Home Office Organization

Now before you call Hoarders on me, LOL, let me explain that big mess in the back corner. That actually happened while cleaning out other spaces. Kind of like when I clean out a closet – I tend to make a bigger mess than the closet itself ever was. 😛 haha Not to mention the “pile” (oh, you have to love those crazy piles!) got knocked over, making it a *real* mess…

Most of those things were saved for my Travel Wall – which is something I can’t wait to dig in and work on! They go with the maps in the fishtank. 🙂 LOL.

So let’s talk Home Office Organization. What are your problem areas?? I can’t wait to see your home office photos! Share them below, or tag me with them on Facebook. 😉

68 Responses to “Home Office Organization”

  1. Randy Cantrell December 30, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    You’re not quite ready for Extreme Hoarders. 😉

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 9:31 am #

      Oh thank goodness!! That show scares me to death, LOL, and I’ve never even watched it! The commercials alone give me the shivers. haha

  2. Angie December 30, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    Oh boy your office is no where near as messy as mine! I’m quite embarrassed to even show it because no on in their right mind would be able to work in here. I have a lot of clutter to clear out. Maybe I’ll post a picture on FB later if I get up the nerve.

    It could have real potential but boy it gives me a headache just sitting in the middle of it!

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 9:38 am #

      Whew – I am SO glad I’m not alone. I was really embarrassed to show mine! LOL. It’s going to be fun to dig in and get my office back like I want it. I have moved so much stuff around this year that it’s just turned into one big mess! :p

  3. Scott Milford December 30, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    My office looks the same as your, Lynn. Basically, I know that there are hidden forms of resistance preventing me from taking action and decluttering my office. I believe that unless I discover them or find a way to overpower them with the right kind of inspiration, my office will end up looking the same again down the road.

    Here’s my plan:
    It’s going to be a 30-Day Challenge. Starting January 1st, I plan to spend 15 minutes per day actively decluttering my office. But I also have to try to create a new system for the things that get put in various piles. Each pile and each item doesn’t have a permanent home or process. If it needs one I’ll make one, then move on.

    That’s my plan. 🙂

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 9:40 am #

      That’s a great plan. Have you read Zen Habits? It really helped me with the idea of finding a place for everything, and creating new habits for dealing with things as they come in. I’ve been putting it into practice in small ways, and it’s already making a big difference.

      I like the idea of devoting time every day to the task. Trying to tackle it all at once is overwhelming. LOL. I think, for me, starting with my Travel Wall will be the thing to do – as most of my “clutter” will be taken care of with that alone. AND it will be a fun project!

      • Scott Milford December 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

        I’ve read some stuff on Zen Habits. I like Leo’s sense of space in our lives. I need more of that.

        I started using the Getting Things Done (GTD) system earlier this year and though it’s a bit complex for some people, I found it to be VERY comprehensive and just what I needed. It was working until I started redoing my office. Since then, I just haven’t gotten it put all back together. This has revealed to me that I still had some processes that need to be in place. I’ll be tackling them soon, however.

        Great topic!

        • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

          Thanks. That’s what happened here too – some serious rearranging and such. I got rid of some pieces, moved others around, added a few – and in the process… made a gigantic mess. :p Here’s to cleaner space!

  4. Bridget December 30, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Right there with you, my home office/exercise room/ craft room is a mess and organization seems to be the biggest problem and also trying to make it a pretty room is a challenge.

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      I so LOVE your space though! It’s a great layout, and has so much potential! Luckily yours doesn’t show when someone walks in your house. My office is in the back of the house, but the first thing you walk into from the back door – and visible from other parts of the house with such an open home…

      • Bridget December 31, 2011 at 11:13 am #

        thanks Lynn, I do love my space too I just need to stop being lazy and get to work on it. You just need some pretty cabinets with doors so you can hide your stuff away

        • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

          I have enough space in my big desk to put the few things I need to keep. Everything else is going to find a real home and no “hiding” LOL. 😉

  5. Sherie December 30, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Now I know what you did with all the stuff from the corner built-ins in your dining room! Ha!

    Looks like we all have a lot in common right now. My office finally got so messy that I moved my ‘work’ to the dining table. Yep, I pushed myself right out of my own office! Plus my 2nd business has overtaken my guest room so when I’m working on jewelry I’m in the living room with my spotlight peaking over my shoulder. (makes for beautiful living room decor – LOL)

    In my defense though, these last few months have been overwhelming in many regards. Two ‘part-time’ businesses kicked in gear more, plus we had a family member hospitalized for several weeks. My brother-in-law passed away recently and the services were yesterday afternoon. So today will be our first ‘normal’ day for several months.

