Spring Cleaning:Decluttering your Office

I hope you all enjoyed yesterday's post of my pantry makeover.  I hope it inspired you to start organizing your own home.  I don't know about you, but I am so glad Spring is here.  As I type this the sun is shinning and I can hear the birds chirping outside.  We discovered a birds nest on our front porch and the girls were so excited.  New life is beginning again and that makes me happy.

Today I will be tackling the office.  Our home office is to the left as soon as you walk in the door.  It has 2 french doors, so it's important for me to try to keep it clean and organized.  It's one of the first things you see when you walk through the front door.  Plus, it's very hard to be productive in a messy office. 

This makeover can take a few days, depending on the state of your office. Don't rush it.  Take your time. Maybe you have a smaller office or you just have a desk in the kitchen. Wherever you get work done, it probably needs a little spring cleaning. I'm going to give you some steps today to help you tackle the clutter.

Before Photos:

Yes, that's a baby grand piano in our office. It's has since been moved up to Indiana to my sister in law's house. I loved it, but it gives me so much more space.

Look at my sweet Brooklyn peering behind the piano.  Did she distract you from the mess on the desk and bookcase?  Awful, right?

The storm before the calm. 

Step 1: Like we did yesterday with the pantry, you want to clear everything out.  For me I started with the bookcase.  I took everything off and put it on the floor.  I will be honest and say that the stacks and stacks of books and knick knacks stayed on the floor for a few weeks.  I love organizing, but I got overwhelmed.  I worked on it little by little. 

We have a ton of books.  Brian is an avid reader so we have well over 300 books easily.  I made 3 piles: Keep, Store, Donate.  The keep pile of books went back on the shelves or behind the doors at the bottom of the bookcase.  The stored pile went downstairs in our guest bedroom on a bookshelf.  Finally, I took the donate pile to our local library.  If they can't use them, they sell them to raise money to buy more books.

After photo:  Arranging books shelves is not easy.  Holy cow.  It's still not really finished.  I think I need an interior decorator friend to stop by and help me.

Step 2: Use your wall space.  I made this bulletin board with an old frame and some fabric.  I will write a future post on how you can make one at home.  It was super easy.  I think function can be beautiful.  I keep my blog calendar, my list of when my bills are due and other things that inspire me.

I saw this Aluminum ticket holder, like they use in restaurants, in Martha Stewart's January issue of her magazine. I am going to order one for the wall to hold documents that I need to see on a daily basis. It will help me keep the clutter off the desk.  You can order one here for under $8.
Step 3:  Contain it all.  Once again, pull everything out.  Assess what needs to stay, what needs to be tossed and what needs to be stored in another part of the house.  Once you've done that, then it's time to put it all back in an orderly fashion so it stays clean.  You can find these drawer organizers anywhere.  A great place to start is an office supply store.

Like we did in the pantry yesterday, storage boxes are key.  This is one type of cardboard box that I don't mind having in the house.  These are inexpensive and from my favorite store, IKEA.  They are all labeled so I know where to go when I need to find something.

I keep all of your magazines in these magazine holders from IKEA.  It's hard to tell from the photo but they have a really neat texture to them.  Almost like a burlap.  Oops, I still need to label them.

Contain your bills and receipts.  I took this picture off of Pinterest.  Emily blogs over at Cupcakes and Cashmere.  She has a great office that I adore.

Here is what mine look like.  The box with the lid is Brian's and the one in the crate is where I store all of our bills.  It's jammed pack right now.  I need to go through it from 2011 and get stuff ready to shred.  Alot of places will have a free shred day.  Lowes does it here in town.  They have a company in their parking lot where you can take your bags of papers to shred.  I've done this before and it saves me a ton of time.

After Pictures:

As you can see, I made a spot for the girls to draw and do work when I'm in the office.  It works out great.  We can still be together when I need to get some work done.  Sadly, they are outgrowing the table and chairs, sniff sniff.  I'm going to get them something bigger so they have more room.  This is a great set up if you have toddlers or preschoolers.  It's inexpensive too.  The table is called a Lack table from Ikea (under $10) and the chairs are from there as well ($15 each).

Don't forget to go visit my friend Calie over at Broccoli Cupcake for her green tips on keeping your office clean.


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