Author Topic: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!  (Read 3874 times)

PNW Lady

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Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« on: December 14, 2017, 01:14:51 PM »
DH and I somewhat recently abandoned our FIRE plan in order for me to take a break from work and be home to better support DD (10 yr-old). My promise to him was to take care of all house-related tasks and cook all meals, which we used to split 70/30 when we were both working (he has always done more in this area since I manage all-things-financial as well as all-things-emotional/educational/developmental with DD).

Needless to say, I havenít held up my end of the bargain. DH is a little on the grumpy side and I totally deserve it. I have spent the last six months mainly focusing on my health (losing weight Ė which turned out to be really fucking hard!) and hanging with DD. I need to tackle our home office in order to get back in his good graces. The room is entirely out of control and Iím having some sort of psychological block to cleaning it. It will take me days.

I've decided that I need to get this room organized by next Wednesday (last day of school before holiday break). We will be entirely booked up this weekend so that only leaves four days.

Looking for motivational face punches. 

LifeHappens

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 01:20:51 PM »
Are you being hyperbolic with your post title, or this really a crisis? If the latter, spend a little $$ and hire a professional organizer to help you. They are much cheaper than a divorce!!

If you need help with systems, I found "Getting Things Done" by David Allen very helpful in organizing my paperwork and pulling action items out of stacks of paper. This is a quick overview of GTD.

acroy

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 01:24:23 PM »
*raises eyebrows*
It's one room and will take... days?? Tackle it! own it! don't let it own you!!

PNW Lady

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 01:32:19 PM »
Are you being hyperbolic with your post title, or this really a crisis? If the latter, spend a little $$ and hire a professional organizer to help you. They are much cheaper than a divorce!!

If you need help with systems, I found "Getting Things Done" by David Allen very helpful in organizing my paperwork and pulling action items out of stacks of paper. This is a quick overview of GTD.

Yes, I was being a bit dramatic. It is actually a running joke between DH and I that he will divorce me if I don't clean the office. The funny thing is I am extremely detail oriented and excellent at organizing and cleaning. The rest of the house looks impeccable (most of the time). The office has just become this huge, mental hurdle. There are just so many things I'd rather be doing (as you can tell by my post). Thanks for the recommendation!

PNW Lady

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 01:37:24 PM »
*raises eyebrows*
It's one room and will take... days?? Tackle it! own it! don't let it own you!!

Ya know how some folks have a junk drawer? Well, we have a junk room. So yes... days. Your comment gave me a burst of energy - I will now go through one pile.


marty998

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 01:41:37 PM »
DH and I somewhat recently abandoned our FIRE plan in order for me to take a break from work and be home to better support DD (10 yr-old). My promise to him was to take care of all house-related tasks and cook all meals, which we used to split 70/30 when we were both working (he has always done more in this area since I manage all-things-financial as well as all-things-emotional/educational/developmental with DD).

Needless to say, I havenít held up my end of the bargain. DH is a little on the grumpy side and I totally deserve it. I have spent the last six months mainly focusing on my health (losing weight Ė which turned out to be really fucking hard!) and hanging with DD. I need to tackle our home office in order to get back in his good graces. The room is entirely out of control and Iím having some sort of psychological block to cleaning it. It will take me days.

I've decided that I need to get this room organized by next Wednesday (last day of school before holiday break). We will be entirely booked up this weekend so that only leaves four days.

Looking for motivational face punches.

Things I've learned from @mustachepungoeshere (she's a godsend):

- put things away - clothes in cupboards, paper filed away or in recycling
- nothing belongs on the floor. If something is there, get rid of it.
- just simply make a start. If you have unused bags lying around that room, fill them with rubbish and taken it all out - kill 2 birds with 1 stone.


LifeHappens

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 01:42:36 PM »
I'm glad you were joking! Some chores are just... chores. Could you try working on in small increments, maybe 15 minutes at a time?

PNW Lady

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 01:53:50 PM »
I'm glad you were joking! Some chores are just... chores. Could you try working on in small increments, maybe 15 minutes at a time?

It's amazing how big this chore has grown. The person who came up with the concept of advertising through the mail should be jailed.

Since I have four days I'm going to try tackling 1/4 of the room each day. Today will include a quick trip to mail a package, dropoff to Goodwill, return library books, deposit accumulated checks, and some focused mail shredding/filing. Sheesh.