    Just last night Ken and I were talking about how we have dealt with everything and still managed to pull off a good Christmas for our family here in TN, our family back in Florida, his work employees, plus helping his brother’s family get through that difficult and emotional time. We know we did all of those things right, but our house went to pot as a result. (well, not literally, of course! LOL)

    Our sad half-decorated Christmas tree is a testimony to how ‘unnormal’ this year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas have been. Luckily we hadn’t planned to host any parties or dinners in our home for this holiday season so no one saw our mess but us.

    It’s funny that you’re talking organization TODAY, because today is our first day of getting back to normal here. Along with packing away what decorations we did put up, I’m tackling my office space. Next on the agenda will be the guest room clutter.

    When my home or work space gets out of control I feel like my LIFE is out of control. For me, that equates to big-time STRESS! So getting us back to normal as soon as possible is the high agenda for the next few weeks.

    We finally had to just ‘let it all go’ and not worry about it. Just take each priority as it came at us. That was the only way we could cope, since we knew it was only temporary.

    Don’t feel bad, Lynn. We all have places like yours in our homes. Some are cluttered corners, some are overgrown closets…and some are – well…half the house like with us right now! LOL

    Wish you and everyone here a fun and safe New Years celebration! (and happy cleaning everyone!)


    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

      LOL for the record, NONE of that came out of the dining room shelves. haha I did good there – it either got put away or thrown away. 😉

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

      *hugs* Sherie. I think it’s awesome that you let it go so you could focus elsewhere when you needed to – instead of letting it stress you out or wear you down (keeping up with it all). Good for you!

      Sometimes home just needs to be lived in.

      Happy New Year to you! Here’s to organized spaces 😉 *cheers*

  6. Bernita December 30, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Lynn, as you can see your not alone. I personally can’t concentrate when things get to out of order around me. I don’t have a separate office to work from so my living or dining rooms are multi functional. I have a computer Amur where I keep paper work, books and etc.

    I’m a big believer in Feng Shui and know when you clear your space of the clutter and maybe consider a rearrangement of furniture (But not necessary just what I use to do in the past for work) the energy will just flow and be opened up to attract more of what you want.

    Have fun with it! 🙂

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

      It’s a good thing the clutter doesn’t affect my concentration or creativity – or I’d be broke by now with the shape of my office. LOL. To be honest, it really hasn’t bothered me the last few months. I’ve been focused on bigger things.

      But all of a sudden lately I’m going through the entire house, room by room, getting it together. Which feels great! 😀 It’s an insane (fun) energy and I’m just going with it.

      (Note: this is typical for me with a break-up, or any big change in my life. LOL. I should do that more often, hey? Not! haha)

      I am big on Feng Shui too – mainly in placement and arrangement. Facing doors, specific layouts, etc. I like things to flow naturally when you walk into or through a room…

      • Satu December 31, 2011 at 6:52 am #

        I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project and one of the most happiness enhancing things she did was clear clutter.

        So if you keep decluttering, you get very very happy. 🙂

        I agree there is something very satisfying about clearing clutter. Gonna take a second 15 minute dive in my paper stacks today. *grin*

  7. Cindy Brock December 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I can help you sell what you don’t want. (Plug for my http://AmazonSellerSecrets.com web site.)

    I’ve gone ahead and bitten the bullet and am sharing my before and after pics – of my OLD office. Here is the link:

    (I wasn’t sure how to make that a true link inside this post.)

    If you want to know what I did, you can grab a free copy of my ebook at http://www.DeclutteringforDollars.com. (It will include these before/after photos.)

    I have since moved my office into a much larger space (20′ x 20′) and it’s worse than before. (It’s so bad, that I have avoided taking pictures.) I did find that too big of a space is a disaster: the more space you have, the more you’ll fill it up. (And I won’t even get into the Feng Shui aspect of all this…about how if you don’t have space, you’re blocking the good coming in, etc., etc. I don’t practice what I preach – obviously! LOL!)

    Here are my tips:

    1. Do the first pass really fast and toss what you can and create a pile of like items you want to keep (books, cds, paperwork, etc.) Don’t overthink this. If you hestiate about something, it probably needs to go.

