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Monday, February 15, 2010

I Confess, I'm a Pack Rat!

For months I've been meaning to organize my home office.  It is not a space that I enjoy working in--however my kids don't seem to mind playing on the computer --their cleanliness standards are not that high.

To give you an idea of how cluttered this room is imagine magazines stacked on the floor, backpacks strewn throughout, boxes full of miscellaneous paperwork from committees I have chaired sitting waiting to be put away and shelves filled with a variety of items including:  clay snails, paperback books, boxes of used checks, etc., etc..  Do you get the picture?

Well this past weekend, I finally tackled the chore of cutting through the clutter and what I realized is I am a total pack rat.  As I sorted through the shelves, I found binders that dated back to my work days from 10 years ago, stacks of Better Homes & Gardens magazines from 2006,  and instructional manuals to a circa '95 Gateway computer.

Why was I saving all of this crap?  The binders I was certain would come in handy as a reference tool one day and the magazines are full of great gardening tips, decorating ideas and recipes and surely I would need them again when I was wanting to get all Martha Stewarty.  The old books, well maybe I would reread them and for those I hadn't, I'm sure I'll crack them open soon open soon--just as soon as I finish this month's book club book (which of course never happens to be one of the many books I have).

The problem is as much as I'd like to hang on to all of this stuff, it is taking up (and cluttering up) prime real-estate in my office.  Plus I knew I need to let go to prove to myself that I was not on the slippery slope to becoming a hoarder.   So I decided that the work binders could get boxed up and go out in the garage. I'm not ready to get rid of them yet--there may come a day when this stuff could prove to be useful. And the magazines would have to go in the recycling bin--after all it is a little nutty to have magazines from 4 years ago lining my shelves.

Anyway, I spent the next few hours thumbing through throwing out the magazines, organizing the shelves, and clearing the way for my new "must haves" and "must saves."  And although the picture above may not look like something you'd find in the pages of Real Simple, I gotta say it is a huge improvement.  I have  transformed the office into a work space where I can find and store everything I need.   And I said good bye to the pack rat!

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