Sunday, April 16, 2006

Clutter often accumulates because of habits that don't support being organized. As you can see from the state of this car, continuously tossing garbage into the back seat eventually leads to one messy vehicle!
The same goes for the back: the black crate makes for a perfect container, but it needs to be used properly.
Look what I found beneath all of the rubbish! Twelve, yes 12 coffee cups (and that doesn't include the take-out cups that were thrown away)!

Deodorant rolling around, mouthwash under the seat...a gym bag would easily solve this problem!
This is how much garbage was taken from the car - practically a full bag!

Gone are the fast food wrappers, coffee cups, wrapping paper and garbage.

Look: the black crate neatly houses the automotive supplies, and there is lots of room for...?

What a mess! This storage closet had become a dumping ground; when company came over clothes were stuffed inside and in general, things were simply piled on top of one another.

Check out the difference! Gone are the miscellaneous clothes that were dumped in the closet and guess what I found? An extra shelf that was simply sitting on top of another one. By adding an additional shelf at the top, it is now possible to clearly separate objects by size. The result: a storage closet where most items can be seen at a glance.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

CHECK OUT THIS DESK! Paper is the bane of my existence so I can totally relate to the challenge that office workers face in our current knowledge economy. Papers, emails, phone never stops.

Can you relate to this? Just seeing the image muddles my thinking and makes me wonder what impact it has on productivity. Talk about visual clutter! Imagine facing this mess every morning at 9:00am...

What a difference! Clear working space, files neatly lined up along the right, just a few personal effects on the top shelf and loads of room in the filing cabinet for files.

"One person's trash is another person's treasure". Most people can donate unwanted items and sure enough, these treasures were left in the lunch room for co-workers to fight over. All but one was claimed (my partner couldn't believe that I didn't grab the yoda doll. Oops!).
Don't be distracted by action items. Group them into a pile or make a list but keep clearing! In this example, we cleared on a Saturday and the action items were staring him in the face Monday morning.
The key to tackling a specific area is to sort into boxes so that you don't create more of a mess. Garbage, Recycle, Action and Take Home are common categories. Shred, return to rightful owner and undecided are examples of other categories to sort into. In actuality, we emptied the recycle box about three times during the course of this clearing. Time required? Less than two hours. How long it stayed tidy? Only the co-workers know the answer to that question!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

AFTER: now you can actually walk up to the computer corner. Notice the lovely flooring?!
Three rubber totes remain which now house individual projects (photos and frames, children's memorabilia and papers). Now that they are secured in containers, they can remain in one place and be tackled at a future date.
Look at all this space! We moved the desk to the opposite wall and placed a decorative lamp on top. Now it can actually function as a workspace! The drawers are another story, but again, represent individual, managable projects that can be tackled in the future.

"How long did this take" you ask? Two people working steadily for just over two hours.
In the end there was a carload to go to the local thrift store, a car load to go to ReStore (which accepts donations of home renovation supplies) and two boxes of recycling/shredding.

BEFORE: My client moved into her condo just over a year ago, and unfortunately one of the rooms in the basement became a dumping ground. Although the computer corner was functional (barely!), the rest was not.
There were several garbage bags of old clothing (I think 12 in total!), plus boxes of old videos, photo albums and the proverbial knick knacks (aka: dust collectors).

It is kind of hard to see but on the left hand side of this photo is an old fish tank sitting on a small bookshelf, and in addition to three ceiling fans (the condo was being retrofitted), there were three rubber totes full of STUFF!