Monday, July 24, 2006

Home offices typically include a computer which the kids may also be using for homework, chatting and games. While the above picture doesn't quite capture the "before," the table you are looking at will be removed and replaced with a filing cabinet. Imagine that the chair and desk is rotated 45 degrees to the left.
We brought up the filing cabinet from a downstairs closet and turned the desk and chair so that it is now perpendicular from its orignial position. The filing cabinet ensures that bills and statements will be filed (instead of 'hoping' that they make it downstairs where the cabinet was originally found).
This is one of the bookshelves that sorely needed to be purged. A number of books were boxed up for donation and the remainder were sorted by size and type. The bags on top contained papers that were eventually filed.
Isn't this more pleasing to the eye? The tops of the shelves can now display family photos and there is a much greater chance of actually being able to find a book.
This is the bookcase beside the desk, before it was rotated. The shelf was also purged and loose CDs gathered up and stored in a CD holder. I find that most people have organizational tools (CD holders, plastic trays, filing cabinets); they simply aren't being used effectively. This is another reason to purge first instead of rushing out to buy more tools, as you may be surprsied at what tools you already own!
As you can see, the computer table and chair have been rotated 45 degrees and the active files are located on the top shelf of the bookcase, stacked neatly (and labelled!) in manilla folders. The floor is clear of debris and there are no loose items stuck in between the wall and the bookcase.

I can honestly say that I was dreading this job. It was the first garage that I had done and it was simply overwhelming. But, like anything, you have to start and start we did. We removed items to the driveway so that we had room to think and plan out the space. With two of us working, and at times a third, we sorted through it all in about three hours. Even I was amazed at what we accomplished!

We did it! Hard to believe, isn't it? As always, items were grouped together for donation and we filled up a few garbage bags of, well, garbage. Plus, we removed a number of items into a second garden shed. I still can't believe that the floor is visible!
I don't think we could have cleaned up the garage without these shelves. As soon as we had cleared space along the wall we assembled the shelves and started putting things on them. And guess what? They were salvaged from an old department store. Remember, there are lots of options besides buying "brand new"...
In addition to the shelves, plastic trays and cardboard boxes allowed smaller items to be grouped together.

Hooks make a huge difference when it comes to keeping stuff up off the floor and encouraging kids to put things away.