Home Organization 101: The Office ~ Part 1

Last week was the office in the Home Organization 101 challenge. I’ve had a cold slow me down for the past two plus weeks so not much in the house has been looked at. Yesterday I got the kids to help me do a good cleaning of the house. Today I’m going to look at the
office which is also my craft room. Since it’s so overwhelming for me to go in there I’ve decided to do it by corner and/or craft.

MEMORY KEEPING
This morning it’s the scrap booking corner. For my memory keeping friends, what system do you have for keeping your to do projects ready but organized? Right now I have a Rubbermaid bin with the projects organized and stacked in freezer bags ready for me to grab to work on.

I also place a grab bag close to the door for when I am going to be somewhere or have a few moments to take it and work on it. I’d love to hear what you do.

Believe it or not this took a few hours. I took all the papers out and organized it by child and by year. The “ready to go” bag is now sitting on top of the bin to get it off the floor. I’m not sure if I should organize the memories or continue to organize the office. At least it’s all contained until the house gets decluttered.

 
TAX PAPERS
I have a file drawer for our tax papers. I have up to 2010 organized. I have had a stack of the 2011 papers sitting in front of the cabinet all year. Realising that tomorrow is October 1st I decided to get the suckers in the drawer to get ready for the 2012 papers. This will force me to clear out the main cabinet I use for our current year and when I pay the bills. It’s getting a little difficult to close.

Thankfully I’ve had a fantastic system of every week when I pay my bills I add them to a master Excel spreadsheet with all my tax information. Once every month (or so) I will consolidate the bills that go with the credit card bill and clear that file up. It’s been working very well and now the end of the year taxes are not as overwhelming – especially since I have two home businesses to work out.

FILE CABINET
Since I’m making awesome progress in the tax papers I think I’ll do the last two file drawers. This feels amazing to get it done! I just wished that you could see the difference the organized files make when you walk into the room. At least the 2011 tax paper pile is no longer on the floor and the file cabinet looks a lot shinier since it got a good dust and polish.

No photos of the tax papers and file cabinet – they are not very fun. But it did get 1 large bag and 2 shredded grocery bags of paper out of the office đŸ™‚

This is the next corner that I tackled. It is the closet with the kids crafts, my home business and general office supplies and some gift wrap items in it. Wowzas it was scary!

KIDS CRAFTS
Crafts have a way of breeding. For one project you purchase an entire bag of supplies and you are left with a lot more than the project calls for. Then new projects come along and you forget that you have other items so you buy different ones. I’m pleased to have gone through the supplies. I have come up with a grocery bag to donate (I’ll never use that stuff again!) and I have fit the rest of the items into a milk crate. I will need to creatively put a few items out at a time for the kids to use up. My daughter loves to do crafts so I should be able to encourage her with the supplies handy.

I love how it is all in this one milk crate now. Easy for me to lift and take out when we want to plan a craft. This is sitting in a tidy corner inside the closet.

HOME BUSINESS
I run a Mary Kay business. Since I joined in 1999 I have done it in varying degrees. It’s time to turn over some product and get rid of some of the business supplies that will soon be redundant for anyone in business not just for myself. I think I may try to hit up eBay though I’ve never sold anything on there. I’m thinking a few lots would be better than the painful categorizing and listing of individual items plus I think you have to pay a percentage per listing. Any eBay users out there who can pass on some tips?

Can you see a difference? Hard to believe I spent hours in there! Well the biggest difference is that I could actually step in front of the closet to take a photo. You can’t see it in the picture but two of the shelves are near empty to make room for my lovely fabric display.
One of the participants of the 101 Challenge did this to her sewing room and I am DROOLING! I WILL do this to my closet (at least to one shelf). I would definitely be motivated to sew with this at my sights every day!! She also has yarn in the baskets above. Heaven!

Phew! That was a long day. The before and afters don’t seem like much because it’s all “hidden” things that I’ve done. It still feels like an enormous project but I know that there were hours getting things cleared up. Here is a photo of what is going OUT of the house to make me feel better. I also have items that I am selling/donating and am just waiting for the right location to drop it off.

Left is my recycle pile, middle is my to sell pile, right is my donate pile.

Not sure what I’ll be organizing tomorrow but you can bet that I’ll be taking photos to share. It keeps me motivated.

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