What would Sandy Suggest? – Mel’s Desk

December 29, 2010 by  

Let’s Organize it … Shall We?


I have had many people ask me to help them figure out what to do in their rooms.  It is difficult to really organize via virtual means, but there isn’t any reasons I can’t give some suggestions as to what I think they could try.

mel office from hall

Mel from MamaBuzz is the first willing participant…. lol  She would like some help with her office. She said she and her husband share this space. But because they have been just using it lately for putting “stuff” in it.

First off let me say that this room doesn’t look bad at all.  I am seeing some really positive things that I want to mention right off the bat

1) Love the shelves on the wall.

2) The file drawers are being utilized. Looks like the one might be part of the desk unit, and if not, it it tucked in nice so that it isn’t taking up extra space.  The other one may be too big to go underneath on the other side.  But even so, it is being used as a surface.

3) I see several organizing elements here, the scrapbook/craft organizer on the left and the vertical file unit on the right hand part of the desk.

From this shot the main problems I am seeing are:

1) Clutter on the desk top

2) “Stuff” on the left on the  floor and more “stuff” on the right hand side of the picture.

Even More of Mel's DeskLet’s take a closer look at this part of the desk area.

First off I see several things that don’t belong on a desk.  It looks like there may be an apron, or some kind of cloth bag that is yellow, black and white.  I am seeing a calendar that hasn’t been changed since November, Christmas cards in front of the keyboard and a basket full of things that I bet aren’t even used.

I would suggest:

1) Sorting through all the items on the desk.  Go through the steps..

Keep – Do I use it, Love it and Need it?

Donate – I don’t like it, or use it..but it is still in good shape  (Christmas cards can be donated too!)

Move To another Room – Does it belong in this room. If that is apron, I’d say no.

Storage – Season items that do get used but only once or twice a year. (i.e. Christmas decorations, camping gear)

Pitch/Recycle – Trash, broken or torn items. Can’t be donated.

2) Decide if that vertical file has been working for you.  Are you keeping it up?  Or did you start it and never went back to it?

3) Go through that basket and decide if it really is serving a function in that location – or is it just serving as a dumping place for little things?

4) I’m not sure what is behind the vertical file. It appears to be some kind of printer or something. If the vertical file system works, I would move that calendar and basket and move the vertical file in that location against the wall. That will free up some desk space.

5) The rest of that clutter needs to be sorted and moved off the surface.

6) If that is a printer, is it hooked up and working?  Is it used?  If so.. then it stays. If not, then move it off that space.


The objective here is to keep the zones for items that Mel uses daily.. closest to her chair.

“A Zone” would be the things she uses daily that need to be within reach.

“B Zone” would be things that she uses every few days.  Out and accessible, but it is ok to roll the chair over to them or stand up to reach.

“C Zone” would be things that are used maybe once every 1-2 weeks

“D Zone” would be things that should stay in the office, but are ok to store.

more of mel's desk1) Here again she needs to sort first.  There are games that need to go with the kids toys and games.  Looks like a tin from Christmas goodies etc.

2) The craft area looks nice. The question would be: Do you use this for your crafting?  If so, than fantastic. If it has been 2 years since you touched it, then it is time to think about at least packing it up and storing it until you have the time to work on it.

3) I see my stethoscope! LOL  So funny, that is exactly like the one I have lost at my pediatricians office.  Mine is a light purple, and last time I saw it, it was in my locker.  Ok… back to business..

4) Keep the scrap booking if you use it.  I see another machine there, maybe a circuit cutter or laminator?  If it is used, then great.

5) If it is used frequently, leave it there. If not, would it be possible to put on top of the craft organizer?

6) The pink tray that appears to possibly be an “in” box on top of the craft organizer.  First off.. is it an “in” box.  If so, would it be possible to mount something on the wall as you walk into the office for bills and incoming papers?  It might make it more convenient and get that surface freed up.

7) The little black basket beside the craft organizer. What is that being used for?

8) I think most all of this just needs to be sorted through, and relocated, pitched or donated.

Next week we are going to tackle another area of Mel’s office.

Mel – Please pick up my button and put it on your site for participating in the first, “What Would Sandy Suggest” series. If you would like to be featured on What Would Sandy suggest, then please leave a comment and email and we’ll chat.

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6 Responses to “What would Sandy Suggest? – Mel’s Desk”
  1. Dianna says:

    Sandy — I love this feature. I need SO much help…in looking at this and reading I realize I first just need to sit down and clean out. Most of my problem is clutter.

  2. Gilda says:

    This was a fun read. I’m just starting my own Professional Organizing business and am doing a couple “for testimonial” jobs to start off with. I think some of these first jobs will be of this type (advice from afar). So, thank you for posting this.

    Oh and I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I love how you break it down nice and easy. If you have any Professional Organizing business tips, I’d love to hear them. Thanks!

  3. Sandy says:

    That is great Gilda. I did the same thing. I did a craft room and 2 home offices for friends before I started charging. My best advice would be to go to a 12 hour training session in MI. It was put on by Judy and Treva. http://www.theorganizingspecialists.com/

  4. Sandy – Awesome segment and I love the way you use your arrows to point to what you are referencing. Fantastic job! Even after the personal items are moved from the room, I bet there are going to be a lot of decisions to be made — and I bet you will be covering some in your upcoming post :D

  5. Sandy says:

    Stephanie… you wrote a whole bunch of great stuff along with this comment. I am going to use it as a guest post because I don’t think any of my readers should miss it!! I’m emailing you now for your permission. Thanks

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