ZiziPB

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 02:03:06 PM »
I like the suggestion of working in increments of time. 

What works well for me also is organizing things into categories.  And by organizing, I mean making piles.  Go through the room and quickly sort through stuff and gather things that belong in one category in one spot. 

The categories could be:

- things that don't belong in the office - pile by the door
- things that clearly can be thrown out - put into garbage bags right away
- things to be filed
- office supplies
- hobby/craft supplies
- school papers
etc.

Then once you have the piles, tackle each separately.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 02:08:45 PM »
DH and I somewhat recently abandoned our FIRE plan in order for me to take a break from work and be home to better support DD (10 yr-old). My promise to him was to take care of all house-related tasks and cook all meals, which we used to split 70/30 when we were both working (he has always done more in this area since I manage all-things-financial as well as all-things-emotional/educational/developmental with DD).

Needless to say, I havenít held up my end of the bargain. DH is a little on the grumpy side and I totally deserve it. I have spent the last six months mainly focusing on my health (losing weight Ė which turned out to be really fucking hard!) and hanging with DD. I need to tackle our home office in order to get back in his good graces. The room is entirely out of control and Iím having some sort of psychological block to cleaning it. It will take me days.

I've decided that I need to get this room organized by next Wednesday (last day of school before holiday break). We will be entirely booked up this weekend so that only leaves four days.

Looking for motivational face punches.

Things I've learned from @mustachepungoeshere (she's a godsend):

- put things away - clothes in cupboards, paper filed away or in recycling
- nothing belongs on the floor. If something is there, get rid of it.
- just simply make a start. If you have unused bags lying around that room, fill them with rubbish and taken it all out - kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

@marty998, youíre the smartest person I know, and from me you learnt not to leave things on the floor? Not sure how I feel about that. :D

@PNW Lady, I would go scorched earth, toss as much as you can.

If you havenít used it in months and it can be replaced for less than $20, throw it. Donít hang on to things ďjust in caseĒ. (The exception here is seasonal clothing, etc.)

Group like with like. Clothes go with clothes, linen with linen, electronics with electronics.

Be realistic about the likelihood of selling items on eBay or Craigslist. If you are promising to list them to assauge guilt about the sunk cost, but those items will still be hanging around in six months, just donate them now.

But the big thing is, once youíve overhauled this room, you donít get to rest on your laurels. Itís all about maintenance. You both have to commit to putting things away, stemming the influx of stuff, and making hard decisions to get rid of things that come into your home that you donít want or need. Unwanted gift? Donate it straight away. Your home is no longer a temporary staging facility for an op shop.

And in two monthsí time, go through everything you have put away from the junk room, anything that has been stashed in drawers and cupboards, and reassess. Still need it? Still want it? You will probably find your attachment to certain items diminishes once the Ďtraumaí of the big clean-up has past.

Also, if youíre still struggling for motivation, come up with a plan for the room. Paint, rearrange furniture, youíve always wanted to do with it but have not been able to because of the junk.

Good luck!

bridget

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 02:27:15 PM »
I am much more likely to start and finish a big project if I block off time and make it feel like an Enjoyable Event.

Do you have a good local friend that you have been meaning to catch up with?  Invite her over for an entire afternoon to keep you company and chat while you work.  Supply your relaxing beverage of choice to enjoy together while you work (wine from Trader Joe's would just do the trick with my BFF).  You'll have some accountability to not wander off to do something else. 

For documents: 

For the to-file pile, set up the cabinet or file box or whatever first, so that when you pick up a piece of paper, you can look at it, determine that it is related to topic X (mortgage, car, health insurance, what have you), and put it directly into that filing folder.  No need to file more minutely at this point, because the whole idea is just to give you peace of mind that later if you need to know where the health insurance documents that were in some sort of pile in the office is, you can check it out and look through it more carefully.  This is just to know that the important things are in some sort of place you can refer back to later.

