It seems things always have to get messy before they get organized. My home office is in that messy middle.
The One Room Challenge – Week 3
Hey there! Welcome! I am participating in the One Room Challenge, a supportive event for designers to challenge themselves to complete a room makeover in 6 weeks. I am working on restyling my messy home office studio. It is currently Week 3 and I am right on schedule with how I planned to tackle this project.
Week 1 was focusing on emptying out my office and moving furniture around.
Week 2 was focusing on cleaning and purging. But I was too eager and got started on DIY projects, or rather my husband felt like taking them on for me. I had been planning on hold those off until Week 3.
So now in Week 3 I find myself in the messy middle of organizing a room with a major diy project done. But the room is really just one big messy home office.
Which isn’t very different from what I start with at first glance, but I know what changes have been taking place. Let’s go over them and give you some glimmers of organizing advice.
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The Messiness of Organizing
When you’re tackling a major cleaning, purging, organization project, it gets messy before it gets better. And when you’re stuck in the middle, it doesn’t seem like there’ll be and end to the mess.
But you gotta keep sorting, and cleaning and eventually when you look up, you’ll realize you made it to the other side of the pile.
The key is to keep at it afterwards so you don’t end up with piles again.
I find the best way to get started is to just pick something, anything, and get started. If you pause for too long, you can get overwhelmed easily. As I surveyed my “stuff” I realized I was about to give up before I got going.
Not an option.
So I took a deep breath and grabbed the nearest drawer. I emptied it out and started tossing into a bin the scrap pieces of fabric, dried up pens, broken buttons, etc.
I kept doing this, working my way through one drawer, then I’d grab another drawer to sort through.
It also helps to set a timer for 20 minutes and try to get through as much as you can in those 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, you have permission to get up and do something else, or reset the timer for another 20 minutes and keep at it. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done in 20 minutes!
3 Box System For Organizing
As I purge and organize, I like to use the 3 Box System. Normally you designate 1 box for Keep, 1 box for Trash, and 1 box for Donate. But I altered it for my office. : 1 box for Donating/Selling, 1 Box for Recycling, and 1 Box for Trash. This helped me to keep sorting and make quick decisions as I worked through each bin, box, and drawer.
If I come across something that belongs in another room, then I immediately stop to take it to that room. That way I wouldn’t have a pile of items to sort through again and take to other rooms. It was already done.
I did not let other tasks distract me along the way of delivering my item and returning to my messy home office. This was hard because my husband decided that it was also a great time to start purging in our family room. But I stayed strong, and let him do the family room, while I focused on my office. I’m grateful that he took the initiative to tackle another room, and I don’t miss anything that he may have tossed out without consulting me.
I also keep my shredder handy and ready to go so I can quickly dispose of any documents with personal information. I find this saves me a step later on. Instead of putting these “Shred” papers into a box and then having to take time in the future to actually do the shredding, I get it down now. Doing it now will take me an extra 5 seconds, instead of dedicating an hour later.
So set up a system like the 3 Box System to help you quickly and methodically sort through your belongings. Then get your hands dirty by actually sorting.
If you’re needing some advice on how to get really dive into organizing your home, check out this organizing article from Just Organized by Tara. She has some really good questions to ask yourself, and good pointers on getting started with organizing.
Organizing Solutions and Storage
I know you want to get all of the pretty organizers, baskets, and file folders right away. I do too! But you want to get the right ones for what you have. Wait until you have purged and sorted before buying even one organizer.
Otherwise, what’ll happen is that you keep extra things to fill the organizers you bought. And you’ll have the wrong type of organizers for your needs so instead, they won’t be used properly. Nope, don’t do this to yourself and all your hard work! Figure out exactly what kinds of organizers you need for what’s left after your cleaning session. Avoid getting organizers that don’t fit your needs, wasting your time and money for them to sit unused and allowing stuff to once again stack up beside them.
One organizing idea that did happen though was my husband came up with the idea to add holes for power cords in the back of my desk, as well as installing an accessible power block. Check it out!
What’s Next Up In My Mess?
This weekend I want to paint an accent wall, now that I’ve decided on my paint colour. My other plans for next week involve:
- start finding storage solutions or making my own storage containers out of recycled boxes
- Scrub the walls clean of marks
- Hang wall art
Week 4 and 5 will start to really show the transformation that’s happening. I can feel the shift in the energy of my room, but it’s not ready for finally touches yet!
See you next week!