A Happy Home is an Organized Home Part III- My little corner/office

Let me start by saying that something AMAZING happened tonight!  Today was my first full day back at work, the boys first full day at daycare in a loooong while, and, aside from being a bit emotional, I just knew that I was going to drop when I got home- and in my delirium I would try and get dinner on the table, things cleaned up, babies dressed for bed before I drug myself in to bed by say…. I dunno midnight?!  Seriously- visions of frizzed hair, fried brains and blood shot eyes danced through my mind periodically throughout the day….and THEN A MIRACLE OCCURRED!  H managed to get the boys home and start spaghetti by 5:30 (huge props to the Hubby for that!)  I got home, served up dinner, with relatively little crankiness from anyone.  We ate and cleaned up pretty quickly- I even had time to run over the living room with the duster and some Pledge.  Last… but most important of ALL…. we got both boys- yes that’s two, dos, deux, due- however you want to say- it in bed before 8:00!  Sweet Jesus, I never thought such a thing would ever happen before Little R was, like, 6 years old.  Whatever magical-stars-aligned-with-Jupiter-on-the-north-axis-of-Pisces-28degrees-south-of-Jerusalem-hail-Mary-miracle took place to make that happen I have no idea- but I’ll TAKE IT!  For the first time in months (almost five to be exact) we had a house of silence at 8:00 pm- and it has lasted just about all evening long!

Okay- now on to the actual point of my post….  I have a very pretty, albeit small, corner in our kitchen/family area that is all mine.  Except there is one problem:  Because it is located in a common area, it has become the entire households catch all, dump all, clear the table for dinner place.  See:


Pile-O-Mess!  Yep- that’s a vacuum back there :-/


What a disaster it had become!  And this happens on a weekly basis.  For the longest time I kept trying to wrap my head around a  system.  I had file folders and baskets and binders and containers galore, but could not manage to keep my little oasis even remotely inviting for more than a nanosecond.  And she and I have gone round this little cycle for months now.  We had a great love/hate thing going on- completely not conducive to my Happyness zen.   I was going over and over things- and drew up a sketch per usual- and still couldn’t figure out what the issue was.

And then the light bulb went off- sometimes there is too much of a good thing.  I realized I was suffering from container overload.  I had out organized myself….and my systems weren’t working because they were overlapping and never-ending.  There was too much stuff, and too many containers.  I had a container for filing, shredding, To-Do, to put away up stairs, to fix, to sort (yep that’s right- I had a whole big basket of things that needed to be sorted in to more baskets).  I had folders that the filing from the baskets went in to, so that I could then, eventually, put the filing in the folders in to the filing cabinet!  This was over-organized madness.

So I emptied every container I had and set it on the table- I sorted through every sheet of paper and filled two trash bags full of junk mail garbage!  (Junk mail almost deserves it’s own post here- and I forgot to take a pic of the trash bags before H took them downstairs- I now have a new found -or rather rekindled- hatred of junk mail).

Then I purged further.  I tossed a ton of magazines.  Last time I purged I said I’d keep my dressage magazines, two equestrian catalogues, some travel magazines for visitors, parenting magazines (you know because being a parent isn’t enough), and our UNC Alumni publications- because I do like to occasionally remind myself that I went to college and spent my days at the coffee shop and sitting on the quad doing homework- back when I had that sort of leisurely time!  I also want visitors to know that our lives do not revolve around Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Curious George and matchbox cars.  This time- I committed to tossing out all of Dressage Today and all of the parenting magazines and a handful of DIY magazines that I picked up in airports.


After the cleanup- H and I discussed keeping the dictionary because we figure Little P and Little R should learn to use one some day- and they’ve become so obsolete that they hardly teach kids how to use them in school- so Webster’s gets to stick around for a bit.

After five hours of hard work….VOILA!….my little Happyness haven is all nice and neat!

Such a fresh start!

Such a fresh start!

I decided to use the containers for more permanent storage- i.e. sewing and craft supplies.  I vowed not to give myself any containers for mail or office upkeep:


Now this is finally a workable system!

On the desk:  I allowed myself the file folders I already had and our family binders (if you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about then check out Jen over at IHeartOrganizing)- everything else had to be filed where it was supposed to go right away.  And then- like with the Kitchen– I focused on keeping the surfaces as clear as possible.


The binders had to be gone through after all my sorting, so they were stuffed- but their proper home will be along side the magazine racks by the printer. 🙂

How was that for a Sunday afternoon?  Now here are my goals to keep it that way:

1- Take 15 to clean up every night.

2- Touch it once – and put it in it’s proper place- not some holding cell (i.e. a basket/folder/desktop).

3- Disallow anyone else’s inclination to pile it on.

4- Deal with the mail every day- including the junk mail.

5- Read the magazines and then toss them ( Exception:  UNC Alumni Review and travel mags- can’t let go of those!)

How do you attempt to reign in the clutter and keep your office space neat?

Thanks for visiting and Happyness to All!


I sometimes share at these parties!


12 responses to “A Happy Home is an Organized Home Part III- My little corner/office

  1. It looks so awesome!! I am jealous of all your containers and organized goodness! So glad to hear your day went more smoothly than expected! I hope that continues for you! Have a wonderful weekend!

    ~Abby =)

    • Thanks so much Abby! Isn’t it great when your day lines up and goes smoothly! These days are rare- but they are wonderful! And I know as the boys get older there will be more of them. I hope you have a great weekend!

    • Thank you, Kristin! It really does bring a lot of peace. Every time I look at that corner I can now just breathe deep and not worry about it!
      Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I tend to do the same thing and have baskets and bins of papers that need to be filed or need to go somewhere else and they end up being a big pile of mess! I think you just inspired me to tackle my papers all over the place task! Thanks for linking up to the Friday Follow Along.

    • Thank you, Leah! I love the Friday Follow Along! I’m so glad my post inspired you- I often have a hard time figuring out why we are still so inundated with paper in this digital world! Take all those bins and delegate them to something other than paper- that has really helped me over the past week! Good luck!

    • Thanks so much! I’ve managed to keep my little office pretty neat and tidy for the past week, so I think I’m off to a good start! With a toddler and infant, two dogs, and an occasional teen around, there are always periods of time where I revert, but I’m hoping this time I’ve I’ve figured it out! Thanks for visiting!

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