In our second office session, Etienne and I worked on two tall bookcases across from her desk and next to it, the shelves under a counter. Using my tried-and-true professional organizer’s method of working top-to-bottom, we began at the upper left. We moved some things around, including a charming box that her artist daughter Margaux decorated when younger, drawing the family. It and a wood bowl now held glue and other art-oriented supplies.

Next, the middle shelves, that held individual coffee cup servings, filing and other items to be moved. Instead, they became display space for photos and an empty shelf, which will be used when the time is right.

The floor area included a clear lucite holder for files. After discussing its use and potential for gathering clutter, we spoke about filing items in the filing cabinet. Etienne graciously donated it to the upcoming annual Tag Sale of a local women’s chorus.

In the top right, we rearranged books.

The middle shelves held some useful and fun objects, but they were jammed too full. Etienne stressed their importance, since she would want to reach them from her desk chair. Valuable “real estate,” we placed there items that she uses often.

The bottom shelves held some photo albums, which were moved to an upstairs bedroom, where others were stored. More free space!

Etienne had brought up from the basement a small bin with her collection of decorative frogs, made from a variety of materials. I suggested some fun – that we place them around. Her eyes bright, she joyfully clapped her hands. A delightful “reward” for all of her hard work!

The bookshelves transformed, we turned our attention to the lower shelves next to the desk which, again, we’d started calling “office supplies land.” We emptied and stored a box of copier paper, and talked through “where to put what” for peak efficiency. A bit silly, we collected post-it notes in a pretty bowl the family formerly used for baking a favorite treat.

As we finished, I realized that this has been one of my very favorite projects in the six years of working with clients. Why? The room’s energy, which had been stale and stagnant (and Etienne acknowledged), had changed dramatically. It now was fresh, and the room felt like an office, ready to support Etienne’s work – productive and with whimsy. It now bubbled with energy!

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.

Second Step – Transforming an Office!