    2. Beginning with the second pass, clean – e.g., dust, vacuum, etc. (You will be cleaning again: this is just the cursory cleaning.)

    3. Identify homes for everything and start moving them to those homes. Don’t worry about organization at this point: you’re just trying to get things closer to where they belong.

    4. Clean out any furniture you want to get rid of. Put the contents of that furniture in its respective home.

    5. Organize. Only touch something ONCE. It goes from your hand to it’s permanent home – even if this is an inbox for the mail you haven’t opened. DON’T OPEN things at this point. Again, you’re just trying to get things closer to where they need to be.

    6. Make a final cleaning pass.

    7. You can now sort papers and take care of the mail and stuff like that. Again, only touch things ONE TIME!

    The office in my before/after took me about 4 hours. About 10% was just trash. The rest was stuff I needed that only needed the proper home. About 20% was moved to another area in my house.

    Please make sure you take an after video.

    ~Cindy 😉

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

      Wow. Those are some serious before & after pictures! 🙂

      Thanks for all the advice. The only thing I have left to get rid of is the old filing cabinet – and it will be donated (as was everything else). The tax deduction and good deed outweigh any bit I could earn from the stuff to be honest. Plus it’s easier to drop off than to go through the process of selling. I’m lazy. LOL.

      Thanks for all the great tips! I am going to start on my Travel Wall first, and get all the things that go there in one spot – over by that wall. Then work on the rest!

  8. Satu December 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I agree with Randy: your office is not in the hoarder category at all! I find that show disturbing AND fascinating at the same time. 🙂

    I have a studio apartment and it looks more or less the same as yours (most of the time), except floors are my catch all areas where I build my paper towers (i have three paper towers near my bed at the time).

    I hate, hate, hate cables!

    Mm, I could file some papers now..

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

      I saw earlier today you got some filing done. 😀 Way to go! Cables do suck. I need to get mine more organized. And seriously need to ditch some paper stuff. I have entirely too much of that around here myself. 😛

      I bet once I get started, and especially in my “junk room”, I’ll find to-do lists from 1998 or something. LOL.

  9. Lisa Marie Mary December 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Here ya go: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150791743805361.722663.839715360&type=3 Merry Christmas! 😉

    Don’t say I never gave you anything!


    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

      Awesome – a lot like mine! LOL

      But, um, these pictures were from September. Did you make it through the 30 days to “organized” ?? 🙂

      • Lisa Marie Mary January 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

        Absolutely, positively, completely did not! Haha!

        But – my friend just gave me two more bookshelves and a cabinet – just in the nick of time! When I’m at my ‘let’s get organized’ beginning! 😉

        • Lynn Terry January 3, 2012 at 7:04 am #

          Awesome! I may need another bookshelf, or maybe one tall one with doors. I’m going to get things moving and then figure out what I still need. 😉 *cheers*

  10. Abbey Strine December 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Organizing can be fun! When your done you will be able to see all the work you did! Like you said you never know what you will find:)

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

      True – I am SO excited about digging in!

  11. Tess December 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    I love you!! I so appreciate you sharing this Lynn! Thank goodness I am not the only one with a messy office 🙂

  12. Dave Drew December 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Your office is a dream compared to my mess.

    • Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

      So you’re joining in on the challenge to organize, right? 😀

  13. Margaret MacGillivray December 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Whew, what a relief! I thought it was just me that got overwhelmed by a pile of clutter. No photos tonight but I’ll try and get some in the New Year.

    Have a great one 🙂


  14. Waleed El Salamouny December 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    I wish you a happy new year lynn 🙂

  15. Lynn Terry December 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Thank you both! Happy New Year to you!! *cheers*

  16. Tawnya Sutherland December 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Lynn…Here’s a short video of my new office. It’s amazing how you can easily fit 2 people into a 7′ x 13′ office with some good organizational skills. Here’s link to the video: http://vanetworking.com/vaoffice

    Kudos to you for working this weekend to rid of your office clutter. I find I work so much more productively when I don’t have a mess to look at 🙂 Have fun and hope you find some lost affiliate cheques in those piles 😉

    • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 6:42 am #

      What a great video! I LOVE your new place!! That ocean view was worth giving up some space, for sure. 😉 Can’t wait to visit again and work with you out on the deck. 😀 Congrats on the move, and on a super-organized home office!!

