My office is a nightmare.
Jim once said, “I’m scared to go in there.” And with reason.
There are boxes from our move three years ago piled here and there, several file boxes filled to the brim, and a desk one cannot see the surface of, covered as it is with papers that threaten to topple off. An empty 3-drawer file cabinet, a full 2-drawer file cabinet, and a five foot high stack of eight clear plastic 32 gal. size bins labeled for each year between 2008 and 2015 (in which I am attempting to collect keepsakes from each year) all take up valuable floor space. What else is in my office? I have two of those foldable ladder style bookcases crammed with books, mostly teaching books, but some fiction, too. I have a black rectangular folding table I was going to use as a sewing table, a plastic tub filled with fabric, a sewing notions basket, a gazillion (20 or so) 3-ring binders filled with teaching materials, a basket with bridal shower planning stuff in it, a rolling plastic 4-drawer storage cart in which I have blank greeting cards and my recycled tissue paper, gift bags, ribbons, and bows stored.
My office is clutter incarnate, so to speak.
There are random packages of colored cardstock, address labels, and envelopes throughout the room. The shell of my desktop computer that fried in a power surge a year ago last July is still in there. Jim mined the hard drive for its files and put them on my laptop; he also appropriated my monitor. In a failed effort to get organized some time ago, I purchased a 6-doored metal cabinet. I’m not sure what’s behind each door. I know my glue gun is in there, and a fair portion of my collection of spoons from many of the places I’ve been. I’m not sure what else. There are VHS videotapes of me playing high school and college volleyball that I’ve wanted to get made into DVDs sitting around. My sorority pledge book graces one of my shelves. When I resigned from my teaching position, many of the items from my classroom ended up in my office: bulletin board decor, chalk and dry erase markers, framed photographs, rubber stamps and ink pads, post-it pads, and Sharpies.
My office is a dumping ground.
I haven’t even mentioned the bills. For some reason I’m not sure I remember anymore, we still receive paper bills for most of our monthly expenses. I know this was my doing, and once paid, those bills end up in my office, ostensibly to be filed away neat and tidy. For at least two of our three years here that hasn’t happened, and they sit in piles all over the room.
Needless to say, my office door is most often closed.
In June sometime, I opened that door and ventured inside. Sitting in my rolling office chair, I happened upon a decluttering book. I’ don’t remember the errand that sent me to my office in the first place, but I’m relatively positive that my purpose wasn’t to read a decluttering book. I tried to kind of skim it, but I’m not very good at that. The book turned out to be really much too long for an effective de-cluttering book, in my humble opinion. I spent so much time reading the book, I didn’t have time left to attempt to actually do any de-cluttering that day. I was dealing with limited work time because of Liam’s napping schedule, but still.
Despite its lack of brevity, the book did help some. It reminded me of an interview I listened to as part of the Simplicity Parenting Soul-of-Parenting Summit. The interviewees, Laura Carlin and Alison Forbes, spoke about simple changes to make in your home that can have a tremendous effect on your well-being – decluttering being number one. So now, with two sources urging me to declutter (well, three. Jim has always been in favor of it), I have begun.