Our household has been in the midst of serious remodeling for the past two years. My husband decided he wanted to renovate our out-of-date kitchen first, and that led to new floors in all the back bedrooms. Of course, you can’t have new wood floors without painting and installing new closet inserts. At least you can’t in our house.

In his defense, my husband does all the work with my son. That’s actually the reason I don’t provide much “input” other than approving all the colors my husband has already picked out for me to choose from.
But now it has come down to the most serious of all spaces: my office.

I’m convinced that once I get all my reference books together with my research notebooks, my computer and various other writing materials, that I will be a prolific if not necessarily gifted writer. But — the cleaning out and organizing of “stuff” has to come before the remodeling.

Learning that 82% of what we keep we never use was a huge incentive for clearing out the office. Fortunately, as part of my job for the library system, I arranged several organizational workshops and I learned about a great system: S.P.A.C.E.

Sort – create different bags or boxes for things to keep, toss, giveaway, move or sell.

Purge – decide what to donate, toss, sell or store based on criteria. Have you used it in the past year? Is it broken? Would it be expensive to replace? Does it meet the current purpose of the space?

Assign – create zones such as active use, reference, archive.

Contain – use shelves, drawers, bins, bags and creative storage ideas to hold the items you are keeping.

Equalize – develop a new habit of maintaining the space. Don’t put it down, put it away!

The first steps were accomplished this weekend, and I look forward to posting an update when the “Steampunk Office” is completed later this summer.

Deborah Schneider


5 responses to “S.P.A.C.E.

  1. Ooooo can’t wait to see the Steampunk office! *grins* Sounds fantastic.

    I clean out stuff in the house a lot. *laughs* Somehow it keeps multiplying. Got into the habit when we did our big move from AL here to CO. I decided I wasn’t going to bring anything back with us that we weren’t using. Also performed the same surgery on the storage unit I’d had. I figured if I’d lived without it for the better part of a year and a half I probably didn’t need it. (the notable exception was my Christmas decorations)

    Now we’re getting ready for another move and I’m back in the purge mindset. 😀 Every time I walk through the house I’m eyeing things wondering if we “really need that after all” or if it can go in the bin or the Goodwill box.


  2. Jar O' Marbles

    I’m with Katy on this one, that Steampunk office sounds AWESOME.

  3. A couple of years ago my wife and I employed S-P-A-C-E, or a variant closely akin to it. That resulted in our hauling two pickup trucks full of stuff to our homeowners association annual flea market where we made enough cash to plant a third +/- of our garden. Somehow, all the space we created in our closets and garage has filled since then, and I’m wondering if the time hasn’t come to go to the nursery again. 😀

    BTW, ditto to Katy and Annette.

  4. Deb, I used to do this thing I read about on the Internet – take 15 minutes every single day and do basically what you’ve done but starting in one corner of your house and continuing through the whole house until you were done then starting again. You were only allowed to touch each item once – keep, dump, put in the right place, send to the Salvation Army.

    I loved doing it and I’m tempted to start up again. I think it would be terrific – especialy in my tiny tiny apartment.


  5. Yes folks, the Steampunk office should be fun. My husband and I will heading to Portland next month to a huge antique show in search of a table to serve as a computer desk. He has lots of ideas for decorating MY office!
    I know what you’re saying Raymond, because I have to constantly be on alert, if I bring something in – what goes out? A big garage sale looms in our future. And Kate, you are so right. I try to move things to their proper place everyday. The only problem I have is dealing with books. I always have a pile of them from the library and my own added into the lot. “So many books, so little time” is my mantra. Thank you all for stopping by today!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s