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Clean Slate

September 28, 2008

Laura’s Blog Entry

Maybe it’s the chill in the morning air these days, but the urge to clean and organize is in full effect. I reached a boiling point the other day in our home office, tripping over broken printers and bags of schoolwork to be scrapbooked. Time to purge.

You see, the problem wasn’t that things needed to be put away. There just was not a place for everything TO BE put away. Because there just  wasn’t room for everything. Ergo: let the purging begin.

It always amazes me how things pile up. We got rid of tons of stuff a couple years ago by schlepping it to a group yard sale and then donating the leftovers. But my packrat nature always seems to come slinking quietly back in the picture. I hate to get rid of something that might be useful in the future. But then the minimalist in me starts going nuts with the clutter. Eventually the minimalist wins.

So here are some before and after shots.



Does this kind of thing have to be such an arduous process? Does everyone else go about it in the same roundabout fashion as I do? Here’s a rundown of the purge:

First I dragged the broken printers (don’t ask why there was more than one broken printer. It’s too sad to explain) to the basement. Then I cleared space in the basement to house the one we will try to get a refund for (good luck, Neil).

This caused a detour to the corner of the basement that is stockpiling the old stereo equipment that I can’t seem to part with. I cleared some shelves and organized that a bit.

Then I got distracted by an old CD/cassette player in the kitchen and took that downstairs too. Then I realized I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do and got back to the office.

In the office, I took everything off the floor-to-ceiling shelves and vacuumed all the books. Then I rearranged everything to function better. There is a fairly good amount of storage in the room. It just wasn’t being utilized well. Now there is a yarn area:

And an area to process our receipts.

I put together a new system for getting financial stuff into the computer and then filed. It seems to be working better and saving quite a bit of time.

Now I just have to file all the backlog of stuff from when I had a system that wasn’t working:

Ugh. Not looking forward to that. But at least there is a nice clean area to work in. This may seem boring to post the messy stuff here, but it’s more for me than for you. Every day I’ll look at that pile and think, “The internet knows this is sitting in the dining room. Get this cleaned up or the internet will turn on you!”

Here’s the stuff to take to Half Price Books.

We have so many books and are getting pretty strict about what can permanently stay in the house. I try to borrow any current fiction from the library instead of buying. I just don’t need to keep acquiring things. OK, SO MANY things.

I think my favorite change – other than now being able to walk around – is the new location of this drawer/shelf unit.

I bought it from a friend’s moving sale, without a need for it or place for it. But it’s cool, right? I’m going to try to stop buying stuff because it’s cool. Really try. Swear.

So here’s a final comparison.



All this and Inbox Zero? You’d think I was trying to impress Merlin Mann or something.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2008 3:00 pm

    This has nothing to do with the organization you wrote about, but I have to tell you i LOVE the color of the wall. I had a similar color green in the last apartment I lived in. I miss that room.

  2. September 29, 2008 7:22 am

    Thanks Walt. But silly me, after 12 years I’m kind of ready to change it…

  3. September 30, 2008 1:36 pm

    holy crap i’d be happy to make it to the before level, you freak!

    come stay with me? fix the craft pit? love you lots 😀

  4. September 30, 2008 2:11 pm

    I love when you call me a freak. I will stay with you after Daniel Brewer. It’s gonna be a tour of the US. Are you sure you want me in the craft pit, tho? I might never leave.

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