For anything not file-worthy, categorize it either something to be immediately acted upon or immediately thrown away.  The "act on" documents should go into an "inbox" that you handle the next day after the office clean, and everything else should go in the recycling bin immediately without another thought. 

soccerluvof4

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2017, 06:54:21 PM »
I cant understand cleaning one room being that difficult BUT being motivated at times I hear ya. I have been remodeling our house for 2 years and while I am way ahead of where my DW ever expected I havent got done what I would. Sometimes I get caught up overthinking what I am going to do to the "next room" so I just end up throwing a hammer into the wall or tearing a wall down so I have to get going. Point is just knock it out and be done with it. At first I though there would be an episode of you on hoarders...lol

Dragonswan

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 11:40:51 AM »
OK.  Let's try another approach today. Don't focus on what needs to be done but why it needs to be done. Get into the office and do some more cleaning because it will make the reason you draw every third breath (one for you, one for daughter, one for husband) happy when you're done. Is his happiness worth another hour of your time today? Well, is it?  I thought so; get moving! :)

PMG

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2017, 01:36:43 PM »
Get an audiobook and only listen while working in that room.

Don't get bogged down looking at every single paper.  If there are difficult decisions to make it's ok to put some of them off.  You've got a deadline. Generally I fully support going thru everything and tossing ruthlessly but you may need to conserve energy and settle for a half purge/half tidy approach.

koshtra

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2017, 01:52:40 PM »
Throw it away throw it away throw it away throw it away throw it away

Throw that away too.

And that.

The time suck is not that these are stored objects -- which are fairly easy to sort and file -- but that they're postponed decisions.

Postponed decisions like, "do I need to read this four year old newsletter from the Brocade Museum?"

You do not. You don't need to do any of this stuff: that's why it ended up on your desk. Throw it all out. You've already decided that none of it is urgent. Own that. (And don't own the goddamn paper any more.)

Refirement

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2017, 08:57:33 PM »
Throw it away throw it away throw it away throw it away throw it away

Throw that away too.

And that.

The time suck is not that these are stored objects -- which are fairly easy to sort and file -- but that they're postponed decisions.

Postponed decisions like, "do I need to read this four year old newsletter from the Brocade Museum?"

You do not. You don't need to do any of this stuff: that's why it ended up on your desk. Throw it all out. You've already decided that none of it is urgent. Own that. (And don't own the goddamn paper any more.)

Preach it koshtra!  I agree totally and love it!

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2017, 09:00:54 PM »
How's it going, @PNW Lady?

ixtap

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2017, 09:03:42 PM »
Drag everything out, maybe clean the carpet. Think twice about everything that goes back in.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2017, 10:08:05 AM »
I'm like you - uber-organized everywhere else, but with a desk that looks like a paper tornado vomited on it.

It's true - this is stuff that isn't important.  If it was important, I would have done something with it right away.

When I started tackling the area, I sorted into piles:
a) Stuff I MUST do something with
b) Stuff I WILL DEFINITELY look at within the next year (tax stuff, family pictures to put in an album, etc)
c) Trash/Recycling (I am totally lazy about taking old papers I don't need downstairs)
d) Stuff that doesn't belong in this room
e) Everything else

Turns out my kid (8) LOVES shredding.  "Watching paper die", as he puts it, ranks right up there with video games.  I paid him $10 to kill the paper in the pile of "everything else".  Does it hurt my soul a little to shred last month's utility bill that I might want to look at in 10 months just because?  Yes....but when the kid is the one shredding I can pretend he's actually only shredding credit card offers.

For me, tackling c, d, and the paper part of e really made a difference in how the office looks.  I still have stuff to go through, but now it is more manageable and is starting to look a lot better.

Hopefully you can identify your main categories/piles of stuff and tackle the easy ones first.

galliver

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2017, 10:55:30 AM »
I rarely start cleaning with a clear-cut plan in mind, but I often start with finding and tossing obvious trash; it shrinks the problem for minimum effort. Go through once for  wrappers, tags, etc and once more stacking up and sorting all papers. Either after this, or after stacking/before sorting, I'd probably get sidetracked returning things from other rooms to where they belong (lotion bottles? clothes? toys? blankets? It wasn't entirely clear but I bet lots of non-office things ended up in your office). I suspect after those 3 steps, the situation will be much more manageable, and the way forward, clear!

Also, this is completely non-Mustachian but I am often motivated by new (or new-to-me) supplies for a task. Or, demotivated by having old/barely-functional supplies. I'd find $20 for new filing supplies completely worthwhile if it motivated me to start sorting the Paper Mountain. YMMV.



Miss Piggy

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2017, 02:27:47 PM »
Be realistic about the likelihood of selling items on eBay or Craigslist. If you are promising to list them to assauge guilt about the sunk cost, but those items will still be hanging around in six months, just donate them now.

