Today, I spent a half hour tidying and organizing one of the closets in my office. My office used to be a bedroom and it has a large closet, whose sliding doors I removed, where I store my office supplies. (If you’re curious, I did a before-and-after of that closet a few years ago in this post.) But the office also has a small reach-in closet, original to the 1908 house. In it, I store two rolling file carts, some archival things, and mostly genealogy-related items.
Back in 2011, I outfitted the closet with a simple Elfa system. About a year ago, when I was training one of my employees, we decluttered and organized the closet, but disarray had crept in. I thought it would be a great tiny project for today.
First, I snapped a before shot, of course:
Almost all the clutter was on the main desktop-like surface. I pulled out all those items. The bulk of it consisted of genealogy journals, which I placed in the bin labeled “genealogy journals to read.” (That bin seems to only get more full.) There were a few items I took upstairs to file. There were a few genealogy-related document that needed to be filed and at least one business-related document to file in the other file cart. And there were a number of photos of ancestors, which I honestly didn’t remember, scattered about on the surface. I also store my laptop backpack on that surface, so I can grab it easily. Of course, I haven’t had a need for it since March, but I plan to use it again in a couple of weeks.
It was easy for me clear the surface. I filed what needed to be filed and I put all the ancestry photos together. I need to scan and process them into my electronic genealogy filing system, so I put them in a container that I labeled, “photos to process.”
I did one other thing that pleased me. I had a bulging file that was taking up too much room in my file cart. I pulled it out and saw it was my “Kudos” file, where I placed cards and printouts of emails that expressed appreciation. I like to hang on to them in case I need a boost. But, to be honest I rarely look in that file.
The file was taking up so much space because of the cards that people had taken the trouble to write in and mail me. So I took out the cards and put them in a little container that I labeled “happy cards.” It’s now on a shelf, so it will be easy for me to look at them. Maybe I’ll go through them as a little reward at the end of the day! No reason to hide them, right?
Here’s my little happy cards bin:
The hooks on the wall had laptop bags that have been supplanted by my backpack, but I may have alternate uses for them, so I moved them to the guest-room closet. I left the felted wool bag because it makes me happy. It reminds me of my 2009 trip to Australia, where I purchased it.
Here’s the after shot:
It took me only 30 minutes (including filing and making labels!) and now I have peaceful closet where things that make me happy jump out at me. This little project put a smile on my face!
Be sure and look tomorrow for another tiny project!