The Big Push

I’ve had a couple of questions and comments about finding the time to get my office cleaned out.  My response of course was “You need a plan”!

Pick a Saturday or Sunday or any day when you can have at least 4-5 hours and get a really early start. Plan to get up by 6 and take breakfast and a cup of tea/coffee/water into your office and start your plan. (Bring a pencil, because we love to check stuff off.)

Operating on the principal of making more than one pass through everything, rather than needing to be perfect at each step (which was my problem in the past) here’s what my plan looked like:

The big Saturday Push (though I think I got to it on a Sunday):

– Empty large closet and pile stuff up in the middle of the room so I can

– Install new shelves in the closet

– Put work papers back into the close on the shelves

– Put all the office supplies into bins on the floor under the shelves

– Put the non-work papers back into the closet, stacked on the floor

– Make a rough cleaning pass and haul away empty boxes, obvious garbage and

anything that doesn’t belong in my office

– Polish my desk and clean the windows

End big push!


– Organize the book shelves – one bookcase at a time until done (includes dusting – I hate dusting)

– Start going through the non-work papers one box a day until done – sort into keep, to-do and toss piles.

– Wash the curtains (how dusty can one set of curtains get in just three years? Apparently, very dusty indeed.)

– Dust and mop and vacuum when finished (I add this at the end because it needs it, not that I think I’ll ever do it)

Now every morning or any evening when I have strength/time/motivation I do one bookcase or one box of papers.

In three weeks I’ve made one pass through most of the non-work papers (writing related, memorabilia, clippings (why do I save these?) photographs) and the office supplies. And I’ve done one bookcase (8 more to go). Bonus for doing this was that I am now ready to do my 2010 taxes at the end of September instead of next year late and I found a $1000 bond that is matured and I can cash it in for our ski trip. Now THAT’s motivation!

I have one big bin of “To Do” stuff that I found that is now under my desk. I delve into it when I can and do something. Most of the things are years old, so there’s no rush. And some will obviously be too late, like the letter to my husband’s great Aunt who died last year. Kind of sad that I never finished that letter. But it inspires me to finish the letter to my nephew and get it in the mail.

Well, I’ve got a bookcase waiting to organize and dust – so have a great day!

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