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Today's Office Dare

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July 18th, 2006


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08:36 am - Wall-to-wall what?
For the first time in over a year, I've actually had some energy lately. On the one hand, this is a welcome change from feeling blah and ill most of the time. On the other hand, it has given me the opportunity to become fully aware of the fact that I was completely surrounded and, in fact, was probably very close to losing the war altogether.

The enemy: clutter.

Now, when most people say their desk is "cluttered," they mean they've got a couple of pictures of their dog and/or their kids, nieces, nephews, maybe a couple of troll dolls, a vase of flowers, and a pencil holder with a witty motto such as "I don't do mornings" or "#include <caffeine.h>".

When they say their room is "cluttered," they mean that there is, perhaps, a basket of undone laundry in the corner waiting to be taken to the wash and two or three pairs of shoes in a pile by the door. There may even be a box of stuff waiting to be taken to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, and some books piled on one of the chairs.

This, my friends, is not "cluttered." Or maybe, it is "cluttered" in the same sense that "abdominal pain" could be a bit of gas or an aortic aneurysm. To make a long story short, I suddenly became aware of the fact that my office was the victim of the proverbial aortic aneurysm of clutter.

For example, I know that, theoretically, there is carpet on the floor of my office. However, except for a very narrow and precariously obstacle-laden trail to the door and another to the bathroom (the latter being nearly as difficult to negotiate as your standard English hedge maze with the occasional Molotov cocktail being lobbed over the greenery at random), said carpet could not be seen at all.

Indeed, I know that, theoretically, my desk has a surface which is composed of glass-covered wood. However, except for a very narrow space approximately three inches square where I place one of my elbows, said desk surface was also mysteriously missing.

My filing cabinet was filled from top to bottom, not with neatly filed paperwork in nicely labeled file folders, but with big stacks of bank statements, insurance claim paperwork, medical receipts, and unopened mail promising me thousands of dollars in equity on houses I don't own anymore and/or never did. I had, of course, shoved all that stuff in there, first, to get it out of the way, and second, because the various piles were threatening to leap out and attack anyone entering the front door of our house. (The piles had previously been stored on the coffee table out front.) As I'm sure you'll agree, potential paper cuts do not make the best theft-deterrant system, and since the papers were threatening our houseguests, I opted to ... file them.

Sort of.

Well, hey, they were IN the filing cabinet. That's a start, right?

Shut up you.

So. Having noticed the encroaching threat, I felt that something had to be done before I ended up literally buried in, if not work, at least stuff in the office. Of course, as with any monumental task, such as balancing the Federal budget, building a Space Shuttle, or un-clutter-ifying my office, there was what seemed to be an almost insurmountable task right from the get-go.

Of course, I'm referring to the bit where you have to decide where to start.

And thence came the horror.

(More later...)

(18 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:qubegirl
Date:July 18th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
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"Of course, I'm referring to the bit where you have to decide where to start."

Dude, I know EXACTLY what you mean!
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:July 18th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
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I totally should have taken a "before" picture, dammit!!!!

Arg!

Of course, even taking a picture as it is now would be a bigger mess than most people EVER let ANY part of their house get. Right now, people who've seen it before walk in and go "Oh my GOD, it's so CLEAN!"

Hahahaha!!!

I swear I will conquer this fricking room!
[User Picture]
From:sushirob
Date:July 18th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
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to be honest, I was pressed to notice the difference on friday.
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:July 18th, 2006 04:50 pm (UTC)
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You'd notice if you walked in now. I hadn't done much of anything to it on Friday. Actually, I was working on just what was in the filing cabinet for most of Friday and Saturday so it actually looked worse because I'd also pulled stuff out of the closet.
[User Picture]
From:kungfubarbie
Date:July 18th, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC)
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You go MRS V!

Or rather you should go call How Clean Is Your House? and the british ladies will do it for you.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:July 19th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
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Luckily, no cat or dog crap, although I did find a dead mouse.

I've never washed my hands SO many times a day in my life as I have after finding that thing.
[User Picture]
From:ktkatrina
Date:July 18th, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC)
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I think your office sounds a hell of a lot like my home office.
Its the only room in the house I let get like that, but its about the same - 'narrow path from door to desk' - check. 'just enough space on desk to sit cup of coffee and operate mouse and keyeboard?' - check. :o?
I'll admit at times I'm a bit embarrased by it, and tend to leave the door shut when people are over. I've been waging the war on clutter off and on for some time. Once in a while, I'll get ahead... but the clutter just grows back.

I think I need to take some serious action. Photos may follow.
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:July 18th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
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I think I need to take some serious action. Photos may follow.

Hahaha! I'll show you mine if you show me yours! :-)
[User Picture]
From:ktkatrina
Date:July 18th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
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I'll take pictures, but I refuse to share them until I can snap "after" pictures to accompany them. But yeah, we should definatly swap.And comiserate with a long-distance sushi celebration once we're done.
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:July 18th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
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Heh. I'll take some pics today before I get any farther and make that the "before." Best I can do, although the paths are quite a bit wider now...
[User Picture]
From:kungfubarbie
Date:July 18th, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC)
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To be accurate you should mess it up again and then take the pic. >: )
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:July 19th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
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Bite your tongue! It's bad enough as it is now, let alone putting it back to the way it was.

You are one sadistic mama.

haha!
[User Picture]
From:kungfubarbie
Date:July 19th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
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i know heeeheee
[User Picture]
From:photog42
Date:July 18th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
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Sounds all too familiar...
[User Picture]
From:angelgypsy38
Date:July 18th, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC)
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I'm definitely pulling for you. We too have a huge clutter demon to battle and I'm afraid that having a clingy toddler to deal with hasn't helped any. Some day, I will conquer it.


Someday.
[User Picture]
From:mrsveteran
Date:July 19th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
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My nemesis is throwing things away. I'm a serious packrat. ~sigh~
[User Picture]
From:msretro
Date:July 21st, 2006 12:37 pm (UTC)
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My house is almost constantly in utter disarray. Some of it is packratry. Some of it... well, I don't think I could even tell you where this stuff comes from! When peole know that you refinish furniture, or that you alter clothing, or that you have two kids who don't mind second-hand toys, they just give you stuff. It's madness.

I've about given up on "private" areas of the house. The office and the bedrooms are nearly impassable, and that's the way it is. I do try to keep the kitchen and livingroom somewhat presentable, though. Well, try, anyway, lol.

Good luck with the battle!

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