Confession #2: I’m a little addicted to Netflix, Pinterest, EW.com, and reading blogs.
All of these facts mean that the husband and I spend a good chunk of our time in our office, aka the second bedroom of our 2-bedroom place. In fact, we could probably rename the space our “living room” since we do most of our living in it while we’re at home.
Since we spend so much time in the space, we obviously look at it a lot. And we were both getting a little tired/annoyed/claustrophobic in the space, because (confession #3) I have a lot of stuff, and it was kinda sprawled all over. See these before photos as proof:
A memo station behind the door + a tall shelf stocked with office supplies to the right of my desk + cluttered desk and book shelves = an all-over-the-place look.
I decided to do something about the space, especially because it felt like I spent at least an hour each week cleaning up my desk area, which told me that it wasn’t functioning in the best way. So I developed a plan!
Here’s how it went down:
Step 1: Relocate books, office supplies, and tchotskes that were crowding my desk and the surrounding bookshelves.
My books were already grouped by color (yeah, I’m cool), so I grabbed the blue ones and added them to a side table in our bedroom…
…the white/brown/black ones and added them to the bookshelf in our living room:
…and the orange, yellow, and bright ones and (after storing most of my graduation memorabilia, which I didn’t really need/want out anymore, anyway) stashed them on the top of our office bookshelf.
Step 2: Get rid of the items that I wasn’t really using in order to tackle the cluttered/claustrophobic vibe the room was giving off.
In this portion of the office overhaul, I went through my desk drawers, rid them of anything that didn’t belong (like some miscellaneous Kleenex travel packs, which were moved to under the bathroom sink) and consolidated like items with previously bulky packaging (paperclips, post-its, etc.)
I also did some major purging by taking down my memo station. Since the bulletin boards were located behind the door, I really didn’t use them for much beyond pictures, so they were cute but had little function. I stored everything so that one day I can reinstate my memo station. I imagine it hanging over a desk—since mine has a hefty hutch with tons of storage, I don’t have space for the stuff right now.
And I eliminated the 4-tier blonde bookshelf by purging/consolidating/relocating its contents. Where did I relocate the supplies? And where did the shelf end up? Those questions are for another day, friends—all shall be revealed soon!
I elected to keep the top of my desk free save for a floral binder I use to store my students’ papers. Without all the stuff on top, it’s much lighter and less overbearing!
Step 3: Reorganize desk space to prioritize its main functions.
I knew I wanted certain books (the ones I use in teaching, plus some favorite anthologies and short story collections) handy since I reference them frequently, so I left those on my desk shelf. I cleared the cubbies of their current clutter (tongue twister for ya!) and then designated a function for each: the top holds current projects/to-dos, the middle houses my gradebook, notepad, and receipt folder, and the third holds old notebooks, my coupon folder, and things to file.
On the upper shelf, I stacked a few more anthologies that I access less frequently, but that didn’t fit on the other bookshelf. Plus I love their fun colors! I also stuck many of my most-used office supplies up there. The blue drawers contain sharpies, colored pens, dry erase markers, and highlighters. The small covered cans house paper clips and binder clips. I added some decorative things (the K, some snowglobes, a framed picture, and a photo strip) but tried to keep it balanced.
Here are a few more pictures of the office post-decluttering:
I can’t tell you how good it felt to finally get my work space uncluttered. I still have some purely-there-for-show “stuff," but they don’t overwhelm the space. Taking down the shelf and the memo station did wonders for the room!
My ideal desk in the future will have no hutch (I’ll just need more bookcases!) and a longer/larger work surface, but for now, my newly streamlined desk is looking good and serving its purpose!
Later this week I’ll share another large office project we (okay, I) recently tackled—our monstrous computer cord/craft closet! Behold the hideous befores:
And come back on Wednesday to check out the after!
I'm linking this up to the "Spring into Organization Blogger Home Tour" hosted by Becky from Organizing Made Fun, Jen from IHeart Organizing, Anna from Ask Anna, DaNita from Delightful Order, Lesley from Goodbye House, Hello Home, Becky from Clean Mama, Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons, Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything, and Laura from I'm an Organizing Junkie.