ready for action!

David's desk in all its pristine gloryAs my official Project of the Month, I’m getting my side of the office spruced up and decked out.

You may recall that David is pretty compulsive about keeping his desk clear…


… while my desk has historically looked like this:

Lori's desk is in there somewhere...

I sold that big desk on Craigslist a few weeks back and have a more reasonable-sized desk-and-hutch combo now, but the look was basically the same: a landing strip for piles with no open space to get anything accomplished.

I started by clearing every last little thing out of there and piling it neatly in the hallway upstairs. I was shocked – shocked! – by how many little things had wandered in and taken up residence on the flat surfaces of that very small room. Boxes and tubs of electrical cords and accessories. More boxes and tubs of office supplies. Even MORE boxes and tubs of random small things that had no homes. A quill and an ink bottle. An ocarina. Bookmarks from several foreign countries. A stockpile of Hudson Taylor CDs. Every Girl Scout badge and pin and doodad I have.

The hallway and upstairs landing are currently a disaster (and I thank David for his endless patience with my methods). But the office is looking amazing, and – even better – things are not coming in unless they have a place to go. No room? No home? No entry.

The goal is to make the office bright and attractive so that I actually want to work there. Having a computer on my desk (and space to use it) and my files all around me, I should be able to increase my productivity 1000%. That won’t be hard; I haven’t been very productive in the paperwork realm since we came back from Europe. I got out of my lifelong OCD habits while we were gone and truly could not seem to get back in the groove.

Until now. (Dum dum duuuuuummmm…) I’m hoping that by this time next week, I’ll be off and running. Organized papers, organized office, organized life – here I come.

Mission check-In: Lighten The Load

I’ve got stuff. Not like I used to have…

The guest room closet. Now emptied and used by Greg. I wish I could say I got rid of everything, but I still have about half this stuff.

But yeah. I still have a lot of stuff at home. Here, in my temporary Croatian apartment, not so much… but still too much for Ryanair. So every time we have to pack up to fly somewhere else, I have to get rid of stuff once again.

Today’s category, “Lighten The Load,” has been the theme of quite a few posts on this blog, and I am sure will continue to be a focus in the future. (Yes, I know I shouldn’t capitalize the “The,”* but it looks prettier with the other categories that way. Here, I’ll fix it for you, just once:)

Beautiful. Orderly. Clutter-free. Just saying those words makes me happy. Seeing them in action will make me even more so.

First off, a couple of disclaimers. I have a lovely home, and I know it. It’s larger than we need, and I know that, too. We were able to sell our former home and move up into this one at just the right time, market-wise. We were incredibly lucky. I am as grateful as can be, just to be able to live there.

I guess I just want to be able to live up to it. Keep it neat. Keep it clean. Decorate it in a simple, classy way. Not have piles of stuff “in process” all over the house, ever again. Not have to constantly explain to people about how I am just getting ready for the next garage sale, so please excuse the mess.

Keeping my home orderly and clutter-free will benefit me in so many ways:

  • More time to do things I want to do;
  • More time to spend with people I care about;
  • More space, since it won’t all be filled;
  • Less stress, since I’ll see clean, neat spaces;
  • More money, since I will not buy things I don’t need;
  • Finally being able to feel like a grown-up who lives in a grown-up house.

Of course, making it beautiful will help me keep it orderly. When something is just how I want it, I am much more likely to keep it that way. It’s like FlyLady’s shiny sink: it spreads to the rest of the kitchen, and then to the rest of the house.

In the meantime, in all my temporary European dwellings, I will continue to keep things lean and mean. And also clean. It’s good practice for when I get back home.

* The The is an 80’s band! Just saying…

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful! for all the years that I thought David was an incredible cheapskate. Actually being here, living the dream we saved up for, really makes me aware that not nickel-and-diming ourselves into debt was so worth it.