Check Out My Home Office

By Janine Adams

That stressful trip to IKEA was all about purchasing storage furniture for my new adjunct home office. I had an extra room in my house, adjacent to my home office, and I decided to create a second office out of it.

In the new office, I store supplies that I take into clients’ homes. (In my original office, everything is administrative and used in the office.) In addition, I fashioned the room into a virtual showroom of sorts, where I can use photos of what I’m done there as a way to help clients. I also store my yarn and knitting-related items in the new office—the yarn storage itself is a great example for my crafty clients. In addition, I give talks on organizing your knitting supplies, so I feel comfortable storing that material there.

I wish I had a before picture, but I didn’t take one. The room was originally a dining room. We have another dining room upstairs (our house was built as a two-family house), where we dine. I’ve been using the room to store stuff that goes to clients’ homes, but I didn’t have any storage furniture, so everything was in bins and boxes on the floor. That was both inefficient and unsightly.

Before I went to IKEA, my friend, Sally, helped me paint the room. (Sally also put the furniture together for me. What would I do without her?) We painted it in Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage, to match my main home office. It’s a beautiful, peaceful color. We also painted the little hall between the two rooms, which really brought them together.

Here’s a photo of my cat, Joe, enjoying the IKEA boxes before they were unpacked, as well as the flattened seagrass baskets I bought at IKEA.

Once we put the furniture together, it was breeze to whip this room into shape. In the center of the room are the two Expedit bookcases I purchased from IKEA. I also bought 6-inch Capita legs for them, to bring the cases up to work-surface height.

Each has eight cubbies. One of the cases contains inventory of the Freedom Filer,Exit Strategies, and Time Timer products I sell, as well as “kits” of stuff I take to different types of appointments. It also has my Eyes of a Stranger needs assessment supplies. The other case (the far one in the first picture below), contains more random stuff, including a basket of organizing supplies I keep around to give to clients—stuff that other clients have passed on to me or that I’ve acquired in some other way. I also keep my catalogs there.

These cases hold supplies for clients

You an see the bank of Elfa drawers I use to store my yarn at the end of the Expedit shelves, in the little bay of the room.

In addition to the Expedit bookshelves, I also purchased an Effektiv cabinet, which has two lateral file drawers to hold empty hanging files as well as at least one pre-assembled Freedom Filer set. The frosted-glass-fronted cabinet stores my inventory of flattened canvas file boxes, a rotary paper cutter, and my knitting books, magazines and patterns.

 

Here’s another view:

I still need to replace the light fixture and move one of my cloth-covered bulletin boards (in fabric that complements the paint color) from my original home office into the adjunct one. It’ll go above the radiator.

The idea for the purchase and placement of the Expedit bookshelves came from my friend, Lara Thiel, who’s an interior designer. I know I never would have thought of it myself. And I love it!

Every day when I walk through this room to get to my office to work, I smile. There’s a place for everything. It appeals to my aesthetic sense. I’m actually enjoying putting things away. And I can’t tell you what an improvement it is over the mess it replaced. Ah, the joys of getting organized.

Janine Adams is a certified professional organizer and owner of Peace of Mind Organizing. She specializes in working with chronically disorganized client, primarily in their homes, helping them create the order they crave. She blogs regularly at her website and offers concise, downloadable Organizing Guides for purchase. With life coach Shannon Wilkinson, she also offers a 28-day e-course called Declutter Happy Hour.

The Drawer is Still Organized

By Janine Adams

One year later: drawer still organized

9 March 2011

Yesterday, I was discussing a kitchen drawer with a client. Wanting to show her a photo of the Rubbermaid interlocking drawer organizers I pulled out my iPad and showed her a blog post I’d written last year about organizing my kitchen utensil drawer.

I encourage you to read the whole post, which shows what you can do in 30 minutes, but here are the before and after photos:

Talk about a hodge podge of stuff.

That feels much better.

As I was showing this to the client, I noticed that the date on the blog post was exactly one year ago. And I realized that my drawer looks the same now. That made me happy.

That’s unusual, though. Things like drawers or cupboards with lots of little items (for example, the vanity cupboard under the sink in your bathroom) frequently need maintenance. Once organized they can fall into disarray fairly quickly. They require a few minutes of attention every now and then.

There are only a few items in my kitchen utensil drawer that are used with any frequency and they get put right back where they belong, so I’ve been able to maintain order.

Something about using that blog post exactly a year later made me want to share today. It also inspires me to tackle another micro-zone in the house! Watch out, medicine cabinet!

Janine Adams is a certified professional organizer and owner of Peace of Mind Organizing. She specializes in working with chronically disorganized client, primarily in their homes, helping them create the order they crave. She blogs regularly at her website and offers concise, downloadable Organizing Guides for purchase. With life coach Shannon Wilkinson, she also offers a 28-day e-course called Declutter Happy Hour.

