Doing it on the Desk, in the Filing Cabinets and on the Bookshelves

Inside of Belle Writer's Studio Photo courtesy of Mother Earth News by Kevin Pieper


How are we doing with our organizational goals this month?

I’m behind, way behind thanks to illness last week and a writer’s conference this week, but that’s ok, because I plan on catching up when I get back.

This week, we’re doing it on the desk, the filing cabinets and the book shelves, cleaning them out, that is!

My office is a place that gets very unorganized if I allow it. I’ve stopped most junk mail, but we still receive paper bills and I get a lot of books for review and they pile up.

I typically clean out my filing cabinets once every year and that is at the end or beginning of the year when I’ve put together our taxes, they’re good. I keep work related notes for 5 years and back tax and bank records for 10 in storage boxes in the basement.

But, oy, my desk and bookshelves need a decluttering job.

When I return, I plan to find out what, if anything, I can do with review copies of books. Can I donate them to the library or to a charity (I know I cannot sell them).

I’ll go through all of my books and make sure there’s none I cannot live without and donate those as well.

As for my desk, I need to go through it and eliminate the junk. We have two desks and one is in the living room of Our Little House, so I have a lot of work to do.

This is also a great time of the year for getting off of those junk mail lists. We’ve done this already and receive very little junk mail now, but if you haven’t, you should, especially with catalogues that will be set to arrive in mountains this fall for the holiday season.

It’s probably too late to get off of the lists this year – it typically takes at least 90 days – but it is a good process to start for next year.

Here is an excellent resource for getting off catalogue mailing lists: Catalog Choice, I manage all of mine from this site because it’s free and easy.

If it’s prescreened credit card offers, you can opt out here.

If you receive donation requests, you need to call the non-profit organization directly that is soliciting you.

Believe me, doing away with the junk mail removes a huge amount of clutter from your daily life.

How are you doing in the organizational challenge? Any more tips for the office area?

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12 Responses

  1. You really clean out your file cabinets once a year? I’m so impressed I’m going to have to go lie down immediately.

  2. Jane Boursaw says:

    Well, you just KNEW I had to click through and read this story. 🙂

    I think just trying to keep up with the clutter on a regular basis is the thing here. I tend to lapse and then once the clutter gets to a certain point it gets harder and harder to deal with.

    • Kerri says:

      Yep, I kind of thought the headline would attract some of the more “creative” thinkers in our community, Jane! 🙂

  3. I could use some more storage space in my office. In an old house with no closet, it is a challenge to keep things tidy. Not one I usually conquer.

    • Karen says:

      I bought a wire twelve pocket magazine rack… Think doctors office waiting room… That is mounted to the wall at the top of our basement steps, just off the kitchen. it sticks out only a couple of inches and keeps my frequently needed family files right at hand.

  4. Heather L. says:

    I try to keep my desk top cleaned off in between projects or I tend to get overwhelmed and take a nap instead of working. But I can’t say the same for the floor in my office. My beagle is having a hard time finding a place to sleep.

    • Kerri says:

      You’ve brought up a good point, Heather. Having a cluttered space just sucks the life right out of me. I get the same urge, I just don’t want to look at it. Hopefully, your Beagle has found a place to rest. 🙂

  5. I have reduced my junk mail (and my junk email too, which is a great time-saver). Last year I also purged and went from two file cabinets down to one, which gave me more space in the office. I try to regularly donate books to the library to move those out of here. I always have a pile of stuff though that I am just unsure what to do with and that lingers for months until it makes me crazy and I pitch it or figure out how to file it!

    • Kerri says:

      I think we all always have those random piles. I have one now that is driving me nuts and I cannot wait until I get time to deal with it. Sounds like you’re doing a pretty good job, though.

  6. Theresa says:

    Behind? Hmmm, I did have plans that were more grand than what I’ve accomplished, but I spent most of the weekend cleaning out my husband’s closet. This is significant, as he passed away in December. I had a form from the Salvation Army that suggested values, and logged things as I went. All drawers and closet are now emptied, save a few things I am keeping for now. Everything to donate is boxed, and I have called Salvation Army for a pick up. I have a box of my own clothes as well, and will send a few other things, too. So, I’m counting this as good.

    • Kerri says:

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband, Theresa. I would say that is more than a good job, it is a great one! Letting go of stuff, particularly of loved ones who have passed is a very difficult and emotional journey. Kudos to you for taking those steps!