Wednesday, May 02, 2007

30-Day Organizational Challenge

It got a little stressful toward the end, but I did it! I cleaned out, cleaned up, and deep-cleaned our study. It was all part of The 30-Day Organizational Challenged, hosted by I'm An Organizing Junkie. She asked us to answer a few questions, so I'll do that before we take the photo tour.

1. The hardest part was figuring out what to DO with all that stuff! It took a while, but I started with boxes and sorted things into a Sell Box, a Give Away box, and a Trash Bag. (More detail in #3.)

2. I've had to adopt a few new habits in order to keep the room looking this nice. First of all, this has become a no-kids zone. I love my kids but I need to have one place in the house that is free of toys, crayons, papers, etc. The kids have permission to come in here and read, but they cannot bring in a bunch of paraphernalia and junk it up.

Also, I've realized that I have WAY too many books. I need to get rid of some of them, so I stayed up late one night listing books on Amazon and PaperbackSwap.com. So far I've managed to sell or trade two dozen books.

I'm also not buying any new books unless there is actually space for them. That's a hard one!

Finally, I came to realize that giving things away is extremely freeing. Often I try to sell things on Ebay, but the hassle is not always worth the few dollars I make. So I finally gave way two big boxes of clothes that I had planned on selling. The feeling of having that stuff out of my life is far better than the feeling of having a little extra cash.

3. So what happened to all the stuff? I'm a big fan of recycling, so I tried to do that. One big box of books went to the public library. Three big boxes are ready to be posted on Ebay. Two huge Hefty bags got placed on the curb. And the rest of it got sorted, containerized, filed, or shelved.

4. The biggest lesson I learned is that I'm a terrible housekeeper! No, wait. I'm actually a pretty good housekeeper when it comes to deep-cleaning. But when I'm bogged down with clutter, I tend to get depressed and then I can't function. Having the study this clean makes me really, really happy and motivated to keep it this way.

5. How will having a clean, organized study impact my life? First of all, I now have a designated place to do my Bible Study. That's huge. All the papers got filed, all the receipts got shredded or filed alphabetically by store, and all the books got organized. In other words, I'll be able to find what I need when I need it. Finally, and this is minor, I now have a designated bookshelf for books that I want to read. Once I've read them, I'll either shelve them or give them away. I think I'll get more reading done now!

OK, now for the tour. Here's the wide-angle shot of the study BEFORE...


And here's the wide-angle shot AFTER...

Here's the BEFORE shot of my favorite chair (it reclines!). I never sat in it because it was always covered with junk.

And here's what my chair looks like AFTER. Now I keep my Bible and Bible study stuff in the side table so I can actually use the chair as a place for a quiet time.

Here's the awful corner where I used to dump stuff that I wanted to Ebay or just didn't have a home for. It was so bad that I couldn't even get to the cabinets on the right...

And how here's what that corner looks like now. Two wooden boxes (which are empty!) and my kitty's bed. I couldn't get a picture of the cabinet, but I completely organized that, too. Top shelf is computer and camera equipment. Bottom shelf is binders, school supplies, and pads of paper...

So how about that desk area and the bookshelves? Here's the BEFORE picture...

And here's a more detailed look at the wall unit now. First, desk area. I organized the top shelf to hold photo albums and older boxes of photos. The bottom shelf has resource books and current photo boxes so they're more accessible.

The desk area was a disaster. I've filed everything I needed and tossed the rest. The shredder has gotten a good workout! It's hard to see in the photo, but there's a three-tiered wire basket that my hubby and I use for receipts and other mail. That system hasn't changed but we've caught up on all the papers.

Here's proof that the files are under control...

And look! I organized the drawers. This one's for batteries...

Now to explain how I organized the bookshelves. The top shelves on the left are for Christian fiction and non-fiction. The bottom shelves are organized by type, too. This is where I created the "to-be-read" shelf, which includes magazines.

I even found my old Yoda collection and decided to display it...

Finally, the shelves on the right. The top two shelves (not pictured) are books that I've listed on PaperbackSwap.com. As soon as those get cleared out, I'll have room to buy more books! The bottom two shelves are for the kids. They have an insanely large collection of workbooks and puzzle books, so I've made those accessible just in time for summer. My goal is to have them do a few worksheets a day so we can actually use and get rid of some of those workbooks that my mother keeps sending.

That's it! Now I'm going to take a nap on that comfy leather couch.

8 comments:

Megan said...

Great job! We're way more alike than I ever knew.

And for the record - I just attempted my first ebay listing in 6 years. It's way more complicated than I remember (which is probably why I quit doing it back then...). You are right - more freeing to just get rid of it.

Robin said...

Congratulations on completing the challenge. Good job.

Carrie said...

Wow. This looks like the perfect quiet study to actually relax in and read a good book. Seriously. Just looking at it makes me want to escape to somewhere and read. :)
Great job!

Debi said...

Wow! Congratulations! It's beautiful! I want to escape in there right now and curl up with a good book. Great job!

Stephanie said...

I'm so impressed, Chelsea. Your study never looked horendous to me before (when you'd probably stashed everything away for company), but now it's just beautiful and inviting! Great work.

Barb, sfo said...

This looks really good! What a wonderful place to read and work.

Andrea said...

What a great space you have now! Congrats on an awesome job.

Heather said...

You did a fantastic job on this room!! Congratulations!