This Old Office

Since we moved into our house six years ago my office has been a disaster.

This is what it looked like in September 2012.

office 1

Number 7 didn’t exactly help matters.


I kind of cleaned it up, but by November of 2013, it was even worse.


I mostly sort of cleaned it out again, but it didn’t take long for it to get back to the state it’s been in for last few months:


I’ve basically been transferring crap from one area of the house to the office for the last six years.

My other problem is that I have had no organizational system set up.

I’m not a dumb person. And I’m well educated.

But I have not, for the life of me, been able to conquer this damn office. I get so overwhelmed I don’t know where to even start. And then if I can’t do it perfectly, I don’t want to do it at all.

That hasn’t gotten me very far.

And I think it’s really holding me back. Professionally, it’s preventing me from being as successful as I want to be.

There are big things on the horizon for me in the next few weeks and months.

I’m never going to get them done when this is what my work environment looks like.

It’s impossible to function efficiently in a space like this.

And there’s enough craziness going on in my brain as it is. My brain definitely cannot focus or perform the way I need it to in a room that looks like this.

I told you how last week Sue Duvall, a professional organizer and the owner of the Organized Hive, contacted me. And I told you how I asked her if she’d be willing to help me get the office decluttered and organized once and for all.

I also told her I didn’t have any money, but I’d tell the whole world about her if she could help me finally get my shit together.

Thank God she agreed.

What I didn’t mention to Sue was that the house was in active foreclosure.

So we made an appointment for her to come over yesterday morning.

But in the back of my head I was always thinking… Hmmmm. I wonder if this is even worth it. I mean, we may not be living here in a couple of months.

And then Tyrone called on Monday, gave us the (fucking awesome) news, and that’s when I knew I really needed Sue.

And I needed to show this house some respect.

The other thing that’s been holding me back is that I want to relocate my office to another area in the house, and I want to turn the space into a play/work/craft area for the kids.

But again, the not being able to do everything perfectly or exactly the way I envision in my head from the very beginning is really getting in my way.

So this office clean out is just the beginning.

What I see in my head is going to take a while to materialize.

But now I have Sue’s help, and I don’t feel so overwhelmed. I fee like I can actually get the job done.

So Sue arrived right on time on Thursday morning at 8:30.

We got right to work.


We worked hard and quick, but we also had a nice time getting to know each other.

Getting through the stuff on the floor wasn’t really that hard for me. I was ready to purge.

Every once in a while I’d come across something and be on the fence about it though, and it was nice to have an objective person there to help me decide what to do.

So we cleaned out one whole side of the room.

And then we got to the papers around my computer.

This is one of my biggest problems.

I have no system set up for all the mail and paperwork I need to take care of, so it ends up in a few small mountains surrounding me, and when I either can’t take it any more or really need to find something, I (sort of) clean them up.

But it only takes a couple days for it to start piling up again.

And like I told Sue, I feel so stupid for not being able to come up with a system. I’m a smart chick with a masters degree.

I should have been able to get this under control.

My classroom and my desk at school was always neat and organized when I was a teacher.

But I just haven’t managed to do the same thing at home.

So I told Sue that. I told her my brain was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even come up with categories to put everything into.

So she helped me.

She sat next to me, I told her what each individual paper was, and she helped me come up with a system.


And before long, everything was sorted.


I had plenty of trays in the office.

We used them to come up with a temporary system to use in the short term.




And from this:


to this:


We did that in four hours!

We kicked some ass.

As I sit here typing right now, it literally feels lighter in here.

Number 3 came home from school, walked into the office, and said “WHOAH! MOM! This is awesome!”

And then he asked if he could do his homework.

I didn’t have to clear any places so he’d have a surface to work on.

He just got right to work.


We aren’t done.

But in four hours, we made a pretty big dent.

Next Thursday Sue is coming back.

Stay tuned. This transformation will be like watching This Old House.

I have big plans for this space.

Not Your Average Office is in the works.

And it’s gonna be awesome.

Thank you Sue Duvall of the Organized Hive!


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3 replies
  1. renee
    renee says:

    This has given me new hope! We’re moving soon and I don’t want. The new house to become the unorganised disaster our current house is. Inspiration!!!

  2. M McInerney
    M McInerney says:

    Sue Duval is terrific–she is the buddy you need to give you the polite but needed boost in the butt. :-).

    Enjoy your home.


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