Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Clearing out the home office

Dreamy home office Image

One space in our home that needs constant vigilance that it not turn into a dumping ground is our home office.  When I say ‘our’ home office I really mean ‘my’ home office because it contains 99% my stuff and the other 1% is my husbands. 

We are fortunate enough to live in a spacious three bedroom home – we have the master bedroom upstairs and a guest bedroom and ‘the’ home office downstairs (they are next to each other).  I try to keep both rooms clear and pleasant to look at but because we don’t have a garage there are a few things that get stored in there that can’t go anywhere else.  They are:

  • A few extra framed pictures

  • Two clothing racks for drying clothing indoors

  • A huge and beautiful gilt mirror that needs specialised hanging equipment because it weighs a ton and that’s the reason excuse why it’s not been hung since we moved in almost four years ago.

I also took possession of my spinning wheel recently which was living in my mum’s garage.  I didn’t realise she still had it and I used to really enjoy spinning so thought I’d have another go at it.  I actually took spinning lessons a long time ago, maybe when I was about 12 or 13.  Can you imagine today’s tweens taking spinning lessons?  It sounds like I am straight off Little House on the Prairie. 

I even carded my own wool then too.  These days you can buy it already carded.  For those of you who don’t spin, uncarded wool looks like a shorn fleece straight from the sheep whereas carded wool is all combed out and clean and ready to spin.

There are also a few spare furniture items such as a small square table and a set of plastic drawers (mmm, attractive, but they are useful).  Usually these items live in the guest room but when we have guests to stay they get moved to the home office.  And then other things get stacked around them ‘just for the time being’.

Before too long you can’t even enter the home office easily and any thoughts of doing some sewing, ironing or choosing a book from the book shelves becomes too stressful.  Last week was the tipping point.  My only answer for a situation such as this was to empty everything out.  I was at home by myself so I took all the items that shouldn’t have been there out into the hallway.

I could then have a proper vacuum (everywhere including the corners), appreciate the useful space that the home office is and then start putting things back.  I have a filing drawer that contains my style files.  These are pruned on a regular basis because I always have new things going in them.  Those new things were stacked haphazardly and now they are in with their subject matter friends.

I also decluttered a number of items including our Christmas tree – that will be donated closer to Christmas.  My plan is to purchase a small faux Christmas tree – the type with fibre-optic lights.  My parents-in-law have one and I love it, plus it’s simple, no decorating required.  I was going to donate all our decorations too but remembered that we might want to have a real Christmas tree from time to time so kept them for now.

It’s so nice to have space to move in the home office now and everything is neat, tidy and dusted.  Definitely worth a few hours of time as it feels so good afterwards.

Do you have a room that scares you at the moment?  Tell us all about it!


  1. The sun room is an utter mess as is my husband's closet!

  2. Fiona let me know if you'd like advice on hanging the heavy mirror, we have an art and framing shop so maybe we can help you there.

  3. Yes my home office is also my 'scary' room. I can't believe it--I have extra framed prints (unhung) propped up in my office, along with a couple of drying racks (one in use, the other one recently purchased and needing to be assembled so I can start using it too!). I actually wrapped up two of the framed prints on Sunday to donate to a charity that will pick it up with some other items next week. I have been working on my office a bit here & there, and I'm making progress. You have inspired me to see if I can finish it this week!

  4. Gosh I feel proud when I clean out my socks drawer! a whole room--I would have to take a few weeks. Brava Fiona! could we hear more about your spinning? Interesting!
    C in L.A.

  5. I have TWO scary rooms at the moment! As our daughter has just moved out and we are redecorating mainly upstairs, you would not believe the catastrophe that is our house! Our master bedroom is upside down and what we call the "back room" which is a brick built extension ( a posh shed!) which literally everything gets dumped into. I keep looking at them, and keep hoping the tidy decorating fairy might pay a visit? But I know that possible a skip may be the only answer. Well done for rolling your sleeves up and tackling your project, I bet it looks lovely. Suze UK.

  6. Sounds like you did a great job! It feels so cleansing to tackle a problem area in your home. A few days ago I cleared out our kitchen cupboards, and wiped down and re-organized the inside of our fridge and freezer. I love doing this, it helps me "declutter my diet" too and re-evaluate the things I'm eating.

    My big project right now is helping my husband tackle some of his belongings. He has a lot of sentimental attachment to books, games, etc that he's had since he was a child, but he's slowly pruning through them and getting down to a manageable amount that we plan on setting up nicely in our extra bedroom (his "gallery" room). He also just went through his clothes and donated a BIG bag full of old t-shirts that have been cluttering up the closet. Progress feels good :)

  7. Tracy, go do it!

    Rose, thank you for your kind offer. We had it hung at our last place but left the mechanism on the wall there. It's just a matter of buying another, it's sort of like a heavy duty hook system I think.

    Anonymous, how funny that you have framed prints and clothing racks too. I reckon if I donated my least favourite prints then I could have everything hanging on the wall and nothing leaning ON walls. That's a great mini-challenge for me.

    C, you're a busy lady with the cats so well done on your sock drawer. I don't know how interesting a post on spinning would be... I'll get some done first!

    Suze, it sounds like you're fighting a losing battle with renovations currently, but think how lovely your home will look afterwards and this might give you the motivation you need to tackle both areas. YOU are the tidy decorating fairy!

    Anna, I love doing the pantry too and did ours recently. It wasn't that big a job though because I have been doing it quite often. I agree that it really makes it easier to eat healthy. Sounds like you are doing well with your husband, guiding and encouraging!

  8. My detached garage and office scare me. I rarely get it under control because I hate going out there in the first place but it's a lot of wasted space that I could use.

  9. What is it with frames and prints? We have a small collection in the corner of our living room. I need to hang them, but it's difficult for me to do alone and the men in my family are busy! :-)

  10. What is it with frames and prints? We have a small collection in the corner of our living room. I need to hang them, but it's difficult for me to do alone and the men in my family are busy! :-)

  11. It could really be a challenge to organize a part of your house when there are a lot of things that are stored in it. It will surely take a lot of your time to sort those things out, particularly when it’s difficult to decide which to keep and which to throw away. I'm glad that you're able to finish cleaning everything. Have a great day, Fiona!

    Essie Reed @ Valley Home Improvement


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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