For most of my clients, a home office becomes the black hole for everything they don’t know what to do with in their homes. This project features a small home office that became a storage room for personal mail, hobbies and a variety of “stuff” that belonged in other rooms. It illustrates the importance of keeping your business and personal life separate in a home office. This step by step excavation may inspire you to edit your “stuff.”
The desk, floor and bookshelves became nothing more than a surface for storing “stuff” to deal with later. Later became never for too many items, resulting in missed deadlines, losing important documents and late fees.
The kitchen table became the new home office when this room was overtaken with clutter. When company came over, my client tossed paperwork from the kitchen table and clutter throughout the home in the office.
Personal papers, clothing and a variety of hobbies were mixed in with business paperwork.
The canvas bags, bins and boxes were THE filing system. The file cabinet was empty, because she didn’t know how to set up a filing system.
To make matters worse, she needed brain surgery after an accident. Her limited mobility made cleaning up her office a seemingly impossible task.
We started with the closet and donated items that were no longer needed. We relocated items that were not office related to their appropriate rooms – clothing, wrapping paper, gifts, old lamps, etc. The bins were re-purposed as a temporary home for like items as we found them.
After the surgery, my client could not bend over for more than a few minutes, so we brought in bookshelves and stools for sorting.
We filled 16 trash bags with paperwork during the sort and established categories for the keepers. Paperwork containing confidential info was shredded.
We found a variety of bins and boxes during the sort to store like items together. This helped us establish how much space each item needed. It also helped my client realize the overabundance of items she had. The excess items were donated to a local charity. The short bookshelf was re-purposed in another room to create some breathing room in this tiny office.
We switched the location of the desk with the table so the client can be closer to the window. She has room on her desk to actually work. The file drawer on the bottom left is home for files she references daily.
Since we ‘found’ the surface of the table, she processes personal paperwork here instead of the kitchen table.
We found this picture in a closet and re-purposed accessories from other rooms to establish systems to STAY organized.
The red box is for incoming mail, the basket holds mailing supplies and the bookshelf houses frequently used items. Additional supplies are in the closet.
We re-purposed the canvas bags for grocery shopping and set up a filing system in the file cabinet. Important paperwork and resources are found instantly.
● Keep like items together
● Edit, edit, edit
● Establish a home and space limits for everything
● Keep your “stuff” organized with reading and decorative boxes
● Recycle / Repurpose / Donate.
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