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Thread: 16 Boxes in My Office

  1. #1
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    16 Boxes in My Office

    Hi All,

    On one hand, I'm embarrassed to admit this here. On the other, the structure of this group has helped me SO MUCH with my clutter at home, so it seems like a good idea to lean on this community once again for my clutter at work.

    So ... I moved into a new office at work six months ago and still haven't unpacked all the boxes. I meant to do it this summer while I wasn't teaching, but I ended up focusing on other goals. BUT I think I can maybe deal with it in the first month of the semester before things get too crazy, so I'm starting today and will report back here how I do. My goal is to have all 16 boxes unpacked and the entire office presentable by the end of September.

    And if anyone else has any clutter-at-work goals they want to set, please feel free to join in!

    Best,
    Elizabeth

  2. #2
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    You got this girl! I actually just did this to my home office. Since I still teach p.t. I need some stuff.

  3. #3
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    In another month the boss has promised I can shed a paper heavy duty. Then again he promised me this before. We shall see.

  4. #4
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    Elizabeth,
    I'm recently retired from a position that was somewhat paper-heavy. I also ended up helping others who were transferring/retiring to clean out their paper files so I became pretty familiar with the off-site storage vendor.
    Q: Is there a records manager at your workplace? They could help you match your company's records management policies with what you need to keep for your daily job vs. what can be stored offsite and what can be shredded.

    IME, it's worth it to take a Saturday or two and just come into work and do it. You'll be so pleased when you show up on that following Monday and your work area is clean and organized. If you work full-time it's where you spend the majority of your waking hours so it's worth it to put in extra effort to just deal with the boxes and remove that clutter, mentally and emotionally.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I tend to be a document hoarder. I don't hoard much of anything else, but for some reason, if it's printed on paper, I need to keep it. So it's a problem for managing work stuff. I remember being appalled when a new company president came in and demanded that the contents of a long wall of file cabinets be purged. Not sent to a company that archives stuff--purged.

    But I'm starting to come around, thanks to electronic archiving. Why do I need hard copies of anything?? Answer: I don't. I have in my basement in NJ about a half dozen banker's boxes of work-related paper documents that I'm keeping "just in case"--when I get back there in the fall, I'm recycling them all. I have never once needed to go back and fish anything out of them.

    I don't know what's in your boxes, E, but if it's paper stuff, try to just get rid of it if it's already on company servers.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  6. #6
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    When I worked f.t. If you wanted to send stuff to surplus you didn’t want it took forever. Multiple forms for people to sign, get permission, wait months, etc. So I got fed up when I wanted to dispose of some large items that were unique to my job, outdated and couldn’t be used by anyone else. I waited for a Friday when all the big wigs were gone and a guy and I put it all in a dumpster. The dumpster was emptied before Monday and when people came into my testing room they never noticed. We had a saying that it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, everybody, for your support. I did a little bit the other night right after I started the thread, and it went pretty quickly.

    This week I'm super-busy, but it may be the following weekend I can go into work and make a big push. I think all of you are right that it will be worth it for the big payoff in less stress.

  8. #8
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    Another baby step tonight.

    I've been incredibly disorganized and stressed at work these last two weeks. In some ways, I prepared well for the semester, but I underestimated how much work some of my administrative projects would take and then, having a messy office has just been like gasoline on the fire.

    Today, a co-worker came into my office to ask me something, and it was so embarrassing.

    And I realized that if I just took 15 minutes to clear my desk of the piles of paper, I would feel ten times better.

    So I did that, threw a lot away, put some in an empty file cabinet to deal with later. Then I wiped down the whole desk with a wet cloth, gave my coffee mug and coffee pot and maker a good wipe-down too. I also went online and ordered a pretty poster for the top shelf above my desk.

    There are still stacks of boxes, but the first thing anyone sees (including - perhaps most importantly? - myself) when they come in is my desk, and now that looks pretty, with a photograph and a few other things I love and a pretty green vase with a multi-colored paper flower that my daughter made.

    I know I have much more to do, but I'm really glad that at first, I just focused on letting myself feel better in the space without beating myself up about how much more needs to be done.

  9. #9
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    The boss has now assigned someone else to the paper heavy task, but has not set a date for transfer of duties.

    At night I lock all my papers in my desk drawer so at least I come in to a clean work space in the morning. Also, I have seen the mean girls snooping in other peopke's desks. "I wonder what she has in here" etc.

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