring the rest.  So those two kinds stayed and the rest went out, with the exception of highlighters and pencils that we use for homeschooling.  Bye bye motel and business pens!  If I need your number I will look you up in the phone book.

Sharpie pens are my favorite in case you were wondering!

Not having homes for everything.  I read in my Kathi Lipp book (Clutter Free) that one of the problems with organizing is that if something does not have a home, it just gets rearranged daily.  Yep!  Guilty! And paperwork seems to be one of those areas for me.  I am working to change that.  My new war cry is EVERYTHING. HAS. A. HOME!  The kids are loving it.  NOT!  If something does not have a home, a place that it goes every single time, then we either find it a home or it goes out the door.  It is amazing what that simple little task will do for you.  Try it- go around your house one room at a time and anything that is sitting out, ask yourself, where does this belong?  If you do not have a home for it- find one.  Now! Or move it out.

We are going to divide the "office" into several weeks for sanity's sake. It will look a little different for everyone, but I KNOW that somewhere in your home is a secret stash of files, bills, and random paperwork.

This week then is dedicated to all of that paperwork and the bills/filing system, since for me, that is where my clutter typically comes from.

For this job, go on and get a large trash bag out.  I am guessing you will probably need it.

I will also introduce you to one of my favorite office supplies- the paper shredder.  A wonderful invention!  Go get or borrow one- you are going to need it!

Here we go!
  • FIRST- Go through the stacks of papers you have sitting out!  This is everything from bills to receipts to flyers.  Whatever paper you have just sitting around.  Make three piles-

          Throw away
          Move somewhere else (the paper, not you!)

Your goal is to organize now, we will put it where it belongs later.

  • NEXT- do the same thing with any paperwork or files you may have hidden in the recesses of your desk.  Or sitting anywhere else they do not belong. (Kitchen counter, anyone?)

Stacks always look better with a candle! ;)
  • Once you have left only what you need to keep (do not skip the first two steps, friends!)- establish a system for filing and stick to it!  Here is where I made some changes, since my current system was obviously not working for me. 

Again using Kathi Lipp's idea from her amazing book Clutter Free, I established a daily file box to keep things in.  You can read all about it in her book, but the premise is that you have a specific place to house paperwork and such until you can address it.  You see, Clarke's office is downstairs. (In the storage room, honest!) Our kitchen counter is upstairs.  Hence the problem.  When the mail comes in, (bills, coupons, flyers, magazines, correspondence) it all gets stuck on my kitchen counter top, which drives me crazy.  Now, I sort it into my filing system, which also holds my calendar, so daily I can take a quick glance at the days file and handle any pressing needs, and then weekly, I can do any paperwork I need to.  There is a tab for each day of the month, as well as a file for each month of the year.  There are also extra tabs for coupons, recipes and more. You personalize it to make it work for you!  Love it!

Too much for you?  That is fine.  The goal is to find a system that works for you and use it.  Everyone does things a little differently.  The key is to find a simple solution you love and then stick to it.

A key point.  Papers WILL pile up if you allow them to.  Make your life easy and have the 1 touch rule.  Touch it for the first time and take care of it, whether that means the trash or a file.  If you just lay it down somewhere random, you will simply move it from place to place.  That is not one touch!  It is a time waster, and a counter cluttering habit.  Ask me how I know!

Yes, I realize there is still much work to be done in the office, trust me we will get there!  But for this week your goal is to move through all the paperwork, get rid of the old you no longer need to keep, and organize what you need to.  I KNOW it is a monumental task for some, it was for me, but we can do this.  Once again, if you need to- set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes a day, work until the buzzer rings and then repeat the next day.  You might be surprised at how far you get in 7 days!

Speaking of how far you got- how did you do last week?  You only have a few more weeks to leave pictures!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. I love hearing from you!