Thursday, January 14, 2010

Decrapification: The office

 087 Every year around this time I start tackling the clutter CRAP in our house. It takes a few weeks for me to get into it. I need to get my mind switched off from the holidays and it takes a while for the piles of crap to reeeeally start getting to me. OK, they always get to me, it’s just whether or not my get-off-yer-booty kicks in and I finally decide to address them.

As much as the basement is giving me the heebies right now, I am making myself hold off on that space till the rest of the house is decluttered. There are constant piles by the basement steps for a few months as I go through each room. Then, when it’s all done, I let myself go after the pit down there. I’m so psyched to get that space even more livable for us this year, I’m trying to get through the rest of the house even quicker!

Last night, the office was calling my name. It is now the one and only room that is completely decluttered and clean and I lurve it! I started by going through every bin in the room. Up till yesterday, I had a bunch of little cigar boxes holding random junk, plus at least four other baskets and bins. As I started sorting through all of the holders-o-crap, I realized it had been ummm….never since I had used most of it. Did I really need three staplers? Five letter openers? Forty-five pencils?

Three glue sticks?

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When I have used a glue stick…uhhhh…NEVER? Well, not since third grade.

Glad I bought tape for Christmas wrapping. Already had FIVE in the office:

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Yesterday morning, I was at the store and bought more correcting tape. Last night, I realized I had four more already sitting at the bottom of a bin:

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Can you puuuuhleeze say it with me? WASTE. OF. MONEY. Oh, and I’m sure I’ll use up the thousands of staples sometime before the year 2020:  072

Or the 34 notepads:

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Ahem. Seriously. I am a declutterer and this is what I had sitting in there. Gah.

I got rid of most of the bins and baskets on the desk. It feels fantastic!:033

I asked myself what I really need within reach at the desk. Writing utensils and something to write on and that’s it! Done. 

For storage, I kept a basket, and took some photo boxes I had and those now comfortably hold everything else I need – tape, label maker (swoon!), electronics, etc:

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I have ROOM on the shelves! :)

I have a major issue with paper in our house. I let it pile up and even put a humongo basket out just so I could pile endless amounts of mail and paper crap in it. Needless to say, piling things two feet deep doesn’t really scream organization. ;)

I got rid of the basket and now use a decorative box in the family room – I’ve been making myself go through every piece of mail that comes in the house immediately and anything that needs to be filed goes straight in the box.

I found the two categories of paper I had piled up most were things the Bub brings home (it’s just preschool and it’s already out of control!) and items I file away in the basement for long term use – keepsake items, instruction manuals, basically that stuff you don’t know what the heck to do with. :) So I found simple $6 containers at my most hated favorite place, Walmart:

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They sit on the top of the bookshelf so there’s no excuse not to put the stinking stuff away!! Once they are full, I’ll be forced to take them to their home and file them away for good. That’s the plan anyway. Let’s see if it works. ;) I have a plan to make super cute labels for my newly decluttered bookshelf.

All the extras I found are going down to the basement – all in one spot, so I know where the heck to look when I need something! And don’t buy more! Stop yelling Sarah! ARGH!

Then, the deep cleaning started – I move (most) everything away from the walls and use the vacuum to get in that area right between the molding and carpet, where all the itty bitties and cat hair hide. (Anyone else hate that area?!):

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Then I wipe down the baseboards if they need it.

I dust everything, including art on the walls, and the little crevices of knick knacks that won’t get cleaned again till next year:

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I clean up any spots on the carpet I’ve been ignoring for a year.  ;) And then do the basics like dusting, window cleaning, etc.

I moved a bookcase to a different spot in here just for a change and it left ruts in the carpet. An easy trick to help raise those spots up is to let ice melt on them:

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I have been known to use a hair dryer to hurry up the process. :)

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It still works but not quite as great as just leaving the ice alone. After it melts and dries, fluff it up a bit and it usually looks as good as new!

Ahhh…a clean, decrapified space is one of my very, very favorite things!!

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It lasted all of three minutes and then the Bub made his mark again. But I had my three minutes!

There is something freeing about decluttering a space. Once you do it – you’ll be hooked! I learned a long time ago that no matter what your living situation – be it a dorm room, a teeny tiny apartment, or a huge house – if it is free of the CRAP, it will make you feel more in control of your life. It will free your mind! It’s a GREAT feeling.

Have you started? ;)

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