Last week I explained how I jumped on the Organize-a-Thon bandwagon via Love & Renovations in an effort to tame the cluttered areas of our home. Heck, it needed to get done anyway so why not, right? I started off with the guest bedroom, since house guests were en route at that time, and it was a sweet, sweet feeling to finally get that room in order. Now I’m kinda gung-ho about making every other room in the house just as neat and tidy because frankly, it makes life just a little bit better. So last weekend, I focused on the office and even enlisted Jamie’s help since this is primarily his space. Let the shameful “before” photos commence.
Our office is located in the smaller of the two lower level bedrooms (see lower level tour here). Much like our guest room, several boxes and miscellaneous items ended up in here on move-in day and weren’t touched since.
A decent portion of the mess stems from massive amounts of unfiled paperwork. By the looks of his desk you can tell Jamie isn’t the best filer in the world. I don’t have much room to talk though — I’m in charge of the bills and filing the invoices afterwards, but for the past several months I wasn’t doing so hot on that second part.
In this corner, we have a larger bookcase housing our combined book collection but it’s barely accessible thanks to all the nonsense piled up on the floor in front of it.
Here’s the closet where we keep our filing cabinet and where you can see a small fraction of those aforementioned papers + documents yet to be filed. Plus a lot of other junk, too.
To the right of the desk, we have a small, overstuffed bookcase displaying Jamie’s disorganized books, papers, and model-making supplies along with a collection of his dust-covered knick-knacks. Just lovely. I need to store a Swiffer down here and teach Jamie how to use it.
Clearly this room needed a lot of work, and we started it off by going through the piles and piles of paper. Old stuff got shredded and trashed, new files were made and labeled, and everything found a place. Pretty soon our messy office closet was looking like this:
I set a couple of metal trays atop the filing cabinet for papers waiting to be filed and propped up a ribbon board behind for tucking in smaller paper pieces for quick + easy access. We also went through all the boxes in the closet, unpacking the currently-used stuff and placing the infrequently-used stuff on the top shelf. Jamie’s backpacks were moved up and out of the way by hanging them on the rack.
The messy, little bookcase was dusted and organized. We found a place for all of the knick-knacks thanks to a couple of floating shelves, freeing up space for some additional lighting. And yes, that’s a framed schematic of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the wall a la Star Trek: Next Gen, one of Jamie’s fave sci-fi series. Don’t hate — it’s geek chic.
Jamie did a fine job of clearing off his desk…then I came in behind him with the Swiffer and dusted like a madwoman. Things are looking much neater minus the papers, dust, and knick-knacks, no? As you can see, we hung a few more pieces on the wall — our degrees and this cool, science-y print I bought/framed for him.
The area around the big bookcase was tidied up as well. I deshelved several books I’m ready to get rid of and put them in a box for future yard sale fodder, making way for new books to add to our collection.
This is one of my fave new touches to the room. Whilst sorting through the clutter, we came across a wide, charcoal gray man-scarf I crocheted for Jamie when we were in college (which he wore maybe once or twice). I then had the bright idea of turning it into a nifty lumbar pillow. I simply folded the scarf in half, stitched around the outside with some black yarn, and stuffed it with poly fiberfill. Clever, eh? I thought so — it reminds me of those pricey knit pillows you see at West Elm, etc. And I’m jazzed that my painstaking crochetwork is being put to good use. Yeah, I kinda love my little creation so it may not remain in Jamie’s office chair for long.
So one more time, just for fun, here was the before:
Ick. Now, the after:
Ah, much better. So that’s where we’re at with the office so far. Like many of the rooms in our house, we’ve got a ways to go before we can call this space “done” (painting, new carpet, and window treatments to name a few) but it’s feeling much more like a real room now that it’s organized. It’ll really be awesome when, in the not-too-distant future, we add a large corner desk that we both can use simultaneously. The quantity and nature of the knick-knacks will be reevaluated at that time.
P.S. If you happen to be organizing any rooms/closets/drawers in your home this month, send your info to Amanda at Love & Renovations and she will feature your space in an Organize-a-Thon recap post the first week of March.