Posted in Office, Success Stories

Progress on a Work in Progress

Willow and I continued transforming her home office. She and her husband had removed the desk from its position, placing its two sections of drawers in the center of the room. They muscled the sleeper sofa into the desk’s former spot.

Room clutter before we tacked it and rearranged some of the furniture
Before
An interim step

Now, she and I placed the desk into the corner, facing into the room. (Much better feng shui!) We put the desk chair behind it. She remarked that it looked very corporate. I agreed, though was more concerned that she would be able to get in and out easily enough. Yes!

A light bulb moment… I suggested removing the curtains. They weren’t really necessary, as the window looks out on some of their acreage. The sleeper sofa now was on the opposite side of the room. Willow agreed. We removed them. What a difference!

Before
The desk and chair in place, the curtains removed
After

We spoke about the sleeper sofa in its new spot. The long low bookcase now next to it might not be the right piece. She would think more about that. There might be a more suitable piece elsewhere in the house, or in her other office.

Another interim step

Oh, wait! The above photo shows the cubes/shelves after we worked on them. In that part of the process, I suggested my professional organizer’s time-tested method of working top-to-bottom. Willow looked a bit tentative. We tackled it. She added cards to others in the middle of a lower shelf. We grouped kazoos in a ceramic cup. We set aside crafting items for the basement, where there’s enough space and light for her to comfortably work on them. And, so it went, until the cubes were organized. Some were empty – yay!

The cubes/bookcase before we organized them
Before
The floor and cubes/bookcase cleared and organized
After

As we finished, Willow was relieved, and also maybe a bit surprised. Success! After a break for a couple of weeks, so she can catch her breath a bit, we’ll work more, elsewhere in the house.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Bedroom, Crafts Room, Office, Success Stories

Office, Art Storage, and Guest Space Changes Begin!

A room in Willow’s house is intended to serve several functions. It’s her home office. It stores art projects and supplies. It also could be a place for guests to sleep. That would require moving heavy furniture, which we would do at a later time.

As we got acquainted, I suggested that we start in one area of the room and work our way around it. It’s my professional organizer’s tried-and-true method. It keeps us on task and on track.

We started by the door. A low table with paper storage, which had been a “freebie,” was partly used. We put some more paper in it, then Willow changed her mind. Out of the room completely! It might be used elsewhere in the house, or maybe it would end up by the side of the road, for someone else. We put its notebooks into a bin. We cleared the dresser, put some art supplies into a corner bookcase, set other items in the trash, and still others into recycling. We repeated the process with a stand in the corner, which Willow set aside to place in the interior green house. We also removed the white cubbies, which also might be used elsewhere in the house. We cleared the floor, too. I placed a tall stool in the corner.

A cluttered corner area
Before
Corner clutter cleared!
After

Our next focus area was a low bookcase, which held a few plants, including a decades-old jade plant! On its lower shelves – bins and papers. We went through the papers, putting some into recycling, others into the handy bins. Willow would review others.

A busy and cluttered bookcase
Before
Cleared bookcase clutter - and the floor, too!
After

With our remaining time, we cleared the sleeper sofa. We removed the “TV tray” and a small table. We cleared the table next to the sofa. Breathing room! Willow still would be able to reach items needed for her work, which might be enhanced by the cleared space.

Too many tables and clutter
Before
A much more peaceful-looking sofa area
After

Next time, we will continue on our way around the room, as its transformation takes shape.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Crafts Room, Office, Success Stories

An Office/Crafts Room Transformation Begins!

Jess is a busy professional. She also loves crafts of many kinds. As has been true for many other people spending more time at home during COVID-19, her workspace became cluttered. She, her dear friend Lisa, and I started on its transformation.

Where to begin? The room has a large worktable, a desk, shelves, two beds, and more. We chose the worktable. We would work from one side to the other. With Jess looking a bit apprehensive, I reassured her that all would be okay. We moved the little flower pots to the window sill. We added pens to the cubby holes on the far right corner, added yarn to other storage in the room.

As always, it was a matter of carefully considering each item – how often used, how easy to reach. It’s a process, which sometimes calls for later tweaking. There’s more to do in the room.

As we finished, I suggested a homework assignment for Jess. A somewhat tough one, I asked her to decide which bed to remove from the room. It would allow for more badly-needed storage. Onward to next time!

The worktable before we cleared its clutter
Before
The worktable ready for action and fun!
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced, and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Office, Success Stories

The Office Sewing Table Rescued!

Jessica’s family lives in a stately house dating from 1830. She often works at home, since her workplace is a 90-minute commute away – each way! After discussing some de-cluttering and organizing ideas for the kitchen, we spent the rest of our first session together in her home office. Some clutter was “bugging” her.

