Reorganizing My Office “Before”

January 31, 2011 by  

The Before Shots

I may be an organizer, but I’m a very busy organizer, and things can get out of hand in my home too. So don’t feel like everyone else has perfect places. I’m going to show you I am human and very much like you when it comes to things getting out of hand.

I have a very small office and share the space with my husbands desk and the kids computer.  We have 2 huge desks, 3 file cabinets, 1 large bookshelf and lots of cubbys.

messy office Here is my mess of a desk. As you can see I don’t use it very often.  I normally always set out in the living room so I can keep my feet up. If I have them down too long I have problems with my feet swelling ( getting old and being too heavy). I come in here mainly to do bills and send out my pouchee and Card Cubby orders.  I have an extra computer screen because I found out when I got my Mac Book Pro that I could hook up another screen and use duel screens. But, I’m not in here enough to use it and hadn’t purchased the cable.

This picture is directly behind my desk, so I can turn my chair around and get to the 2nd set of file cabinets. These are my main files. But as you can see, my papers have taken over and are way overdue for filing.

This is to the right of my desk. Printer and large file cabinet. I have extra paper sitting on top of that. Then you can see the corner of my husbands desk.

messy officeThis is his space and I don’t bother it. Although he wasn’t using it much either.. the kids use the computer. But the flag poles and whatever else that other stick is there (lol) and the boxes on top of the 2nd file cabinet are his. I try to give him his space. But now we have made him his own office and work area in the basement and it is time for this to go.
messy office

Now on the other wall when you walk into the office is the big book shelf. It has a combination of his stuff, my stuff, the kids stuff on it. You can see how congested it has become.

book shelfThis is that same corner when you walk in, I set up cubbys so that I had more space to put my product samples etc for reviews.

You can see how crowded it all is.

And then another view from the doorway of what the file cabinet and my paper system looks like behind my desk.

Pretty bad huh?  Sharing a small office space is not easy.  And when I worked in here, the system worked for me with being able to access what I needed to from my chair.  But…. it was driving me crazy.

I really had it … I wanted to figure something out. I would try to work in the living room and with the TV going if the kids and hubby were home in the evening etc.. it was just not easy for me. I would put on headphones with music. I have to have quiet….to really concentrate.

I sat down on the 31st and decided I was going to rearrange the office.

Step 1: Get out graph paper and measure your space. Measure what will stay in.
Step 2: Plan what you want your space to look like. Do you need to purchase anything?
Step 3: Move everything out. Decide where to put the big items that aren’t staying.
(example, trash, donate, another room.
Step 4: Clean the space (paint if you are going to before you clean.. lol – No painting for me)
Step 5: Sort all the little stuff. Clean as you go
Step 6: Decide what items are needed, now that you know what is left to put back in
Step 7: Move your big furniture back in, or move to where it needs to go in the room.
Step 7: Purchase your items
Step 8: Complete moving in the smaller items that have been sorted.
Step 9: Customize it so it works for you. This may take a few weeks of changing it up.
Step 10: Sit back and smile because it feels SO much better when it is finished!

The Clearing out

I decided I was doing this on the 31st of December and started that day! I was trying to figure out a better solution for my living room, but did a 180 and decided to redo the office. My two oldest boys were home from boot camp and were leaving on the 2nd. Dave had a sore arm and wouldn’t be able to move much. So… I decided I need to do it now while I had help, otherwise it wouldn’t happen. Let me tell you…. they weren’t so thrilled that I was interrupting the Rose Bowl. lol

First step was to decide what to do with my husbands desk. It was going to go in the basement to provide him with extra desk space in his new office.  But…. it wouldn’t fit down the basement steps. They tried to take it apart and it just wasn’t going to happen.  We had no where to store it… so …yes.. out to the curb! I told you I was determined.  We knew someone would pick it up before the trash men got it.

deskFirst to clear off everything off my this massive heavy wood desk. Then I cleaned it all up.

Cleared off the bookshelves.empty bookshelf

Next step was to move the bookshelf. It went down to the basement for my husband to use.  Then we got the vacuum out and vacuumed the empty space .. and cleaned up the walls behind and baseboards.

We took the black 3 drawer file cabinet down to the basement also. That cleared out the spot for my 4 drawer file cabinet.

Of course vacuuming and cleaning had to be done. Only one flaw in my plan, I was going to be covering up the vent. oops

Because it was my space, I didn’t mind. I knew I could use a blanket to stay warm if I needed it.  I was too determined to make my idea work. Something as minor as a vent wasn’t going to deter me! lol  (now if it were a clients home, I would have figured out another solution, but I was ok with it in my home)

Next thing was to clear off the file cabinet that was behind my chair and take out the drawers. This furniture is SO heavy! So glad my boys were there to help move things.

File drawers

Now of course you realize that I am making a huge mess in my dining room. Piling everything up that I will need to go through. I told my husband for at least 2 days I was taking it over. So we adjusted. I could get a lot of stuff out right away, but I was going to go through everything before it went back in.

This was just the beginning and the area around the table had all kinds of stuff too. Unfortunately when you clear out a space, you have to deal with more mess before it gets better.

File cabinet in place. I made sure to plug in the lamp before we moved it back to the wall and put the drawers in it. It is too heavy to even budge when the drawers are in.

The desk was moved on the wall where the bookshelf used to be.  My big 4 drawer file cabinet in the corner stayed put.

Next step.. Trip to Ikea for the wall unit I have been wanting forever!! (I really wanted white, but they were out of stock, so I got the walnut to match my furniture.
Step 2 – Dave was to bring back a recliner that I used to have in my living room from our farm.

I know.. you are thinking.. a recliner in your office?  Yes…. I told you I have the problem with having to keep my feet up, I solved that problem!

Stay tuned!!

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Reorganize Your Office

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

You can find the linky by clicking on the button above.  Feel free to keep linking up your different office projects that you accomplish during this Office Mission. I am ok with also linking up organizing projects that aren’t office related. This link will be up until Feb. 24 so you will have time to add your office projects in

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

I linked this post up to:

Keeping It Simple

Sumo Sweet Stuff


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7 Responses to “Reorganizing My Office “Before””
  1. pammypam says:

    wow. massive undertaking.

  2. Roberta says:

    Wow…you go girl…been there done that…TWICE in one year as a matter of fact. That’s because we moved twice in less than a year and downsized so each time I was forced to organize my stuff…lol Oh yeah…btw…do you know that your blog posts do not come up in google reader? Perhaps it is something prefer but just wanted to let you know in case you don’t use a reader for following your favorite blogs. In typepad there is a setting that I can set to block readers from displaying my posts. Some bloggers prefer this so that people are forced to open up their blogs.

  3. Sandy says:

    going to email you about the google reader. Thanks

  4. Katie says:

    Wow, I’m impressed. This is a great office space and you have found efficient ways to use it all. Great job

  5. Leanne says:

    Thanks for linking to We’re Organized Wednesday. I can’t wait to see the finished room.

  6. Rachel says:

    Looks like quite a job ahead of you but I can’t wait to see it when you are done. Love the colors you use. So cheerful for an office :)

    Found you at the link up party We’re Organized Wed.

  7. Sandy says:

    Thanks Rachel . Hopefully you saw the “after” post.

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