Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trouble Spot Tuesday: The Office Edition

Ok, so remember when I wrote this… Note where I said that I would have the office sorted out by December 13. Review. Discuss amongst yourselves. I’ll wait.

Well, I actually did it and finished on the 13th. I wasn’t able to manage 30 minutes a day, but instead took 2 weekends. Not the WHOLE weekend, but a good part of 2 afternoons. It really was a mess. Having just moved, sold a house, then bought a new house with all the related paperwork and accumulated junk that accompanies those things, we had a lot of paper to sort out.

I moved my files from the old metal 2 drawer file cabinet to a larger 3 drawer file cabinet. Everything is organized by drawer and labeled so I can find it. I have a hard time throwing things away, especially paperwork, because I keep convincing myself that ONE DAY the “identity” police are going to come and want to know if I had insurance on my 1989 Mercury Topaz back in 1996. Stupid, I know.

However, I’m very proud that I was able to produce, what is now affectionately known as Mount Shredmore. And, funnily enough, this is not the first time this year I’ve produced a huge pile for shredding. This is about the 3rd or 4th time. Scary, I know. I do shred all receipts and any mail that comes with our name on it (esp. credit card offers etc), so it’s not ALL old filing.

I’m planning one evening this week to get out “old shreddy” (actually, this is “new” shreddy because I wore old shreddy out) and work my way through Mount Shredmore. I have to do it when the kids aren’t awake because they are fascinated by it and I can’t stop my overactive imagination from panicking and picturing their adorable little fingers turning into pulp.

So, I kept one bill from each of the utilities and insurance from our old house – and have done the same for any place that we’ve ever lived, just to have it as a record. Obviously I have all of our tax returns and assorted documentation. I have sorted receipts and manuals for any big purchases or electronics. I keep almost all the receipts and manuals for any baby/kid gear have because I know a lot of these things can be passed on or sold and I like to include the manuals as well. We also kept medical information, new and old mortgage papers, insurance information, etc. The basics really.

Hubster sorted out a bunch of his electronics and computer stuff (he’s IT, he can’t help himself from hording) and actually got rid of a bunch of stuff. Stunning, I know. We cleaned out the cds and condensed them down to one storage case that is divided by drivers/backups/programs. Hubster also hung some his pictures. It looks like a REAL office.

I sorted out the book shelf and cleaned the closet up as well. Hubster sort of rearranged things on his desk a bit and growled at me, like a dog protecting his dinner bowl, when I tried to tidy his desk up further. We don’t always work well together, but he’s very protective of his desk. Fortunately, I don’t need to use his computer much anymore now that I have my own so I choose not to fuss too much about the desk area. The whole point of this the office is that it is meant to be his “man space”. However, to a small degree it is a shared space, so I can keep the part that I need to use tidy.

The result is that we can find our respective things, generally things are out of boxes; except for those that belong in boxes, we can see the floor and there isn’t an inch thick layer of dust on everything.

It feels good to have actually accomplished something I set out to do and my Mum, whom I’m sure nodded and said “Mmm,hmmm, yeah. Like THAT will get happen” when I said I was going to get the office done before they arrived, (she knows me well) will be stunned by its’ orderliness on Sunday. That’s if the germies that are threatening to take over our house don’t knock her out at the front door.

I do feel positive that I can maintain this area. This is more like the “archive” area, a place where I store files I don’t need access to very often.

Before Photos. (I know, you think we're total slobs)

After Photos:

Closet After: note the bulging file box of paper to be shredded aka: Mount Shredmore

The bookshelf all pretty like.

In my kitchen, I have a desk area that is another filing area that I need to work on. It’s considered my “Command Central” or rather, should be called my “Disaster Zone” right now. However, I need to think about this area more and because it’s a separate space, it’s going to be another Trouble Spot Tuesday post – or two. If you have any tips on how you deal with YOUR daily paper and “stuff” influx, please SHARE.

Update on the Recycling version of Trouble Spot Tuesday: this system is working VERY well for us. We had our first recycling pickup last Tuesday and taking the trash/recycling out to the curb was so easy. 2 trips and we were done. Despite Hubster pulling my leg and putting paper in the plastics/glass bin and me giving him the 4th degree about the new system, even he’s been good about putting it away.

A big part of the success of the system is my own drive to MAKE myself (and anyone else) take the recycling to the appropriate spot. I MAKE myself open the door to the garage to throw the papers in the bin, rather than just pile it up on the counter in the laundry room to take out “later”. I’m trying to beat down the “pit and pile” person and retrain myself to be more efficient.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Okay! I appropriately impressed. Job well done, and you'll save yourself time in the end 'cause you won't have to look everywhere for 'stuff' (said like a true organizationalacholic). We've already implemented the vitamin defences...hopefully they'll work. Now, about that desk.....