Tackling My "Office" This Month! | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Tackling My "Office" This Month!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tackling My "Office" This Month!

This month I'm going to be participating in OrgJunkie's 31 Day Organizational Challenge and I'm going to tackle my "office".  

Today, I'm showing you the "before" pictures of the various office spaces in my home and throughout the month I'll be sharing updates on what I'm doing to organize it.  

{Note:  These are true life pictures.  I didn't tidy the areas nearby before taking pictures, nor did I mess up the areas to look worse for the challenge.  The only thing I did was flip over a few papers so our personal information was not visible.  This is the real deal folks.  Sad but true.}

OK, on with the post.

I don't really have an "office" (maybe you guessed that since I keep putting it in quotes).  We used to have one before we had kids, but then we needed all our upstairs rooms for bedrooms so we shifted our office furniture to the basement.  

In the basement we have a desk with bookshelves above it and a file cabinet beside it.  

What a mess!  

Our basement also functions as a playroom, entertainment area, storage zone, family room, craft area, and an overflow kitchen.  The basement gets cluttered no matter how organized I try to keep it.  Part of that is because I still haven't finished organizing it completely - especially this desk area!  Which is why I chose the "office" as my space to tackle for this challenge.

In addition to the desk and file cabinet you see above, we also have a lateral file cabinet in the basement on the other side of the corner craft desk (you can see parts of the craft area on the left of the above picture and on the right in the picture below).  

Yep... it's covered with stuff too.  Flat surfaces in the basement are magnets for piles of stuff that travel from upstairs down to the basement but that we I don't have time to deal with right away.  

We used to have two more file cabinets with our old school files, but both my hubby and I did a major purge last spring (before I started blogging so not pics or posts about it) so we were able to Freecycle the file cabinets.  

We also have a desk in our dining room.  Yes, you heard me correctly. I said our dining room.  Really.  It's not ideal but we make it work.  

Yes, it's a mess too.  And that bottom right drawer is packed so full that it doesn't stay closed on its own.  I really need this challenge this month!  

{You can see the kids' activity drawers on the right - just ignore the stuff on top and those things on the floor beside them.  Please chalk that up to the fact that my daughter's been sick all week.  And we usually spend time on Saturdays putting things back where they belong but I took these pictures on Friday :)}

So why do we have a desk in our dining room?  Good question!  About a year and a half ago, we had an opportunity to get this beautiful big desk for free (can't beat that!).  It's a better desk than the one in the basement for file storage, and it also has a keyboard tray (the basement one doesn't because it has a middle drawer - it's a much older desk).  

We debated taking the new desk because we were pretty sure it wouldn't fit down the basement stairs.  But at some point in the next year or two we'll probably be moving to a bigger place so we decided to take the desk and put it in the dining room then. 

When we stage the house we plan to sell the basement desk and store the dining room desk until we're in a new home.  I mean, who wants to buy a house with a big desk in the dining room and such a ridiculously crowded basement?!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, we don't use our dining room to eat in because our kitchen has breakfast nook.

And, since we don't want to move all the basement office-type stuff up to our dining room (our main floor is crowded enough!), we currently have two desks on two different floors of our small townhouse.  Crazy eh?! 

As it turns out, having a desk in the dining room allows us to monitor what the kids are doing on the computer.  And it's nice having some office supplies on the main floor instead of having to run to the basement when we need something. 

But it's another flat surface that tends to accumulate paperwork, computer games, books, toys, and random writing utensils {it's actually usually worse than this!}.  I'm really working on trying to get the rest of my family on board with putting things away, but without having really organized this desk, it's hard for them sometimes to know where to put things.  You know the saying, "A place for everything, and everything in its place."  Hard to do if I haven't given everything a nice organized home yet.  

The desk drawers and the file cabinet drawers are filled with stuff that needs to be sorted through, purged, and organized.  I'll show photos of the insides of the drawers as I work my way through them this month.  I'll warn you though... they're not pretty :)

So, now you can see what I'm working with.  I have some ideas on what I want to accomplish this month but  a lot of it I'll be figuring out as I go.

Let me know if you'd like to join OrgJunkie's 31 Day Organizational Challenge so we can encourage each other!

How do you organize your office?  Is it overwhelming or under control?  I'd love any tips you have for my crazy "office" space(s)!

Happy organizing!

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Update: Here are all the posts in the series: