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Thursday, February 4, 2010

28 Day Organizing Challenge: Plan to Organize

Our current task is to PLAN. I'm hearing a list involved there, and I love lists. Laura has posted some questions for us to consider about the challenge that we're undertaking.

Let me start by introducing you to my project with a little tour of my computer room. (Brace yourself!) I have to admit that the room looks worse in-person than the pictures show.

The left side of the room:

I tried to do a little panoramic view, but I didn't take the pictures at the same angle. I think you get the idea, though the piles seem smaller in these pictures.

The middle of the room:

I sort of pasted together two pictures to give you a better view. I didn't use Photoshop, so it's a little distorted. But I think you get a pretty good idea of what it looks like.

The right side of the room:

I couldn't get these to match up for the life of me! So you'll just have to imagine one continuous space here.

The extra shelves:

I couldn't get back far enough to give you the full view. Just imagine more of the same!

Now, on to the questions that will help form the plan.

  1. What do I want the purpose of my room or area to be?
    I want to be able to do all of our computer work in this room. That includes blogging, online grading, designing and making invitations and stationery, selling items on eBay, designing graphics and Flash animations (my husband), and personal email/games/video viewing. I want to be able to do some very basic scrapbooking, and I want to keep our household paperwork organized in this room. I guess its purpose is a home office and work room.
  2. What do I need in or near the room to serve that purpose?
    Computers, printers, cardstock/paper/envelopes for invitations, replacement toner cartridges, filing cabinets, filing supplies, guitars/music, postage scale for shipping orders, paper shredder for credit card information, mailing supplies, eBay merchandise to be sold/packing materials, scrapbook materials
  3. What can I remove from the room?
    Amplifier (not usually used), outdated files, Emma's art supplies, Zhu Zhu Pets activity house, more outdated files, larger shipping boxes, even more outdated files
  4. What problems do I see with the room?
    I have to admit that it's pretty small for the tasks I'd like to accomplish, but I believe it can be done if I streamline what's in the room. One of the biggest problems is paper, paper, and more paper. My filing cabinet is full, so there's not room to file current paperwork. My cupboards are filled with my invitation/stationery business materials (carstock, envelopes, etc.), but there are things in them that I know I'll never use. We're also using folding tables as workstations right now.
  5. What organizational tools might solve those problems?
    I'm thinking that a BIG, HUGE GARBAGE CAN and a paper shredder should take care of the outdated files. I also need some type of tubs for the eBay merchandise that's waiting to be sold. I have some tools like cuboards and shelves, but they aren't being used well.
  6. What habits need to change to solve the organizational problems?
    I have to stop laying down papers and making these piles. I need to deal with paper once. I need to stop making this room the dumping ground for anything that doesn't have a home. That probably means organizing some other areas of our home in the same manner.
  7. What kind of budget do I have to create the organized room of my dreams?
    We're working Dave Ramsey's get-out-of-debt plan right now, so my budget is pretty much non-existent. I could probably spring for a couple of tubs or smaller items like that. So let's say $50.
  8. What kind of timeline is necessary to organize the room?
    Well... from the looks of the challenge, I have all of 28 days to get it done. Which is a good thing, because we're hoping to sell our house this summer. Having this room cleaned out and organized will be a HUGE blessing!
  9. What is my plan of action?
    First, I have to clear out my filing cabinet. Then I'll be able to take care of the papers that are threatening to overtake the room. Once those are gone, I need to get rid of everything I know I won't use from the cupboards. Then I'll be able to put away some of the items that are laying on the work surfaces. Next I'll be purchasing a tub or two to store the items that are waiting to be sold on eBay. I'll put them in the tub so that the things I need to list first are on the top. I'll also be removing Emma's toys from this room. I may store her art supplies in the cleared out cupboards.
  10. Who can I ask to help me with this?
    Hmm... Wanna come over? Realistically, I'll get help from my husband and my parents. My husband and dad can do the heavy lifting (if there is any), and my mom is good at visualizing where things should go. Of course, I would be happy to hear your opinions!

If you have a space or room you'd like to declutter and organize, it's not too late to jump in! Head over HERE to read all about it.


Toni said...

I salute you on the adventure of getting organize and tidying up the room. It's never fun making that huge step. But the good news it once you get there it is easier to stay organized and on track than before. I would definitely put the paper shredder next to the desk or wherever you go through your mail. Make it a habit shredding whatever you don't need that day or at least every week. Be sure not to leave it plugged in when you are not using it. My dad is a big Dave Ramsey's fan and always listens to him on the radio.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Toni! I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but I keep telling myself that I have 28 days to get it all done. Can I hang a sign on the door that says "Under Construction until March 1"?

You're so right about the paper shredder. Mine is across the room, and there is a huge stack of paper on top... just waiting to be shredded. Maybe if it was closer I would use it more often. I hadn't thought about moving it, but that's on my list of possibilities now!

Alli said...

Wanna trade for my basement? I haven't put pics up yet - I'm so embarrassed!!! I think your ideas sound great so far...biggest thing for me is to completely EMPTY my space before I can re-organize it! Kind of hard with the whole basement, but I am going section by section. 6 bags to the trash already, and 3 bins for the yard sale!

Jennifer said...

Alli, you're brave for even tackling a basement. I wouldn't be able to bring myself to post pics of my basement either! :)

Pendaflex said...

I recently cleaned my basement, and aside from having an allergy attack from the dust all over the place, I felt rewarded when I completed cleaning out all the closets and boiler room. No fun task, but best of luck with the project!