Organize Your Home Office {Day 11}

31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero.  Freeze your spending.  Change Your Life.  Awesome way to reset your spending patterns or kick-start your budget!

This is the eleventh day of my 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge.  To read all the posts in order, start with Day One or visit the Overview Page.

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Whether your office is a whole separate room in your house or simply a tiny corner of your bedroom, keeping your bills & paperwork neat and tidy is pretty essential.  When my office is a mess and my bills are piled high, unopened, it becomes so overwhelming that the easier choice is to simply ignore my finances altogether.  I fool myself into thinking everything is just fine, which ultimately leads to more spending.

I work from home so I spend an inordinate amount of time at my desk. You would think that would mean I automatically have the motivation to keep that area neat and tidy at all times.  And while most of the time I can keep the surface of my desk free of clutter, until yesterday my drawers were a complete disaster area.  The easiest way to clear my desk was just to dump everything in the drawers!  My inbox/outbox too, was a mess, and my vertical files were full of unneeded papers and coupons I hadn’t looked at in months.

Sorting through everything was a little scary because I wasn’t sure what I would find.  What if I discovered I had forgotten to pay a bill or do some other critical task.  Pretending like everything is fine is just SO much easier!  And in fact I did find that one bill was late and that I had completely forgotten to mail an important thank-you card I wrote months ago to my friend Angela who surprised me with this cool owl.  But once it was done, despite finding my mistakes, it was such a relief to have order again!  I paid the bill and will apologize profusely to Angela, and hopefully all will be well in the world once again.

My favorite part of this project was getting my drawers reorganized.  I have tried organizing them in the past, but without anything to keep all the little items in place, it always turns back into a jumbled mess.  This  time I had a flash of brilliance and decided to use some empty cigar boxes–leftover from our cigar-themed wedding in 2004 that my semi-hoarding pack rat resourceful Husband has repeatedly refused to let me throw away–as makeshift organizers.  I cut off the lids and they worked perfectly.  It was totally worth the “I told you so.”   You can usually get them for free from your local cigar store.

Today your assignment is to clean & organize your home office (or desk or wherever you let your bills & paperwork pile up.)  And, to make your task just a little easier (though YOU still have to do all the work) I have put together another very detailed checklist:

{Get your Home Office Cleaning Checklist here}

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What is the state of your home office?  Do you try to keep things neat and tidy all the time, or does your stuff pile up (like mine)?  Have you been enjoying the cleaning challenges this week or are you ready to move on to something more fun?

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{Go to Day 12}

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Denise October 11,

    Oh my goodness, my desk is SUCH a disaster area and my inbox looks a lot like your first picture. I always think to myself that I should do something and then it just seems too overwhelming so I put it off another day. I love the checklists–they make it so manageable! Thanks again Ruth!

  • Susan October 11,

    I try to keep my home neat and tidy most of the time but this is definitely one area where I struggle. These daily tasks are so motivating. I love the checklists too!

  • Claire ~ October 11,

    If “more” fun involves sitting by the ocean and drinking something fruity with an umbrella in it, as opposed to having to clean this week, then… yes, I am ready to move on to something more fun. 😉
    I am just so behind this month!! Love the checklists – thanks Ruth!!

  • Jessica@SweatIsMySanity October 11,

    Oh no. That’s the ONE job I’ve been putting off. Now that Kimball’s going to school full time and works from home, it’s a disaster…plus the kids are always leaving things in there and messing up my drawers. :/ Your office looks cute. Wish I could come over and see your adorable house. xo, Jess

  • Ryan T.g May 14,

    Hello miss ruth

    i visited your website its amazing and simple and gets alot of ideas

    my desk at the office was a huge mess and i got some advises from you i dont know if it will be helpful cause yours are for Home desks

    so i will try it for a week, Next week ill post a feedback if your interested

    yours thankful, Ryan T.g

  • Jen January 8,

    I like to use food boxes to organize my drawers. I usually go to my pantry to see whats about empty and cut the boxes to fit in the drawer. Cheez-it, fruit snacks, gernola bars, ect…thoses boxes fit perfectly and no need to go out and buy something or waste the gas going to a store to ask for free ones!

  • Jenny February 11,

    Thank you for the checklist! I will be using it.


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