Overall, the room wasn’t bad, though her sewing table was a “hot mess.” Its disorder sometimes made it difficult to concentrate on her senior management-level job. We started at one end, clearing the space, and placing sketching paper into containers for her partner’s and sons’ enjoyment. Other items were discarded or recycled.

The cluttered sewing table, without room for even a needlle!
Before
The sewing table in Jessica's office, as she saw it from her desk
Before

 

The sewing table's side view. after we cleared its clutter
After

 

The full-on view, clutter free!
After

Next, we focused on the area under the table, which held drawing paper and other materials for creating and storing art. We consolidated the paper, so that the three boys could get to it easier. We also added to two large portfolios, “anchoring” them so that their contents would stay upright.

 

Bins and other containers "wanting" organizing!
Before

 

Newly-organized bins and other storage
After

When we finished, Jessica’s bright smile was a delight to see! We spoke about where we might work next. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Office, Success Stories

Clearing Office Clutter and a Kitty “at the Beach”

Anja and I worked in the office/library. We cleared the floor, tossing some items, recycling others, and adding others to shelves. The kitty was so pleased with the room’s transformation that the sun streaming in through the window made it feel like the beach. Aw…

 

Lots of clutter to clear here!
Before
The clutter cleared, the kitty just had to lie in the sun "at the beach!"
After

Next, we worked on a tall bookcase.  Again, we tossed some items, and consolidated others. The result – better organization, and even some empty space! That can be especially restful for the eyes.

A bookcase before we cleared its cluttered shelves
Before
Clutter-free bookshelves
After

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Closet, Office, Success Stories

Touching Everything in the Office Closet

Nancy wrote, asking for some help. Would I be available to clear clutter in her office closet? Of course!

As always, I suggested that we start in one corner, and work our way around, top-to-bottom. One goal of hers – to make office supply items like rubber bands and post-it notes easily accessible, so that it would be easy to replenish those supplies in her desk. She also wanted to “touch every item,” to be sure if it was a “keeper” or not.

We did exactly that, also discussing “what to put where.” Nancy is relatively short, and I wanted to avoid her having to use a step stool too much. (I’m also short, though taller than she is, and I don’t like having to “streeetch” to reach top shelves.)

Office closet shelves before we cleared them
Before

 

Shelves organized with items easier to reach
After
Before
After

 

When we finished, Nancy was relieved. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Office, Success Stories

Bearing Witness as His Lifeguard

John is transforming an upstairs room in his house. It’s full of papers from various work aspects of his life. The goal is to turn it into a bedroom for staging, as he prepares to sell the house.

We are going through many, many papers. Some of it is difficult, and emotionally tough, going for him. At one point, he said that I’m his lifeguard. That’s one of the greatest compliments I’ve gotten during my 7+ years of working as a professional organizer. I also love the water, so it resonates on that level, too.

John is also working hard at parting with some other objects that are emotionally draining. One is a painting, showing the large back yard behind his house. It was a gift from someone who no longer is in his life. He looked stressed as we discussed it. He wants the memory of the yard. My lifeguard’s suggestion – take some photos of it, and donate the painting. His frown softened into a smile.

This is some of the most deeply satisfying work I’ve done since establishing
De-clutter Me! It’s not about me, though very much is about supporting clients as we work through whatever brought us together. In this case, it’s to help John as he leaves behind some difficult reminders. More accurately, some are going into the wood stove and providing heat! Benefits abound!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Office, Success Stories

Transforming an “In-law” Apartment

Cheryl and Tom live in an “in-law” apartment attached to their family’s house. It had become cluttered with paper, CDs, books, clothing and other items.

Cheryl and I spent a session together clearing her secretary-style desk and chair. We started on its top, clearing a small files holder. I suggested permanently removing it, since it attracted clutter. Nicely, her daughter Rachel said that she could use it. Good recycling! We all smiled.

There were various cards for holidays, get well, and other wishes. We separated them into subject piles, and gathered all of the envelopes. Rather that use (read: waste!) our time together on matching them, I put the envelopes into relative size order. Cheryl would put all, along with boxed Christmas cards, in a container, before placing it in the basement. When the time comes to send a card, it will be easy to choose the right one, and an envelope, too.

We collected bills to be paid and placed them in one of the cubbie holes, checkbooks in another. Also clearing the big chair nearby, we placed medical information in a lower drawer. We may refine that but, for the moment, it works.

We collected various cords and chargers, and placed them on the floor next to a power strip. We added some documents to the plastic portable file box on the floor next to the desk.

The home office secretary before we cleared its clutter
Before
The home office secretary cleared of its clutter, and cubbie sections made available for storage
After

What’s next? Tom’s desk? Books and/or CDs? That’s to be determined but, for the moment, Cheryl was smiling. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Office, Success Stories

A Quick Office Rescue!

