Wednesday, October 9, 2013


My husband and I share our office at home. Since I've been unemployed, I have been roaming the house organizing the garage, the basement, cleaning the boys room and at the back of my mind, I am dreading the office. I think part of my dread is the potentially hopelessness of ever getting this office clean. Take a look:

At first this might not look so bad, so take a further look:

And I've actually worked on this a bit! I'm not sure why that wine bottle is being saved. My husband works on the theory that he knows where everything is in this pile of mess and if I start cleaning it up, I'll ruin his system. Usually he is correct, though every six months or so we have a panic when he can't find a bill or a particularly crucial piece of paper.There are some interesting studies on clean desk vs messy ones: Basically if you have a messy desk, you are creative and if you have a neat one, you get things done. Hmmm.

I have to admit, that I can go overboard. Once in a fit of organizational frenzy, I was cleaning out our closet and tossed a box of old tee shirts belonging to my husband. Now, these shirts had been in our closest for at least 10 years without ever being worn or even looked at. Did I tell you that they were his old tee shirts from his college days? Custom ones from Greek week, charity events etc. I've never seen him so angry at me! He didn't speak to me for days (and if you know my husband, you'll know how hard it is for him not to speak!). It's still a sore forgotten. So I'm a bit worried I might throw out something crucial. My strategy when I've attempted this before is to put the things I think should be tossed into their own pile and let him go through that, but often that just shifts the problem and creates new piles. And really, I do think that articles on financial strategy from 2004 are a bit irrelevant at this point! And there is a sweet side to this...he saves (or used to till I corrupted him), every card I've given him, whereas I read them and toss 'em.

However I discovered that I have similar issues, but on the computer desktop rather than my physical one. I never really paid attention to this until my sons started complaining when they would borrow my computer to look something up on the web. I keep a lot of tabs open in my browser and a lot of open applications. It drives them crazy! Plus my mailboxes in my various email systems are stuffed full of notes I should be deleting but haven't gotten around to. My husband by contrast, is vigilant in keeping his email box cleaned out. So what does this say about us? I'm virtually messy and physically organized, while he is the reverse. It's great that opposites attract but how is that going to help me get this damned office under control?

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