9 Simple Solutions for Procrastinators

This is a guest post of sorts, from the fabulous Christine Kane, who helps people achieve their dreams. I’m reprinting it, with permission, from her newsletter. It arrived in my mailbox today and I thought it was so great I’d share it immediately. Incidentally, I wish I’d thought of the acronym CRAP for Clutter Removal Action Process!

—Janine Adams

by Christine Kane

Irony: As I started to write this article, I thought, “I’ll just go play one Sudoku game first.” I caught myself in the act and marched to my laptop.

People who say that procrastination is about laziness are probably the same people who think that anorexia is about not eating enough.

Procrastination isn’t about laziness. It’s about fear. It’s about perfectionism. It’s about being overwhelmed. We all experience it, and there are some tricks to help you get moving again.

Here are 9 ways to break the procrastination habit:

1 – When you get an idea, do some little thing to begin.

When I read Stephen King’s book On Writing, I noticed something. I noticed that when Stephen King gets an idea, he writes it. Immediately and imperfectly.

Most people get an idea. Then they sit there. They wonder if it’s a good idea. Then, they wonder if it’s a good idea some more.

Got an idea? Begin it now!

2 – All hail small chunks of time!

Lots of us complain about having no time. My guess is that we all have lots of time. It just doesn’t happen to be all at once.

Are you waiting for many hours of spare time to begin your idea, your project, or your taxes? Stop waiting! Learn to use the spare half hour that comes up here and there. (I gave myself 45 minutes to write this article just to take my own advice.)

3 – Agree to do it badly.

Set a goal to do it badly. Set a goal to show up. Let go of doing it ALL, or doing it WELL.

Some of my coaching clients’ biggest victories have a lot more to do with getting over perfectionism and fear, than they do about getting it all done perfectly.

4 – Commit aloud.

Call a friend and say something like this: “I’m going to spend the next half hour working on my Law School Essay.” Then go do it.

Call the friend after the half hour and make her congratulate you. Repeat daily.

5 – Define quantities.

Nebulous goals make for nebulous results. “I’m gonna get my office organized” is a lot like saying, “We oughtta do something about Global Warming.”

Most procrastinators have a hard time defining quantities. We think everything needs to be done NOW.

When are you going to do it? For how long? Which part of your office? The file cabinet? Or your desk?

Define the goal and acknowledge its completion.

Note: The Clutter Removal Action Process (or, “C.R.A.P.”) is one of the many bonus elements of my new “Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program” – and it makes this step a BREEZE!

6 – Install this System Upgrade into your Mental Hard Drive: Less is More.

Have fewer goals. Have no more than three priorities for a week.

Why?

Because you’re not lazy. You’re just trying to do too much.
Find out what it feels like to accomplish one thing instead of not quite getting to everything. Wow – what a difference this makes!

7 – Do it first.

My first coach made me write songs first thing in the morning. He told me to schedule the 2-hour chunk as my first activity upon waking.

Why?

“Because you’re telling the universe that this is your priority. And then the universe lines up everything to align with your priority.”

Action grounds your priorities. It makes them real. It also makes your day easier because you’re not wasting energy thinking about this thing you’re supposed to be doing.

8 – Avoid nose-bleed activities.

Email, voicemail, web stats – any activity that bleeds itself into your whole day becomes a non-activity. It becomes a nose-bleed.

When you do it all the time, you never complete it. You just let it slowly drain the very life force from you. Define times for these activities. Then, turn off your email, your cell phone, your web stats, until that time comes.

9 – Don’t ask how you “feel” about doing the activity.

Have you ever committed to getting fit? And then when the alarm goes off, you lie in bed thinking, “Do I really feel like going to the gym?” (Like you even have to ask!)
Change this pattern. Make your decision the night before. Commit to getting up and going right to the gym, the computer, the blank canvas. Don’t have coffee and sigh and think, “I’ll probably feel more like it at lunch time.” You won’t!

If it’s a priority, don’t waste time asking yourself how you feel about doing it. Feelings are an easy out.

——————————————

There. I did it. I wrote this article. And now, I don’t even want to play Sudoku! How about that?

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her ‘LiveCreative’ weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FREE subscription to LiveCreative at http://www.christinekane.com.

Janine Adams is a certified professional organizer and owner of Peace of Mind Organizing. She specializes in working with chronically disorganized client, primarily in their homes, helping them create the order they crave. She blogs regularly at her website and offers concise, downloadable Organizing Guides for purchase. With life coach Shannon Wilkinson, she also offers a 28-day e-course called Declutter Happy Hour.