  17. Robert Nelson December 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Going through some of the comments I can see that one or more need a buy and implement a copy of “but I Might Need it Someday ” by Patty Kreamer(www.kreamerconnect.com)

  18. Janis Miller December 31, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    Hi, Lynn ~ I have decided I am up to your challenge! Here is my mess, http://janismiller.blogspot.com/2011/12/getting-organized.html

    Thank you for sharing your office and giving me the guts to share mine. 😉

    I agree with Scott that it is important to have some processes (systems?) in place to make this a successful endeavor.

    And thank you Robert for mentioning Patty Kreamer. I watched the video on her site and received some great tip. I like her EASY system.

    A good filing system is essential IMHO and two that I think are superior are “File Don’t Pile” by Pat Dorff. A great system that has stood the test of time.

    OR The Paper Tiger (www.thepapertiger.com) – not an inexpensive system, and it takes some time to implement, but it can save you lots of time in the long run.

    • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 6:45 am #

      I’m off to watch that video myself. 😀 Thank you for sharing your home office. Organization is going to be FUN! Here’s to digging in and creating a clutter-free new space 😉 *cheers*

  19. Edmund December 31, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    Hi Lynn,

    Interesting video clip. Kinda reminds me of the room that I shared with my brother. Oh well, I am going to clean up for the week as well. 🙂


    • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 6:38 am #

      LOL Edmund! This should be a fun weekend/week for a lot of us! 😉

  20. David Dutton December 31, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Are those saltwater or freshwater maps? lol

    I just got through painting my office a nice light grey and decluttered myself.

    Here is a picture of the new stick on dry erase covering on my wall that I just put up. Its fun to write on my wall now.



  21. Don Shepherd December 31, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    I thought my office was a disaster…but after seeing yours i don’t feel so bad! Thanks for Lynn!

    Just kidding, mine’s a wreck too. but i’m waiting for the real cold weather to fix it….heading out to clean my garage 🙁

    • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      Sounds like a plan. It’s a beautiful day here in TN too, and I’m off to clean off the deck! 😉 *cheers*

  22. Shelly December 31, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    I am curious about your travel wall. What is that?

    • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 9:24 am #

      I have one big blank wall in my office and I’m going to hang maps and photos and travel memorabilia. 🙂 I’m not a creative person (visually) so this should be both challenging and interesting 😉 lol…

    • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm #


      Here’s a link with a photo & more details about my Travel Wall: http://www.lynnterry.tv/161/travel-wall/ 😀

  23. Wade Watson December 31, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Be honest. It’s not going to be fun, but it will be satisfying. My own physical office is currently in a manageable, if not esthetically pleasing, state so I probably won’t do anything major until my next move.

    Most of my office work is on my main PC, though. The last time I reinstalled Windows, I decided to do a minimizing file organization structure for both my hard drive and my desktop. It all centers around 4 main sections: Computer, Business, Art-Graphics and Info-Library. I keep shortcuts to those folders on my desktop and all activity springs from there.

    • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

      I don’t know. I’m having FUN with it so far. 😀

      And yeah, I need to organize my digital life after this. LOL. Ugh!

  24. Alyssa December 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    You inspired me and my oldest and I are organizing. take a looksy – – http://alyssaavant.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/my-office.jpg

    • Lynn Terry December 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

      Yay! And oooh – I love your window!! Beautiful 🙂

  25. Karen D. December 31, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    You are so not alone, Lynn, as evidenced by my mess here at home, and the comments by others on here. LOL

    My hat’s off to all of you brave souls who, like Lynn, have posted pictures of their messes.

    I’m not yet brave enough to show my mess online, but maybe later…after I neaten it up a little. Ha ha.

    Clutter does not bother my concentration, either, but it is a nuisance.

    A friend of mine told me this story, and it is something I thought of while listening to you, Lynn, reading other comments on here, and when I’m looking at my own piles of you-know-what.

    Not that any of us here would ever take it this far, but it is a cautionary tale, and makes those hoarding shows (that I avoid, too), look like child’s play.

    For those of you who don’t know about the Collyer brothers, here is one link, and you can find tons more on Google:


    Lynn, your comments about finding hidden gems holds true for my stuff, too. Just the other day, last week, I was going through some stuff, and came across some treasures.

    I live in a very old house, circa 1909, and there are very few closets. There are none at all downstairs, and only a few upstairs.

