While I’m usually pretty good about staying on top of picking up around the house every day and keeping the counters and floors clear of piles, I tend to neglect my home office in this regard. I think this is because it isn’t a common space in the house, so I don’t feel as if I need to prioritize its tidiness, since it only affects me. The truth is, however, that is does affect me negatively when my office is a mess.
Somewhere between the mad rush of the holiday season, then dashing off to Utah for a month, and jumping full swing back into posting since my return home in late January, my office turned into a jumbled mess. A cluttered work space equals a cluttered mind and I could feel it gnawing at me every day, but I reasoned that it wasn’t as important as keeping up with the rest of the house and working on my posts to make the time to tidy. To be honest, it had gotten so bad it felt like an overwhelming task, which is why I put it off for so long.
Finally one day last week I couldn’t take it any more. I want my office to be a calming space where I can think clearly and be productive. Having stuff everywhere prevents that. I decided to allot a few hours to straightening up, but twenty minutes in, I realized it wasn’t going to happen. There was too much to sort and it felt really overwhelming. I gathered most everything up into small piles and let it be. While it looked a bit tidier than before, I knew I really needed to clear all of the piles away so I could breathe easy in my creative space once again.
I decided to approach the mess like I do big organizational projects by breaking it down into more manageable pieces. I decided to give my tried and true 20 minute pick-up system a go. I knew there was no way I could put everything back in its place in just 20 minutes, but I figured I could at least sort things into bins in a way that would make it easier to put them away. This way, I could get the almost instantaneous reward of clean desktops without devoting so much time to it.
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I used four of my Like-It Plastic Laundry Baskets to corral my office mess and categorize what needed to be put away. This was a relatively quick task that I figured would make sorting and stowing each basket’s contents easier down the road. I designated one basket for prizes to mail, one for future prizes, one for work-related items, and the other for personal items. I also pulled out two of my favorite Reisenthel Carry Bags, which are basically soft-sided collapsible baskets, to sort any items that didn’t belong in my office. I put items to go downstairs in one and things to store in my bedroom in the other. All in all, this process only took about twelve minutes to complete and I used the remaining eight minutes to put my out of office items in their proper homes. I pushed the four Like-It baskets up against my window seat so they were still in sight but out of the way. Every day I spent 20 minutes putting away the contents of one bin at a time until by the end of the week each basket was empty and everything in my office was in its rightful place.
I noticed that the Reisenthel Carry Bags are quite pricey and a bit difficult to find now except for on Amazon. The JanetBasket gets great reviews and is a similar style and size. I haven’t tried one of these out personally, so I cannot attest to the quality, but it is a fraction of the price of the Reisenthel for a similar concept. I’d be happy to purchase a JanetBasket and post a comparison review if there’s interest.
You can watch my 20 Minute Pick-Up strategy in action in this video:
As I mention in the video, I unearthed a few treasures in my office pick-up and thought I’d run a giveaway to give these goodies a new home. The Office Treasures Giveaway will run until Friday, February 27, 2015 at 6 PM CT. The giveaway is open internationally. All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. One person will win a Popsugar Must Have Special Edition Holiday Box For Him, one person will win beauty items from Sigma’s Ethereal Radiance Collection, and one person will win a selection of beauty goodies from Julep. You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways). When you enter you will be able to pick what prize you would like in the event that you win. I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always. Good luck!
Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.
I am delighted to report that my office is as tidy as ever! This way of breaking down a big mess into smaller segments in an organized fashion really streamlined the process and made it much more manageable. Spreading it out over the course of the week also helped. 20 minutes seems pretty manageable compared to a few hours! Having everything sorted into major categories made it a breeze to put things away.
I hope you enjoyed this look at my organize cleaning strategy. I’d love to know what kinds of cleaning/picking up methods you use if you care to share.
* The Julep gift set and Sigma items I am giving away were sent to me for consideration. I purchased the Popsugar box myself. All opinions are genuinely my own. *