This question is often a stumbling block for individuals who are thinking about rearranging their space. While my office circa 2008 looked relatively ordered to an outside observer, the space beneath my desk and inside of my drawers was teaming with all manner of things unsorted. The first thing I did was to visualize the big picture – what would I want my finished space to look like after a major excavation and a series of fine tunings? In The Intention Experiment, McTaggart describes how mental rehearsal can result in self fulfilling prophecy, in that we can program our psyches to experience a different reality – in this case transmitting an image of what we would already like to see completed to our mind’s eye. Whenever I thought of my office, I saw not what I had, but the end result of what I wanted to experience.
I mentally delineated my office into sections, and I performed the following exercises for each:
- I Visualized what that particular area would look like “post” organizing;
- I made a list of items I would have to consolidate, purge, and purchase
- I crafted a daily action plan to help me achieve each work zone’s objectives
I spent about three hours each day for the initial reorganization – sifting, sorting, purging, rearranging, and envisioning some more. When my trash can was full, I left for the day. Although this process was time consuming, a spring cleaning of this magnitude only has to be accomplished once, particularly when you establish guidelines for the types of things you will subsequently allow into your office. One of the primary benefits was that for the first time in twelve years I knew exactly what I had and where it was (see pictures of my “new” office ).
I chose May because the summer months are relatively slow for me. Organizing can of course be spread over a longer time frame if you have only half an hour before or after work to devote to your process. The most important aspect is to have a “mental blueprint” a priori before you begin. Flickr has some great inspirational pictures of organized offices. Some magazine issues I have found helpful in this regard include:
- Storage – Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications, Early Spring 2010
- Secrets of Getting Organized – Better Homes Special Interest Publications, 2010
- Get Organized! Better Homes and Gardens: January 2009
- Small Room Decorating – Country Almanac, Winter 2010
- O Magazine – De-clutter Your Life, March 2010
The Container stores catalogues also provide pictures of streamlined spaces that showcase the latest in organizing techniques and furniture.
The biggest hurdle is deciding that you will conduct your business in a different fashion, and making a concerted effort to keep your promise.