Yesterday I called a couple of home organizers to get an idea of what they can do for me and how much they’ll charge to do it. On the plus side, if I hire someone for six hours, we’ll book an appointment and I won’t be able to procrastinate my way out of it. On the minus side, it’ll cost several hundred dollars. I haven’t decided if I’ll hire one or not, but it’s under consideration.

Meanwhile I received several private emails from people who either didn’t believe my office was as bad as I claimed it was, or who thought it was probably even worse. Honestly, it couldn’t get much worse, but we’ll start with a photo of one of my bookshelves, which is one of the least problematic areas in my office.

On the floor:

  • an empty toner cartridge that has to be recycled
  • a basket of junk I don’t use (I honestly have no idea what’s in it)

Bottom shelf:

  • UPS unit (uninterrupted power supply)
  • two storage boxes (in use)
  • modem and router
  • an anthology of women’s literature
  • four stacking trays filled with printer paper, labels, overhead transparencies, envelopes

Second shelf:

  • the pile on the left: scanner, two empty storage boxes, a box of stationary and an old teddy bear
  • a storage box filled with promo stuff (bookmarks, biz cards, etc.)
  • two binders (white) filled with stuff I wrote as a freelancer
  • a magazine file filled with research material used when I was a freelancer
  • binders (black) filled with photographic slides from when I was a sessional lecturer in earth sciences

Third shelf:

  • printer (in use)
  • all-in-one fax machine (no longer in use, although the tray makes a handy paper caddy) and it’s accompanying telephone, which works when the power goes out

Fourth shelf:

  • a stack of recycled printer paper
  • books
  • a pile of photos on top of some of the books
  • assorted cat toys

Fifth shelf:

  • more books

Top shelf:

  • books I can’t reach—genealogy, gardening, plus a dozen issues of academic guidebooks for which I was the project editor

How much of this stuff do I actually use/need? Maybe twenty percent. Why do I have all this stuff? For one thing, I have the shelfspace for it. A lot of it seemed important when I put it there five or ten years ago, but I haven’t needed it since. Meanwhile, many things I do need and use are piled on desktops and the floor because I have no shelfspace for them.

For the rest of this week, I will ponder whether or not to hire a home/office organizer. If you or someone you know has worked with one, I’d love to hear about it.

Until next time,

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