A Hot Mess

I knew I would not find the definition of “Hot Mess” in Webster, so I turned to my trusted friend, Urban Dictionary.

Hot Mess

  1. A derogatory term describing a situation, behavior, appearance, etc. that is disastrously bad. Think “faux pas” but times ten. Possible origin is literal (think, steaming dogpile).
  2. Someone or something that is such a mess . . . the level of it is off the charts. It’s past pathetic, past pitiful. It’s to the point you almost have to walk away to keep from bustin’ a gut. Hot messes can exist in all levels.

To say my home office is a hot mess is a complete understatement. It’s a hot mess to the nth degree! It has become the dumping ground for all the stuff we don’t know what to do with exactly. How messy it’s gotten is due to many things – laziness for one (me thinking I’ll just do it another time), disorganized systems, and my tendency to bury my head in the sand when I have a big – NOT FUN – project to work on. I ignore it until it’s gotten to a point it’s almost unmanageable.

The office is supposed to be used for my photography business, our household files, my sewing machine and supplies, and my craft supplies. When we first built our house, my dad, Aaron, and I came up with the current layout thinking it would work the best and be the most efficient.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

I don’t mind where the desk is now, but it is almost too deep – I really have to reach to get to anything at the back half. I do love the amount of work space it provides, though. I can really spread out to work – whether it’s homework from school, scrapbooking, or photography work. The problem with how deep it is comes with the space behind my chair. I originally had my sewing table there so I could use the desk chair for sewing projects. Unfortunately, the space between the two doesn’t leave a lot of room for moving and sewing was too difficult. I was talking to a friend who runs a hairdressing business and she as telling me that Usave provides some fantastic quotes for business energy. That helped he increase he efficiency, maybe I can learn from her?

The long counter space is supposed to be cleared off so it can be used for big projects that need a lot of room (framing prints, scrapbooking, laying out fabric to cut, etc. Unfortunately it has become a mish-mash of bills that need filed, books, printing supplies, and any other “junk” we just throw in here to get it out of the living space of our house.

The shelving across from the counter is awesome, but unorganized. I need to find a way to organize the shelving so that it is usable, clean, organized, and nice to look at. I want to be able to leave the door to the office open when we have company over and not be embarrassed by the state of it.

The office as it is currently:

So, in my spare time, I am gutting the office to bare bones. As I pull things out, I am sorting it into piles – general craft stuff, scrapbooking, photography supplies, sewing supplies, etc. – and then I will sort each individual pile even further.

I am doing a lot of purging as I pull stuff out of the office, as well. During this first sort & gut I am only getting rid of garbage and I am sorting it into either the shred box or the trash box. The only stuff I am actually getting rid of immediately is the surface garbage. Records outdated that we no longer need to keep, old schoolwork, and obsolete paperwork. I placed the two cardboard boxes I’m sorting into right at the door so I can’t take the “garbage” anywhere else in the house. Basically – if it gets past the door, it’s worth going in the sorted pile until I have time to take a deeper look at it. This first purge is quick, spontaneous, and only surface deep.

There are several goals of this project. The first and foremost is to create an organized, efficient office space that is usable. The other not so obvious goals are to purge paperwork we’ve been holding onto for way too long, organize each of the different hobbies I have, and create a space that is enjoyable to be in rather than one I want to avoid. As part of this project, my parents are going to come over and help me re-organize the office as we re-load stuff into it. My mom is a master-purger, so she is going to help me go through the sorted piles once I have them all out and the initial purge done.

A place for everything, everything in it’s place.
~ Benjamin Franklin

Most importantly, I have a brain that works like a pin ball machine. I bounce from one thought to another quickly, randomly, and with no warning. One problem I have is staying on task – as a matter of fact, my dad used to call me “Side-track Sally”. Getting side-tracked is a huge obstacle I face all the time. By organizing our office, I’m hoping that staying on task when I’m working in there will be easier. It was pointed out to me recently that unless my environment is organized and efficient, I am unable to be organized and efficient. I had never put two and two together before, but once it was pointed out to me, it became painfully obvious that it was a correct interpretation of me and how my brain works.

Inspiration for how I want the office to look (from Better Homes & Gardens):

The picture above is where I initially got the spark I needed to fix our office. It is a picture of a dining room converted to home office in a very small space (nearly the same square footage of my office). I really like the way they used different containers and baskets for organizing different elements in the office.

Our office is a very very pale shade of yellow – almost more cream than yell0w, and my favorite color is red, so the pictures below really stuck out to me. I like the use of the red containers, and the baskets again in the third picture. I think a combination of some colorful containers along with baskets would be great looking and would help make the office a great place to be.

The budget for now, only allows for reorganizing and not purchasing a whole bunch of new storage elements, and most of our “stuff” will be kept in the existing containers or labeled cardboard boxes. However, once I do have money to buy containers, all I will have to do is move the stuff from the cardboard boxes into them. I can’t wait!

I will keep posting pictures as the project moves along, and I will definitely post the final result.

After I am done with the office? The Master Bedroom!

4 thoughts on “A Hot Mess

  1. Love it! I’m doing the very same thing around my house these days. Just today I tackled the bathroom drawers and cupboards. Can’t wait to see your “after” pictures!

    P.S. I love the new layout. Your girls are gorgeous!

  2. Yes, but you’re nesting – you have an excuse! 🙂

    I’m beginning to think I’m ADD/OCD/AR/ADHD – it’s the only sane excuse I can come up with. LOL

    Thanks – I think they’re gorgeous, too.

  3. Pingback: Hot Mess Stage I |

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