Time for a little Spring Cleaning? …

February 14, 2009 § 9 Comments

My home office.
A confessed mess. 

All the following times given are in terms of “average daily“:
Time spent there:  35 minutes 
Time spent on decor: O
Time spent staring out  window lost in “think” time, & sitting on the couch next to Buzz Lightyear: 5 minutes, tops.
Time opening the door and throwing things in there/putting stuff on the table to be filed: 1 minute.
Time spent filing: 20 seconds 
(Compare the above two numbers to see reason for file “failure” rate)
Time writing: 28 minutes, 40 seconds

Clearly bookcases from other rooms in the house should be purloined. But doing that quietly (conspiratorially) would take herculean effort. Besides, they are all in use; some are even arranged by book color, others by category.

Duly note that some (invisible here, but important) storage changes already have been affected (per Jeanie.)

If you sit there and work and stare only at the laptop or out the window, you’re OK.  But should you look around …

You can’t see them, but there’s a race car poster tacked on the ceiling, along with a dozen of those glow-in-the-dark stars. These are left overs from Snarl’s room before he moved to the lower level, taking all the furnishings of course. Indeed, the stars and poster could be said to have sentimental value. The stars can stay. The poster, uh, will need someone taller to pull it down.  


This minor mayhem is totally blocking my chi.
Wait, let me grab my magic wand!!!

So why on earth would I put these pictures out here?
It will incite me to further action. 
There will be some “after” pictures… 
I would assign myself a deadline date, as with my writing but honestly, that’s what is interfering right now with this room’s clean up  –  two serious writing deadlines.
(sigh. The rest of the house is nearly ship shape. My “office” is the orphan; maybe it just needs permission to have bare spots and junk spots … nah.)

How’s your workspace looking? 
Have you managed to get your “office” just right?


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§ 9 Responses to Time for a little Spring Cleaning? …

  • qugrainne says:

    Oh dear! You have quite a disaster on your hands. I just so happened to clean my desk top today. The stack of papers that need filing is literally 18 inches tall. What we need is a secretary!!!!!
    Not in the budget? Not in mine either.
    It looks like you really need more storage space… does it have to be ikea? Go to Target and buy a couple tall book shelves. Go to the resale shop and buy a couple dressers. Paint them all the same color. Do a crackle paint layer. Paint some decorative stuff on top. Voila! Storage. I bought a file drawer from Target and painted it to match my other office furniture. Lovely. You’d never know it cost $20!!
    You’ll probably still need a secretary, though. (Plus I would be willing to bet you could fill a couple garbage bags with the overflow I see there…..) 🙂

  • I must admit, my space is even more disastrous, and at the moment I have closed the door and abandoned it altogether. The shame is overwhelming 😦
    Lately, I write with my lap top carted around the house from room to room, wherever the kids are playing or sleeping…then when it gets really late and everyone is asleep, I drag it up from the side of the bed and squeeze in another hour or so.

  • litlove says:

    If I’m working on something the space around me often gets messy. But that’s okay, because tidying a small area of it (those old time managers suggest you only ever clear for 10 mins a day, but that regular clearing will produce rampant tidiness quicker than you expect) can help to dislodge thoughts that have got jammed in the back of the brain, or stir an old problem around in maybe a new way. So just think how much creative aid you’ve been storing up! For just the right moment, of course.

  • Becca says:

    I was just looking around my office/guest room and thinking I need to have some company so I have a good reason to clean it up! It tends to become the repository for everything I’m not prepared to deal with.

    Good luck with your tidying!

  • laylou says:

    I wish I had an office.
    I want an office.
    But my office is my bedroom. And my bedroom is my office. It’s pretty much just my laptop.
    But I know that when I have an office I’ll have a messy room in no time. I think, anyway!

  • lalber says:

    Hah! This is great. Despite the comfortable mess, have to say that I’m impressed that you average over 28 minutes of useful writing out of every 35. Maybe the chi isn’t that bad?

  • jeanie says:

    I am so glad your space and mine are sympatico! I try and try. I sort. I file. I hide in the closet. I put under the table. It’s still nasty, despite my best organizational attempts. But, at least we attempt! And it think it is a grand space. Cozy with that sofa and with things you clearly love. There’s much to be said about that.

    Rick and I often have this conversation about our respective messes. We hate each others, yet we manage to be reasonably productive in our own. And I can tell you from experience that if it ever gets all put away — I never can find it!

  • Kim L says:

    My office looks real similar at the moment. I actually don’t use the office because I need to buy a new desk to make it workable. Hmmm… I really need to buy a new desk… anyhow. Its much easier to shut the door than to clean it.

  • oh says:

    I think I need a personal shopper more than a secretary! I could send him/her out on the supply buying mission!

    Scarlet – It’s a good thing we have doors on our offices, right?

    Litlove – IT’s true; I have always found that moving around (or going for a drive) unleashes the next round of writing. So, in that vein, I took everything out of the room and into the hall. Came up with some cutlines for the article in progress! Wonder what ideas will come when I start cleaning up the hallway? Oh, but it’s lovely and stark in here now!

    Becca – You’re absolutely right! throwing a party or inviting people over always gets the house shipshape. At least on the first floor. (this little office is on the second. But I think once it’s in shape, I may have my writer friends come up here for a change.)

    Laylou – There are plenty of writers who work from their bedrooms, even from their beds. So keep going. You do have that sunroom – I could help you transform it if you like.

    Lisa – It’s true. As long as I don’t look up from the keyboard I’m all right!

    Jeanie – Whew, you made me feel better! That’s pretty funny that you and Rick eye one another’s offices with a certain distaste. and you’re right; if I file everything or put it in drawers, I’ll forget it. However, I am just now labeling some of the plastic drawers. But the file cabinet is another story. Yeah, more shelves would do the trick. More shelves, indeed!

    Hi, Kim – Aha! Another colleague who closes the door. It’s simple. It works. I”m shutting this down now and closing the door (and stumbling through the hallway where I’ve stacked stuff that I’m throwing out of here! TBC …

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