I taught an evening class about de-cluttering at the local high school. Renate attended it. A couple of weeks later, on a Friday night, she and I both volunteered at a concert. She emailed late that night, after returning home. I saw her note quite early the next morning. Her husband’s children would arrive the next morning (Sunday), and she hoped for last-minute help in her home office. Would I be available at all that day (Saturday)? I emailed back. Sure!

One side of the office has some shelves, cupboards and drawers. As previously described in the night class, I suggested that we work top-to-bottom. We started in the cupboard at the window end. Right away, she said that she would like to move a bowl from the top shelf, since she hardly ever sees it. In an easy fix, we moved it to the top shelf of the cupboard closest to the door. Likewise, we moved a pretty file box between the two shelves. It would hold photos. We added them as we worked.

Moving down through the shelves near the window, we consolidated information about her daughter who lives in the Midwest. We also placed in them other files that Renate uses often, ensuring that she can reach them easily from her desk chair.

Next, we focused on the shelves nearest the door. On the second shelf down, to the left, we placed books for her book groups. To the right, we put greeting cards in two low plastic tubs, then collected together holiday cards, stamps and address lists. It will soon be time for all of them!

On the third shelf down, we consolidated store coupons to the left, with diet and nutrition materials to the right.

On the bottom shelf, we collected printed information about several topics, placing them in cardboard magazine holders, though turned around, so Renate could use them easier.

Next, the counter. We placed bills in the wire bin. I put some CDs in a hallway bookcase, with some others.

One side of the office before we cleared its clutter
Before
Office clutter and visual noise gone!
After

 

Our time together was flying by. How to best use the rest of it? We quickly decided to focus on the area around the computer. We cleared the clutter on both sides of it, adding materials to already established, or newly created “homes.” We set aside other stuff for the trash, or to be recycled or shredded.

As we finished, Renate assured me that she would be able to tackle the filing that remained, which she did after I left. The “after” photo is a bit dark. Oops! You’ll be able to see her great work, though.

Office view with clutter
Before

 

A bit dark, but we cleared most of the office clutter
After

As she emailed afterwards, Renate and her husband Wayne were “awed,” thanking me profusely. Not necessary! Where will we work next? That’s to be determined but, now, her office was organized and looked “presentable” for the family visit. Success!

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.

Posted in Office, Success Stories

The Goal – A Minimalist Office

Anja works at home, which is on a farm with a bicycle business workshop, too. She would like her office to look as minimalist as possible. To “illustrate” her point, she showed me the Airbnb space next to it. It looked welcoming, though spare. That would be our goal. It would take two three-hour sessions together. In the second one, we were joined by nine-week-old sibling kittens. As we worked, Anja named them Ping and Pong. They were lots of fun to watch!

I suggested that we start with one spot in the large room, then work our way around it. First up – the closet. Its shelves held coffee cups, vases, a small non-working appliance. On the small table sat a small, dorm-size, fridge. A vacuum was on the floor.

We removed the cups and vases for rinsing or washing, set aside the appliance. We dusted the shelves and vacuumed the floor space.

The office closet before we cleared its clutter
Before
The office closet with empty shelves!
After

Next, we looked at a high shelf, which was mostly empty. Excellent! It practically “begged” to be used. Would it be too high for Anja to reach? No. Also excellent! We would place things there as we worked our way around the room.

A high shelf we would use!
Before

We organized the marble table surface. Anja explained that she likely will hire someone to work with her so that, when the time is right, having that space clear will be a big help. We separated papers to discard, file or recycle.

A second desk area before we cleared it
Before
A more welcoming work space with visual noise gone!
After

We next focused on Anja’s desk, which faces the marble table top. We put some things away in its drawers and in others, which were under the printer. Easy peasy!

The desk before we cleared its clutter
Before
The desk ready for work!
After

Moving our way around the room, we organized the top of the three-drawer filing cabinet. Anja uses those in the box on its top very often, so she wanted to leave it there. Okay! The top of the antique wood storage piece held some binders, which we placed on the high shelf across the room. We set aside books for recycling or to go into the house. When the top was cleared, I suggested that Anja consider placing a big, low-light-tolerant plant there – to prevent clutter’s return. (I did that on part of my kitchen counter a long time ago, to control my own behavior. It works!)

The filing cabinet and wood storage piece before we cleared their clutter
Before
The un-cluttered filing cabinet and wood storage piece
After

As we finished our work around the office, it was much neater. The high shelf was half-full. Anja was smiling, and Ping and Pong were still delightful.

The shelf put to good use, with room to spare!
After

Where will we work next? That’s to be determined. It will be in a few weeks.

About De-clutter Me!
De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been changing chaos to calm since 2013.