What Would Sandy Suggest? Week 2

January 5, 2011 by  

Part 2 of Mel’s Office

mels office before

Be sure to check all the way to the end of the post! I am making this a link up so that you could have a chance to have your space featured too and hopefully I can give you some suggestions to help organize your own space!

Mel from Mama Buzz has been gracious enough to let me feature her space first! This is Mel’s office.  Last week on “What would Sandy Suggest” was part 1 and I went over some basics on what I thought she should do to organize her office.  Much of what she has is just clutter that won’t be hard to clean up. But like many of us.. it has has taken over enough that Mel wasn’t even using her office.

I will try to give advice on what I think would work…. without making a major overhaul of your space… and suggesting things that are out of many’s price range.  Of course I could tell her to get all new furniture and start fresh… but I know if someone told me that.. I’d tell them to take a hike because that wouldn’t be in my budget.

See that 2nd file cabinet underneath the games?  Remember that because I plan to move it.

Mel office This is the other side of the office.  It is her hubby’s desk.  I was trying to figure out what the 2 big black things were on his desk and then I realized they were both computer monitors….

mels office - bookshelf

This is the doorway in and the bookshelf close up.


1) Hubby has no desk space. It is full of computer monitors, computer, printer and keyboard. Where does he write?  Where to papers go that come in?

2) I like the little shelf above the monitors, it just needs to be cleaned off.

3) The bookshelf facing the door seems to have little purpose other than to be a spot to put things. (That so often happens, we all want a “drop spot” in a room)

4) It looks like children books on the bookshelf.  This is a working office.  There should not be any children’s supplies in this office. (I understand if the kids come in while you are working, but let them bring in 1 book or 1 game to keep them busy – and then those items go back to the kids area when they are finished with them.


1) Declutter first. Go through the sorting system that I gave Mel last week.

2)  Move the bookshelf out of the office.  It is small and I’m sure could be of use in another room, maybe even at the end of a hallway. The kids book could go in it there.

3) Move the desk down away from the wall enough to move that computer unit down onto the floor to the left of the desk.

4) Move that 2nd file cabinet from Mel’s desk over next to Hubby’s desk.  Mel – you can move your scrapbook organizer up to one of the shelves. If you use it frequently, I think once you have sorted through the things on your desk, you would have room for it.  Maybe you could move the circuit cutter or laminating machine up to the shelf and move the organizer over there.

5) Move the printer on top of the file cabinet to the right of the desk.

6) This frees up some valuable desk space.

7) I also would recommend putting in shelves over hubby’s desk like you have over Mels. If there were books on that book shelf that you removed that you need, they could go up there.

mel office - closetNow for the closet area.

cluttered bookshelfAnd a closer look at that bookshelf


1) Many more things that do not belong in an office are adding to the clutter. The boxes and keyboard or exercise equipment (can’t really tell…lol) need to move out.

2) The bins in the closet need to be gone through. I talked to Mel and she said they were going through them and there was a lot they could get out of there.

3) The bookshelf is completely full.  Again – a good sort will more than likely free up a lot of room on this bookshelf. They should all be books related to what takes place in this office.  Mel’s business, Hubby business, computers, scrapbooking, finances.


1) Clear out the clutter.  If it doesn’t belong in the office… move it out.

2) Clean off the bookshelf. I suggest taking everything off it… I know.. there will be a big mess.  Clean the shelves good.  Then go through them one by one.  Ask yourselves these questions as you go through the books:

A) Does this relate to what takes place in this office?  – if so… keep  If not… move.
B) Have I read this already? If so.. then donate.
C) Will I read it again?
D) Is it a reference book I will refer to again?
E) Will I ever read this?  Be honest… if you know you won’t.. donate it. Don’t feel guilty over it.
F) What purpose does this book serve here?

3) Go through the knick knacks on the shelf. Are the pictures out dated?  Do you even notice or look at them where they are?  If they are out dated you can do a couple of things. Put a new picture in, or just removed it completely.  Again…. you don’t have to feel guilty about moving a picture or taking it down.  But, if there is some space on the newly cleared out shelves above Mel’s desk then a picture or two might be nice.  Same with the other things, decide what purpose it serves. Keep a couple special items if you would like, and move the others to another room, or donate them if you realize you really don’t need them.

4) The closet – I could see something really neat here.  There are a couple of options:

A) Take out those bins first of all and take off the hanging bar.  Now… you could take off the doors and add in a cubby unit (be sure to measure first!!) This could give this office a really neat feel.

expedit bookcase

You could then put in something like this from Ikea. This is the Expedit 5×5 bookcase. It is 72″x72″.  I just got one in the Walnut color myself for my office… They cost $199.00.

With that in the closet you could maybe get rid of that big bookcase in the office and it would open up the office a lot.  This could also be used for storing other items from the office.  Mel’s scrapbooking supplies, hubby’s computer disc etc..

B) Take the doors off the closet and remove the hanging bar and move the existing bookshelf into the closet. (measure first).  Again this will free up the space in the office and make it feel more open.

C) Leave the doors on the closet and move the book shelf in and be able to close it off.

D) Leave the doors on, take the hanging bar out and build shelves into the closet. Make several at different heights maybe.  One larger one that could hold the bins. Some at medium heights such as 12″ that baskets could fit on for office supplies.  Then some closer together that books or papers could be organized on.  Maybe don’t even take them all the way across the closet – leave an open tall space on the end and if there is no other place to store the vacuum or something taller, it could fit in this space.

I could go into much more detail with things, but I don’t think anyone would want to read it all.  LOL  These are my basic thoughts for Mel’s office…

Please be sure to send an “after” picture once you have organized it.  Don’t worry if you don’t use any of my ideas… lol  Remember they are just suggestions.

Do You Want Me to Help you Too?

Just leave a comment below that you have a room or space you would like me to give you some suggestions on.

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2 Responses to “What Would Sandy Suggest? Week 2”
  1. Mel says:

    Sandy, these are great tips! I’m still whittling away at my piles on my desk; they’ve been the hardest to get through. I love the idea of cubbies or built in shelves in our closet….and I LOVE the idea of shelves above Hubs’ desk. Hmmm….thinkin’ a trip to Lowes might be in order. I’m also going to reward myself when the clutter’s cleared by redecorating the space….nothing major, just make it our space. Thank you so much for this!

  2. Sandy says:

    Sure… I’ll be thrilled if some of the ideas work for you. You know I am going to want “after” pictures… right? lol

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