office space

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April 11, 2013 by Ellen V

My high school cross country team was absolutely obsessed with the 1999 movie Office Space. I think there was an entire year that we would hang out in my parents basement, raid their snacks, and watch the movie weekly. I don’t remember it being that great of a movie, but I’ve probably seen it two dozen times…

I long for the cubicle that were so hated in that movie. Sister K might argue that she’d prefer an office, but sometimes I think a little cubicle that didn’t have so much space for me to junk up would be a blessing in disguise. My office is about 8 feet x 8 feet or so–just large enough for me to really, really make a mess in. And I take full advantage.
When I was pregnant with Jane, I nested my office a little bit. I have two large desks that took up the majority of space, so I had one removed to make a little more room. I dreamed of bringing Jane to work occasionally, and now there was room for a portable crib! (Or, at least, room to change her diaper on the floor.)

The reality has been a little depressing. It’s probably been about 18 months since my office looked really good. Though Jane sometimes visits work, there’s no question that full days there are not fun for anyone, and without her as motivation, it has been come very cluttered. I am famous for my piles (just ask Eric or Mama K), and while I’ve kept them to a minimum at home lately, my office is filled with them. It’s awful. Truly.

As I continue to unpack what it means to keep my home clean, I know I must pay attention to my habits in my office, as well. As summer approaches and a slower pace at my workplace nears, I hope I can form the habit of keeping the areas in which I live, work, and play uncluttered.

In my office, I especially need to work on:
  • finding easily accessible homes for documents I use on a regular basis
  • filing cabinets that hold (wait for it…) files, as opposed to stuff that doesn’t have a better home
  • a bookshelf for books that aren’t used or are duplicates that can be passed on to those who will cherish them
  • carving out time in my workday to immediately deal with any paperwork or objects that have found their way onto my workspace
For me, as for many in my generation, electronic cleanliness is easier to come by than physical cleanliness in my work. I can find a Word document or a sent email from three years ago in seconds, but ask me for a piece of paper you handed me a week ago, and I’ll be searching for a month. It’s easy to admit that my work will be more efficient and a higher quality with a little bit more of a grasp on all this.

But I do feel like my office might feel a little sad without it’s piles…


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