I did a bona fide organizing project today and I am mighty proud of myself. I have been meaning to tackle these three drawers for a long time. They are dedicated to the "office" functions of the Dining room/Home Office. I also scrapbook in this room, work on my classes, and sew. (I used to also plan homeschooling here. Since we don't homeschool anymore, I've been able to clear some space!)
Today, I felt ready.
As part of the FUNdamentals Course at Simplify 101, for the past couple of weeks, I have been keeping track of what I use on different projects as I do them.
I had to write a cheque for someone and then deliver it to them. (Quite a rarity these days). I needed a long envelope and the cheque book. (Long envelopes are not always in the desk, but downstairs in the basement. That has changed.)
I was working on the budget.
Needed: printer, computer, paper, stapler, highlighters, calculator, rular, bulldog clips, and the files which hold our bills paid.
And so on and so forth. At first it seemed daunting, in the end, I realised that all I really need is:
Paper of different kinds for different purposes.
Cards and envelopes.
Labels (and a label "mini zone")
Office supplies: pens, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener, highlighter, stapler, staples, paper clips, letter opener, stamps, address labels, etc. Mostof this stuff hangs out in Drawer 1.
And so I began.
At first, I thought I was only going to work on one drawer. So, this is my only before picture. Trust me. The other drawers looked just as bad.
Before: Drawer 2
Inside? Mostly paper. But so much and of such different kinds, I actually had to list it! Then, I sorted it: like with like. Then, I had to start on the other drawers because I knew I had stashed stuff everywhere willy nilly.
I decided to separate the piles into "paper" I used primarily with the computer, and paper I wouldn't. (Like graph paper and three ring lined notepaper.)
I discovered four packages of photo paper. One actually had nothing usable left in it, so that was easy to let go. But last week, I actually went to Staples and contemplated buying a package of 8 1/2 x 11 photo paper. I decided it was too expensive and that I would use the 4x6 pieces I bought when I bought my new printer.
I put paper for the computer in an upright magazine holder and it is now in the Expedit.
The other paper took some thinking. I realised I had some clear packaging I'd saved, knowing it should be good for something, and today it was! I put the loose paper--the 3 hole punched paper, the graph paper, and an 8x10 tablet of writing paper in the packaging--and then labeled the packages on the end. Postively perfect.
For the middle drawer, I decided I needed file tabs for my small collection of note cards. I'd been looking for a suitable birthday card, just this morning, and I'd had to thumb through practically every item. Irritating.
I need a better box than this old, cardboard tissue box. Of course, the boxes I use as drawers are even older. (I've had them 32 years. Can you believe it? That's what happens when something "temporary" works well. No wonder they are beginning to show their age!)
After, Drawer 3, now known as The Card Drawer.
There are a few files in behind for when I need to set one up. There are hundreds more in the basement. I decided to keep the notepads and magnetic tape, here, too. I put a strip of magnetic tape on the back of a notepad and stick it on the fridge for writing down the grocery list.
And finally, drawer 4.
After, Drawer 4, now known as the Label Drawer.
I decided to devote one entire drawer to the different materials and tools I use for labelling. Index cards, tags, peel and stick labels, post-it notes, etc. I need small organizing containers for inside the drawer to help things stay separate, but it's good for now. These items were scattered in several different places around the house.
Circling back to the second drawer: here it is, now.
After, Drawer 2, now known as the Paper Drawer
And there we have it.
I'm hoping that this will work for a very long time.
(If you are wondering about drawer 1, I organized it here, about a year ago, while enduring the blue screen of death and facing my fears. It's still set up the same way, more or less.)