Ready, set…PURGE! And Organize.

Posted by Katie Gambone

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Carlo, Matteo, Misha and I are planning on moving this year to a new house that will fit our growing family.   Over the past seven years we have managed to acquire a lot of excess stuff, so, in preparation for our move, I am working on a major purge and reorganization. The process can be overwhelming so I am starting small (my desk) and working up to the big stuff (the basement…dun, dun, dun).

I work from home so I spend A LOT of time at my desk.  Therefore it is one of the messiest spots in my house.  Readers, don’t judge.  While these before pictures are slightly horrifying, I thought I would show you how bad it can get.

I also have a side stand that holds my printer, office supplies and files that needed to be included in the purge process.

Purge – My Process

I started my purge by emptying everything out and creating 4 piles: throw away, donate, shred and keep.  I forced myself to streamline as much as possible. If I hadn’t used the item in over 6 months, I placed it in one of my “get rid of it” piles. It was so liberating!

I set my alarm to see how much time I spent on purging and sorting to help me gauge time commitment for future purge projects.  I spent just over 30 minutes.  I also found $25.00 that was hiding in a card I had forgotten about!  I used the $25.00 towards my budget for purchasing new organization tools. Through the purge process I also realized that I had been wasting money.  Because my office was unorganized, I had repurchased many items I already had (how many Scotch tape dispensers does one person need, right?).  So, in theory, being organized can actually help you save money in the long run.

Organize – My Tools

Before I put back the items I was keeping, I wanted to make sure everything had a proper home.   Here are a few of my favorite organization tools from Staples, Target, IKEA and The Container Store.  Grouping like items into clear holders makes it so much easier to quickly see what is in the container and keep my desk tidy. I could have selected more colorful containers, but because most of these items were going to be put away in my desk and side table, clear containers seemed to make more sense.  However, I did select more colorful containers for items that are on my desktop because they are more visually interesting.

These holders are awesome because they allowed me to group like items together and store them vertically, saving a significant amount of space.

Receipts envelope flipped

I picked up this envelope to hold my receipts instead of junking up my wallet and/or desk drawer.  Works like a charm.

Jars Flipped

I found these adorable jars with a chalkboard lid in the dollar bin.  I’ve used them for items I grab pretty regularly.

I had overloaded my previous desk organizer so much that it broke so I purchased this new one.  I am a big fan of things being hidden in drawers so this works great for me.  Instead of labeling the drawers, I decided to apply washi tape I had on hand to add a splash of color.

These holders are great for organizing greeting cards, extra credit cards that don’t fit into my wallet, pens and pencils, extra technology, etc.

I found this cute bulletin board and push pins to hang above my desk so that my goals and to-do’s have a home that is not on my desk.  I hate when bulletin boards get junky though so I will try (emphasis on try) to clear it every week.

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I splurged on a Misha-proof trash can, which has made a HUGE difference!  My previous trash can had a heavy book on top so that she wouldn’t break into it every day.  The problem was that I also found it annoying to move the book, so I was just leaving piles of trash on my desk until I couldn’t take it anymore.

I purchased a glass water bottle to keep on my desk so that I remember to drink water throughout the day.  The adorable little planter was in my basement sitting unused.  I thought it would be nice to add a plant to my desk because plants seem to love this room so I pulled some chicks and hens from my back patio and replanted them.  I am really happy with the way it turned out.

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And finally, I purchased these frames and placed them on my desk organizer so that I can keep my eye on my motivation for doing what I do each and every day.

Reveal – So Pretty

Through this process, I was able to clear out one entire desk drawer, which became a home for many items that had been sitting on top of my desk.  I now have more work space and don’t feel overwhelmed when I sit down in the morning.

I think the space looks fresher and I know that my office will be easier to keep clean, and, more importantly, pack when it’s time to move!  Let me know what you think.  On to the next project….