    There is the basement, but it’s not fully finished. The barn/garage is used for some storage, too, but it’s even more exposed to the elements than the cellar.

    In any event, managing things on a daily basis often feels like a juggling act, and then when it gets out of hand…yikes. 😀

    Back when Lynn was showing us her junk room, and Christmas decorations, I got inspired to finally go out to the barn for some of my holiday stuff.

    As I said, last week, I got busy in one of the rooms going through stuff.

    It is best to take it one step at a time, as we’ve all talked about on here. If I get too excited about getting organized, I wind up making an even bigger mess. Sometimes that can’t be helped, but I’m sure all of you know what I mean, and I’ve seen comments here to that effect.

    My long-winded point is to say thanks for the inspiration. Even if I don’t share my photos on here, I do feel as if I have company to help me along. 🙂


    P.S. Not sure if it will show up until I hit the “Leave comment” button, but I finally got around to Gravatar to upload a picture for my avatar here.

    Obviously, mine will change over time, but thought this one would be fun for this time of year.

    • Lynn Terry January 1, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      I see your gravatar! It IS nice to work on this “together” even if it is virtually. 🙂 I’ve been really inspired, and the sharing just motivates me that much more. I’m hoping the energy lasts me all the way through to getting it ALL done… lol.

      • Karen D. January 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

        Glad the Snow Person showed up on here. 😉

        It really does help with all aspects to talk about it on here.

        Motivation is key, too. I forgot to mention this in my thank you. 🙂

        It’s a constant process, and extends to my digital world, as well. I think you mentioned this in one of your comments on a different video.

        As for energy levels, I have to pace myself for this, too, along with my attention span. LOL

        Music helps me get through it, too, because at times it can be very dull work.

        Best of luck to all of us in getting the upper hand on the clutter in our lives. 😀

        • Lynn Terry January 3, 2012 at 7:02 am #

          We’ll get it done – no matter how long it takes us! *cheers*

  26. Carole Cross January 1, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Yep, looks like my office! Here’s a little video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHGcN9aOo6I&list=UUW0CBnaIDzp_m7j0GUD8X9w&index=1&feature=plcp

    What program do you use to create your videos? They’re just beautiful!

    Thanks for inspiring me to be more, Lynn! You’re the best! 🙂

    • Lynn Terry January 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

      I am so glad I’m not alone in this! 😀

      I use iMovie on my macbook pro to edit the videos. Thank you!

  27. Rick January 4, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Way funny! Now I don’t feel so bad…although my wife tells me I leave trails 🙂 That could be worse…however, I still know where everything is until someone moves it…at least you keep yours condensed!

    BTW…I very much enjoy what you have to offer to the online commUnity! So much value and authenticity…looking forward to the future!

    All the Best from Above…

    • Lynn Terry January 5, 2012 at 7:17 am #

      Thank you so much, Rick. 😀

      I’ve been the same way for YEARS. I called it “organized chaos” LOL. It may have been everywhere, but there wasn’t anything I couldn’t find in less than five minutes flat. LOL.

  28. Gary January 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Hi Lynn,

    Finally, I have gotten to putting up a comment on this post.

    For me: Chronic fatigue + small space = clutter.

    So, I am working the 15 minute segment program to work on my clutter (short term) and reading the Leo books to find tips and tools to simplify even further.

    My formula: clutter free small space + living simply = more happiness * productivity.

    Do, look for little things that can make your day the greatest day in your life, EVER!


    Do, give spirituality FIRST place in your life

    • Lynn Terry January 5, 2012 at 7:17 am #

      I love the idea of consistently dedicating 15 minutes a day to “clearing your space”. It really does require consistency. There is ALWAYS more stuff! 😉

  29. Loretta January 9, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    I have a “mess corner” like that in pretty much every room of my house right now! (except maybe the bathroom, which just has a random piles of little boy’s clothes in the corner!)

    • Lynn Terry January 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      It’s been that way here too, Loretta. I worked on that over the weekend and man – it felt great to get rid of some of those piles! Just cleaning out the “random sock basket” that’s been sitting there for two years was a huge mission! LOL 😛

  30. Lynn Terry January 14, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Here is an update: Home Office Organization, Part Two 😀


  1. Home Office, Part Two | Video Blog by Lynn Terry - January 13, 2012

    […] A quick update & tour of my home office since my last video on Office Organization… […]

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