A clean slate
After many years of using other people's cast off furniture in my home office I have at last been able to afford to have it refitted with custom furniture.
The first step, however, was to empty the room! This was a major undertaking and I doubt I could have even attempted it without additional help from my sister-in-law. We systematically worked through each storage area, emptying it and sorting the contents into rubbish, keep (important), keep (sentimental) and recycle. You wouldn't believe how many rubbish bags we filled and took to the recycling place! The stuff that was kept was transferred into my "makeshift office" in the box room that had been my son's bedroom before he got married and left home.
Surprisingly almost all the furniture and stuff fitted in a room half the size of the original one. OK, so its cosy. :) But I have what I need at my fingertips and actually know where everything is. That is a first!
I did have one disaster while sorting out. We found the plug for my daylight lamp, but as I had no idea where the lamp itself was (I actually thought I had discarded it a while ago) we decided to get rid of the plug. The very next day, I found the lamp! In a box on top of the bookcase. Grrrrrr. That will teach me!
The new office is in the process of being decorated and the carpenter is booked for next week to come and start building the custom furniture to fit the room. The plans look terrific and I will have much more storage and work surface, (which will all be on the same level unlike before) that it will be fantastic. I will have room to not only work on the computer but also to undertake the many crafts that I do and write about on my Web sites.
I know that David suggests going through everything before starting GTD, and I have done little bits of that in the past, but this total purge and reorganization has been both wonderful and scary.
I know have a clear desk and easy access to everything I use each day. And I am not in the newly fitted office yet!
I understand this might be a bit drastic for some, but it seems to have worked wonders for me. I will share photos of the new office once it is complete.
Congrats! I bet you feel on top of the world. Great work :D
Keep up the good work Carol!
Don't let the thing about tossing out the plug and then finding the lamp the next day fool you. Before and after does not mean do it differently next time.
Good luck with GTD
Thanks guys. Yup it feels good. Will be even better when the new office is created and I can move in. Then I will have to work out what goes where, which will be a major job.
Next action on my list is to finish painting the walls.
Re the plug: see "Consolation Grook", which is one of the grooks on this page:
I've gotten rid of things and regretted it. I've thought I'd gotten rid of things,
regretted it, then later discovered that I still had the thing after all, kept it,
and still didn't get around to actually using it. I've also kept a lot of things for
far too long. I try to tell myself that if I hit the optimum level of getting rid of
things, there will be some things I get rid of too soon as well as some I keep
too long (unless I spend infinite time on research to get the best decision
on whether to keep each item).
Aiming to avoid all regrets would involve keeping too much stuff, which
would cost a lot more than the value of those regretted items.
It can be hard to accept this message at gut level, though.
Really, a lamp that you thought you'd discarded long ago probably isn't
worth a lot to you. If you had neither that lamp nor its plug but you
saw identical ones for sale somewhere, how much would you pay for them?
Small compared to the value of your new tidy office or the time and effort
you put into setting it up.
Congratulations on your new office!
We had a feng shui consultant come over and go through our house (we're in California where we do those kinds of things - and we say it with a straight face, too) and one of the best things she said was, "Will you ever be in a position where you can't afford to buy another one if you need it?" That one question, believe it or not, made it easier to part with the clutter we were on the fence about.
So, good job, Carol! Looking forward to seeing photos!
Availability of goods.
Strange but I would answer: yes. And it was not about the money but about the availability of goods.
Originally Posted by artsinaction
When communists ruled Poland most of the times you could find one thing in every shop - empty shelves. So you were buying things when they appeared in the shop. My aunt still has two vacuum cleaners that she bought in 1980s...
It may sound funny but if you cannot buy warm shoes and it's -25C outside you have a very different point of view on minimalism and clean slates...
Doesn't sound funny at all. I know that if there ever comes a time that I cannot afford to replace the pair of speakers I packed up, things are pretty bad off for us - and what would I really need the speakers for at that point anyway, right?
Originally Posted by TesTeq
Your point is well taken. Thanks for calling me out on it. And I still have all of my warm shoes.
My answer to that is the problem is that it isn't the money but the quality of the goods that will be available when you do need it. I've gotten rid of stuff that I sincerely regretted. Not because I didn't have the money to buy them again but because when I did decide that I really did need the item you could not find a replacement with anything like the same quality at any price!
Originally Posted by artsinaction