Saturday, November 13, 2010

RRR Room by Room- Office deep clean

I've been blathering. I've fallen into a pattern of either not writing at all, or writing a random spew of whatever happened to be in my mind. I think some of that is good, but I need to get back to goals and greening up our home. I think the most effective way to do that is to go room by room through our house and see what I can make more efficient and less wasteful.

My desk is the far one. The Man's is to the left.
Home Office

This is our office. I'm starting here because it happens to be at one end of the house, so it's a good place to begin and work my way west through the house. It's also the room where I spend quite a lot of time, blogging, reading, talking to grown ups, and doing my day job (content manager).

Contrary as it is to my way of functioning (because I am a world-class slob) cleanliness & organization lead to efficiency. I can't see what to green if I can't even walk in the room.

This is as clean as the office is ever going to be. I started by giving it a deep clean. This room was so messy you couldn't see the floor or any desktop. It gets that way a lot. I'm messy.

 I started in that far corner there and sorted. I worked my way from left to right and back toward the door. I had a brown paper bag for recycling and a small trash can for garbage. I made a pile for things that don't belong in the office to put away when I was done. That's the key to success here: DON'T LEAVE THE ROOM TO PUT THINGS AWAY. There are too many distractions if I leave the room. I put all the toys and books and such away after the rest of the room was done.

No longer living by the pile method.
 I sifted papers I have to keep from waste. The keepers were sorted into piles based on subject: Kids' school items, Social justice papers, Christmas planning, Student Loans (ick), work papers, blank paper & office supplies, couponing stuff, etc. I worked my way across the whole room (desks, floor, and shelves) until everything was sorted. I found a ton of office supplies buried, and even an empty file box (you can see it there by my desk) to file all my piles into.

Normally I make a big pile of all the papers that require action, ruining my clean desk space immediately. This time, as I filed papers into the newly found bucket, I entered any relevant to-do's in a task list on Gmail. Now they are right there on my screen, rather than buried in a pile. I knocked more things off that list yesterday than I have in a month.

I had four paper bags of recycling and a little can full of trash when I was done. Horrifying. I have to get this room under control.

Having everything in its place leads to less waste. We had three partial reams of paper in here, scattered about. By putting all three together, I know I don't have to buy more paper. My mind is calmer, my movement freer.

Now that the office is clean, tomorrow I can create a list of action items to save energy and resources.

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