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Spring Cleaning | The Office
Friday, March 15
I am a messy cleaner. I tend to make things a million times worse during the cleaning process. I take things off shelves and tables and dump them on the floor. Then sometimes I decide I need to rearrange the entire room. And then things just get worse from there. Lucky for me, though, they always get better. There is a method to my madness. The husband, however, doesn't understand how my mind works. Just the other night, he came home to this:
That would be our office. I was sitting at the computer, waiting for Danny to get home from school, and all of a sudden decided that our office needed some major organization. Halfway through, I decided that our desk needed to be on the opposite side of the wall. Danny got home around 11pm. He saw what I was doing, shook his head, and kept on walking to the room. Oh well. At least he doesn't question it anymore.
Did anyone notice the plate and spoon in both pictures? I have to have food when I clean. Weird, right? Cleaning makes me hungry, I guess. So does studying. In college I always studied at home versus at the library - I liked having the kitchen nice and close.
Cleaning out the office took me a good two days. I had to go out and buy a few things to consolidate a lot of our desk items and at one point Danny needed to get on the computer. I decided to take a break amidst all the junk and talk to him while he was doing med school stuff.
Soon, though, I started making headway. Originally I had one bookcase in the office closet but decided to bring it out. Slowly but surely, I sorted through all of the junk and the room started to get organized.
After sorting through a lot of junk and rearranging every little thing in that entire office, I was finally done.
If this room could be my dream office, it would look a lot different. But right now, we're working with what we've got. And honestly, as long as a space is organized, I can wait for it to look the way I want it to.
Next up was our guest bedroom. There were a lot of things that I had taken out of the office because I believed they didn't really belong in there. I didn't really "take them out" of the office as much as I threw them into the hallway. This is another reason why Danny isn't always fond of my cleaning bouts - they usually aren't limited to just one space. I like it, though. It forces me to get more stuff cleaned up.
Anyways, after the office purging and reorganizing, our guest bedroom looked liked this:
This room is more of an all-purpose room. We store bigger items (like luggage and Danny's guitar cases) in here, all of our winter coats and jackets, along with med school notebooks that aren't needed right now. We use it as a guest bedroom when Danny's parents come stay with us and one day it will be turned into a nursery for our little kiddos.
This room didn't take as long. A lot of things just needed to be taken down to the garage or donated to Goodwill. This is what it looked like after everything was nice and cleaned up:
I still have a few more spaces I want to purge and organize. I'm trying to do everything before this Arizona summer heat sneaks up on us. Our house gets so....hot during the summer months out here. I can't stand to walk out in the garage for two seconds, let alone spend a bunch of time moving around and cleaning when it's 80 degrees inside and 120+ degrees outside.
Need some motivation to get a room in your house clean and organized? Here are some tips and tricks that help me:
Set a Day to Start
If you're having trouble even starting, set a specific day and time to work on it. Pencil it in on your calendar. Add it to your email/phone calendar. Set a reminder/alarm on your phone! Set aside some time specifically to organize - the more specific you can get, the better. If you're organizing your office, say that on Monday you'll clean off your desk, Tuesday you'll organize the bookcase, and on Wednesday and Thursday you'll tackle the paperwork. Just start somewhere, and then record that starting point on your calendar or daily "to-do" list to help give you direction and some accountability.
Grab a Friend!
Almost anything can be made easier with a friend. It's also good to have someone to offer a fresh perspective - they can help with deciding how to organize a bookcase or how to store a bunch of random items. Friends are also instrumental in helping you decide what to keep and what to get rid of. You want to grab a friend who will be ok with telling you to throw something away if you don't need to hold onto it anymore.
Have a "Trash" Pile and a "Donate" Pile Set Up Before You Even Start
The biggest part of organizing is getting rid of things you don't need anymore. I'm a big proponent of getting rid of stuff you don't need anymore. Some people like to hold onto things because they think that they might be able to use them someday - my motto is "When in doubt, throw out." Obviously, you are going to be the only one who will be able to determine what you truly need and what you don't, so keep that in mind. Don't get rid of things you do need to hold onto. But definitely do not hold on to things that can be either thrown away or donated.
I like to grab two big trash bags - I keep them separate so I know which is which. One is for everything that is immediately going into the dumpster, and the other is for items I will immediately donate. Usually, I make two big piles in front of each bag before actually tossing items in - I like to go through them one more time just to make sure I didn't accidentally throw anything important into "trash" or "donate." If you have someone helping you, you might want to add this step in case they might have tossed in something you could have overlooked.
Do Something to Take Your Mind Off of the Task
I like putting on some music from Pandora. Or I'll hook up my iPod and play an audiobook. Every now and then I'll turn on Hulu, but whenever I turn it on, my 2-hour cleaning session turns into a 5-hour cleaning session. I tend to spend most of my time paying attention to what is happening on "Psych" or "Castle" than actually cleaning. But do whatever works for you. Even if watching a few shows causes your cleaning to last a little bit longer, at least it's helping ease the task and you're getting something done.