Ugh. Words to live by, for sure. Now, could you please turn this advice into a nice, pithy quote I can print and display (poster size) in my junk room/basement?

Blackeagle

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2017, 04:47:21 PM »
Be realistic about the likelihood of selling items on eBay or Craigslist. If you are promising to list them to assauge guilt about the sunk cost, but those items will still be hanging around in six months, just donate them now.

Ugh. Words to live by, for sure. Now, could you please turn this advice into a nice, pithy quote I can print and display (poster size) in my junk room/basement?

How about: "You can't really sell that s**t.  Just toss it."

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2017, 01:08:20 AM »
Be realistic about the likelihood of selling items on eBay or Craigslist. If you are promising to list them to assauge guilt about the sunk cost, but those items will still be hanging around in six months, just donate them now.

Ugh. Words to live by, for sure. Now, could you please turn this advice into a nice, pithy quote I can print and display (poster size) in my junk room/basement?

How about: "You can't really sell that s**t.  Just toss it."

Your wish is my command.

https://imgur.com/a/bnhA0

Suzanne

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2017, 04:49:07 AM »
Are you being hyperbolic with your post title, or this really a crisis? If the latter, spend a little $$ and hire a professional organizer to help you. They are much cheaper than a divorce!!

If you need help with systems, I found "Getting Things Done" by David Allen very helpful in organizing my paperwork and pulling action items out of stacks of paper. This is a quick overview of GTD.

Yes david i am having problem with my system. I am getting beep sound whenever i wanted to use it,

PNW Lady

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2017, 11:05:13 PM »
Update - I did not get the office completely cleaned by my deadline:-( However, DH was very happy with the 75% that I did complete so I've bought myself a little more time. I am planning to dedicate 2 hours tomorrow morning and then pick it back up on Tuesday. Unbelievable.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2017, 01:09:46 AM »
It's amazing how big this chore has grown. The person who came up with the concept of advertising through the mail should be jailed.

How can you make it as easy as possible to stop this crap getting into the office? We have a recycling bin near the door, it goes straight in there. What works for you?

former player

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2017, 06:50:30 AM »
Update - I did not get the office completely cleaned by my deadline:-( However, DH was very happy with the 75% that I did complete so I've bought myself a little more time. I am planning to dedicate 2 hours tomorrow morning and then pick it back up on Tuesday. Unbelievable.
Congratulations.  The barriers to action we have inside our heads are the biggest (ask me how I know).

Sun Hat

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2017, 07:01:21 AM »
If you're 75% done, then you're almost at the good part, which is the awesome zen of organization! You can do it!

Also, congrats with the weight loss and spending quality time with your DD  - as much as I love organized files, those are more important any day... except maybe the day you prepare your taxes, though humor and fitness will help you sort through disorganized avalanches of paper (I picture you in warrior pose, straddling a mound of papers, with a file box held with outstretched arms)

MicroRN

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2017, 07:47:27 AM »
Oh, papers are honestly the worst to go through.  We have 6 bankers boxes full of old papers that I need to sort through, and I just can't make myself do it.  I'd toss the boxes completely, but I'm terrified that I'll toss something that's actually important. 

For home cleaning/organization, I love the Unfuck Your Habitat app.  It has a timer for 20min work, 10min break, and it'll give you random tasks to do and motivation.

Sibley

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2017, 02:38:52 PM »
Oh, papers are honestly the worst to go through.  We have 6 bankers boxes full of old papers that I need to sort through, and I just can't make myself do it.  I'd toss the boxes completely, but I'm terrified that I'll toss something that's actually important. 

For home cleaning/organization, I love the Unfuck Your Habitat app.  It has a timer for 20min work, 10min break, and it'll give you random tasks to do and motivation.

You know that getting started is the hardest part. Grab the first box, go through the first inch of paper. That'll get you going. Kill the paper monster!

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Need to organize home office or divorce is imminent!
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2017, 05:24:38 PM »
It's amazing how big this chore has grown. The person who came up with the concept of advertising through the mail should be jailed.

How can you make it as easy as possible to stop this crap getting into the office? We have a recycling bin near the door, it goes straight in there. What works for you?

I'm very lucky in this regard.

We live in a unit, and the building's bin alcove is between the mailbox and the front door. Junk mail never makes it inside my house.

It's not all perfect though. I'm still dealing with mail addressed to tenants who moved out 18 months ago. Most weeks I receive something for them that needs to be returned to sender.