Oops, I Lost my Desk Again

Let’s face it, organization is an art not a science and every little effort to organize doesn’t always work. There wouldn’t be shelves full of books and magazines, an internet full of blogs and advice or even the beloved Container Store if we all got it right on the first try.

I for one, am an excellent organizer, but maintaining is where I struggle. My closet is a prime example of this. It would be perfect IF I would just always hang up my clothes and put away my shoes, but I just can’t make myself do that every.single.day (like the guy I live with who’s closet is perfect all.the.time. thankfully we don’t share that space #pleasedontdivoremeovermycloset) What this means is it doesn’t look like it did after the great purge but I’m still working on it.

The closet is my fault (or maybe my laziness’s fault) but sometimes no matter what you do, your system doesn’t work for you. Case in point- my desk. Remember how perfect it looked not so long ago? And we lived happily ever after.

Or maybe not.

In theory this was perfect- my filing system is great and really working and the little bucket full of sharpies was pretty much life altering BUT it’s the day to day stuff that got in the way. You have a file for that? Great, but where does it go when you don’t have time to file it right away? You got these bills in the mail today? Great, but that’s another thing I  can’t always take care of as soon as we get them.

Some of you are great at taking care of everything right away, but I just can’t do it. Too often the couch calling me for a nap is much louder than the files begging to be filled. Anyway, I’m going to call my previous desk re-org a big flop.

You don’t believe me? Here is where I started before…


and here is the after the after but before this after (did you follow that?)

Yikes! (bikes! what movie is that from? quick, somebody name it!)

Yep, it got WORSE than the before before so I had to do something, stat. I saved my Container Store birthday money so it was decided- I was uncovering the old desk (and in case you forgot) STAT.

I showed you my booty from that little shopping spree, but specifically this is what I got for the office. 

(forgive the funny lighting and please tell me you laughed at my booty joke!)

Thanks to the office sale, I took home an acrylic file folder bin and some pretty file folders to verify that there was in fact a desk still under the mess spruce up the place. And then I did it. (If you are curious how I sorted, etc just take a look at the last time I uncovered the desk– my purge/sort/organize method works great, it was the other part that killed it.)

Let’s skip right to the after, after: Tada! or you may be wondering what is different this time. Well, I’m so glad you asked. Let’s take a closer look at my new little friend…

There really is a place for everything. Each folder has a purpose and my trick is…

I’m not committing to a folder system just yet. I used post-its to help see what works. My labels are:

  • To pay (for new bills or hair pieces-ha)
  • To file (in my other filing system)
  • Reciepts (until the old budget can be balanced)
  • Coupons
  • Projects
  • and a blank!

So far these are working pretty well for me and just may become permanent, eventually. I’m seeing what works best for me and tweaking, like this switch… 

Interesting, right? I like it this way because I have all this space in the right side for things like my Erin Condren (love of my) Life Planner. 

Now for your questions (I’m reading your mind)

Is your desk spotless now? Um, no. Right this second there is a pile of mail and a new binder I’m working on beside me BUT in 2 seconds flat I could pick it back up. Not true with the old system.

Left of Right? On the fence? I left the files on the left for awhile and then switched them back a week or so ago. I’m leaning to the right because it hides my external hard drive beautifully.

Why does this work? Because I listened to my clutter. I’m only half joking, I had to take the time to figure out my problem areas and find a place for those and then (the key) tweak as I go.

What about you- are you a perfect every time organizer or have you had some major failures, too? What are your tricks to keep the things under control so they don’t look like my disaster?

And just so you don’t think I’m always a failure at organizing- check out my purse and jewelry solutions. I’m very happy to report those worked, first try. Sometimes I do get it right-Yay! 

Sharing with A Thoughtful Place’s Keep Calm and Organize on Link Party