Office Progress Week 2: Surfaces | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Office Progress Week 2: Surfaces

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Office Progress Week 2: Surfaces

Do you have cluttered surfaces in your home?  Do they become dumping zones?  Me too!  Today I'm sharing how I cleaned up some of my "office" surfaces.  I'll also give some tips to help you organize your office.

I'm pretty late with this update post (it's actually week 3!) but I wanted to show you what I've been doing lately to organize my "office".

Last week was March Break here and it was also my son's birthday on Saturday.  It was a great week, filled with family activities {followed by a few days of recuperating catching up!}.  Needless to say though, I didn't accomplish as much as I'd hoped with respect to my "office".  But I did make progress!

In an attempt to make our house more presentable for the various guests we had here the last week, I worked hard to clean the surfaces on my desks and file cabinets.

Remember this cluttered cabinet in my basement?

Filled with clutter on top!   I needed to take care of that before having guests over.

It actually didn't take me very long to tackle this surface, since most of the items that were on it were just dumped here, but really belonged somewhere else in the basement.  So I spent some time putting them where they actually should go or found new homes for them.  And, I'll be honest, a few things were just added to the drawers below to be sorted soon when I tackle those drawers.  It was a busy week remember? :)

So, here it is now.

I love how clean it is now!!  I really should have just done this a long time ago instead of feeling overwhelmed by the clutter.  Now to keep it that way :)

I also purged one of the large drawers in the basement desk.  Here's what it looked like before.

This is a really deep drawer and I can never find anything in it because it's just jam packed full of stuff.  So I purged a lot of old computer "stuff" that we no longer needed (things like outdated manuals, cords, and software).

I was able to fit everything I wanted to keep in the back part of the drawer (extra ink, current computer or software manuals, and a few extra computer related gadgets). Pretty good purging job I'd say.

And the front part was completely empty for a little while!  Of course it didn't stay that way :)

Since my goal was to clear off some of the clutter from the surface of the desk, it was perfect to have the space in this drawer now to store them!  I ended up adding a box of software (after purging a bunch from it too) and some blank CD's and CD cases that  used to be on top of the desk.

Here's the drawer today.

I'd like to organize that back part of the drawer a little bit more, but it feels great knowing that everything that's in this drawer is something we still need or use. And there's still some space left in the front.

The next thing I tackled in the basement was the rest of the surface of the desk.  Here's a reminder of what it looked like when I started this month.

What a disaster!

First, I put away several things that didn't belong on this desk - photo albums, Wii remotes, Wii games, toys, notebooks, Febreeze bottle, etc.  It already looked better after that.

Then I purged a bunch of software boxes and CD ROM cases, that were cluttering up the desk space under the bottom shelf.

And since I purged so much of the basket and box of CD ROM's that were by the tower and stored the remaining ones in the box in the drawer, I was able to shift the computer tower over a bit and then slide the printer over too.  This allowed me to move the monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse over too, which freed up even more desk space!

And here's how it looks now.

I can see the wood on the top!!  {Am I the only one who gets excited about clean surfaces?!}  I love how it looks so much less cluttered now.

Look at all the empty space at the back under the shelf!

I also re-routed several of the cords so they were less visible on the desk.  I still need to work on organizing them better at the back and underneath the desk and I'd like to label the plugs so I can quickly figure out which is which when I need to.  But for now I'm happy that I can see more of the desk.

Here are my purge piles.

Yep... that would be 2 copies of the same game.  And I found a brand new copy of a digital photography book.  We got it before we even had a digital camera and then I totally forgot we had it so I never looked at it.  Unfortunately it's over ten years old and quite outdated now. The things you find when you organize!

Here's my relocate pile.

I'm going to be setting up a drawer for manuals for our home appliances, electronics, and gadgets.  Most of this pile will go in that drawer.  And I'm sure I'll find a use for that basket somewhere else in the house :)

Well that's it for the basement "office" area for last week.  I did some tidying of the dining room desk surface too but I still need to work more on that so I'll show you pictures of it in another post.

Here are a few tips for organizing your office space:
  • Keep surfaces clear as much as possible.  Don't let them become dumping zones for items that should be elsewhere.  Once you start putting things on surfaces, you'll be tempted to keep adding things, and pretty soon it will be cluttered and overwhelming.  {And believe me, I'm writing this as much for me as for you!}
  • Sort through your computer-related items regularly.  Software and accessories become outdated quickly and there's no sense keeping things you no longer need or use.  You can use that space for something else!
  • Route your cords in a way that reduces their visibility.  Cords often make an otherwise clean surface look cluttered so finding a way to limit how much they are seen makes a big difference.

Stay tuned throughout the month for more posts on how I organize my "office" spaces.  I'll be giving you updates throughout the month as I work my way through both of my desks, several file cabinets, and the areas above and around my desks.  And I'll be sharing tips as I go.

You can also check out my Offices post from the 31 Days of Organizing Tips series.  Or my Office Organizing board on Pinterest if you're looking for more tips and ideas.

I'm doing this series as part of OrgJunkie's 31 Day Organizational Challenge.

In case you missed any, here are the other posts in the series so far:

Tackling My "Office" This Month
Progress Week One:  File Drawer

How are the surfaces in your home?  What tips do you have for keeping them clear?  Which surface in your house do you have the most difficulty keeping clean?

Happy organizing!

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Update: Here are all the posts in this series: