Everything Must Go

Published in: Daily Photo

No, I did not find this sign at a garage sale, although if I had, I would have told the seller that I thought Helvetica Bold was a great choice. ๐Ÿ™‚


It’s clean, efficient and totally means business. You don’t mess around with Helvetica Bold.

I actually have this up on all four walls in my office right now, LOL! It’s in reference to an ongoing cleanup project.


I’ve been trying to straighten up my office for, oh, the past six months or so without much success. I just never seem to get anywhere. I feel like I’m only moving things around. I take junk from one corner and put it in another.

Doesn’t work.

Last weekend I finally made some real progress, though, after reading an article on lifeHacker.com called The End-All Guide to Getting Out From Under Your Office Crap.

Talk about helpful! It basically outlines steps you can take to really organize the heck out of your workspace. One of the ideas is to approach the task with the mindset of “Everything must go,” hence all the signs on my walls. My hope is that seeing the reminder over and over, day in, day out, will help me get this space under control.


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  1. Gowthami says:

    Totally, I have few signs too! It’s motivational and it does help ๐Ÿ™‚
    Gowthami recently posted … Kaya Skin Clinic Purifying Cleanser with Salicylic Acid | Acne-free

  2. Sylirael says:

    Hehe, we just moved out office again today – there’s construction going on in the building, and they keep moving us around. I was reflecting on the fact that even after 4 years, I’ve managed to not accumulate too much stuff (makes moving easier!)

    Wish I could say the same for my apartment!
    Sylirael recently posted … Interlude โ€“ Eyeballing the Loot! March 2014 Wishlist

  3. Fran says:

    Oh, Karen, thank you for the inspirational signs and the useful link! I also seriously have to clean the clutter out of my office, which is a small corner of a room that also serves as my bedroom, fabric arts studio, and exercise space (I share a one-bedroom apartment with my semi-disabled adult son; I’m happy I at least have a room of my own). Right now all I can really do in here is sleep, read, knit, listen ho music, and get dressed. Writing more than a simple response is barely possible. I need to sort through and get rid of old boxes of paperwork to clear enough floor space to be able open my folding table and lay out fabric, and close it again to do Zumba or yoga. I need to replace my ancient computer, but there’s mountains of cr*p on my desk that’s in the way. I need to replace some collapsing bookshelves so I can find my fabric arts books again. Right now is the time, while I’m looking for two afternoons a week worth of work… you’re providing some of the inspiration. Let’s start this afternoon!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fran,

      This article really helped me a lot. I’ve tried to follow it closely — I started by gathering a trash bag for items to throw away, a bin for items to donate and a bin for items that I want to store but don’t need to do my work on a daily basis. I used masking tape and a sharpie to help me label things, too. It also really helped me to think of the idea of removing EVERYTHING COMPLETELY first, and then bringing back in what only is necessary.

      Oh! I’ve also decided to take it a step further by clocking my time. I have the tendency to not be mindful of the clock, so I every time I do a little bit of my office project, I set a timer. Then, when I’m done, I log how much time I spent and what I did on a notepad so I can mark my progress.

      Anywho, let me know how your project goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kim says:

    Good luck! My office is the same way but it’s unavoidable because I need all this junk for work (and people keep sending me more!). Actually, not to be an enabler, but I think you have some of the same issues. It’s hard to review products without having the products!

    I try to do a quarterly giveaway to my coworkers of all the stuff that I won’t be moving forward with. It’s like a little party. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Deanna says:

    I am right there with you, Karen. My office has been messy for a few months now, and it’s just unacceptable! I cannot count how many times I’ve tripped over the stacks of documents and books on the floor. How did I let it get this messy? I started doing some serious cleaning in there this week, though, and my goal is to have it looking perfect by April 1st.

    • Karen says:

      That’s a great goal, Deanna. What processes have you been using to clean it out?

      • Deanna says:

        I am moving everything out of my office (minus my office furniture, of course) so that I can figure out where I want everything to go. I discovered that if I leave all of the stacks of papers in my office and try to organize everything, I get overwhelmed by the clutter and give up after an hour. But with everything out of my office, I can breathe LOL.

        Without all of the clutter, I’ve already thought of new storage ideas for the room, and I’ve even been thinking about rearranging my furniture.

        How’s your office clean-up going?

  6. Erin says:

    I may employ this method at my new house!
    Erin recently posted … Altos Del Plata 2011 Malbec Review

  7. Rhea says:

    My work area has begun messy for a while, I need to fix that. And I’m definitely digging the font.
    Rhea recently posted … Lush : Dark Angels

  8. Fran says:

    Karen, thanks so much for your reply above ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually did start yesterday afternoon, first goal being to clear enough floor space to move around and actually get to everything. Then I got sidetracked because part of that mess is piles of clothes that have to go because they don’t fit me anymore (so far I have lost 31 pounds in 31 weeks doing modified intermittent fasting + a lot of walking and a little Zumba) so I decided, what with spring coming, it was time to get rid of all the “fat” clothes (except the outerwear… until I can afford to replace it. not going to be cold next winter just because my jackets don’t fit), pulled them out of the closet, and made bigger piles before I had to quit, lol… oh well, at least it makes it pretty obvious what I need to get started with today.

    My son and I already use a 3-box system for items to be tossed, donated, or moved to storage (we had to downsize from a 2.5 bedroom to a one bedroom apartment when he got too old to receive child support). I’ve got some of those strong, stretchy trash bags (they help). Of course we end up with different boxes/bags to go to the Goodwill, the library, my girlfriends who I swap clothes with, the “freecycle” table in the laundry room in the basement, etc. And of course storage is pretty full and space in there is haggled over, plus you can’t really store papers in there in case of flooding in the basement. Labeling everything is a great idea, I know I should, but sometimes neglect it and frequently regret it. I really like your idea of writing down how much time you spent, giving yourself credit like that. I should keep a notebook to write down daily accomplishments, if I feel like I’m at least making some forward movement every day then I don’t get so discouraged about how much is still left to do. I have to remember that it’s like deciding to lose 50 pounds. It’s just going to take a while, there’s no way around that. And it won’t get done unless you keep at it. But it *can* get done if you do what you need to do. Most days, at least.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fran,

      Congrats on your weight loss! I know that it’s hard work, so kudos to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      So, keeping track of time is really important for me, because I tend to “dilly-dally,” as my mom likes to say. Seriously, hours will pass and I will have NO IDEA. If I don’t keep a stopwatch running, then I’ll get nothing done. Having a progress list really helps and keeps me focused on the big picture.

      Oh — another effective tool that I like is a good old fashioned printed calendar and shiny star stickers! If I chip away a little bit at a goal every day, I get a sticker on the calendar. It’s kind of neat to see my progress come along. I’ve used this system with all kinds of goals: working out, cleaning, etc. It’s old school but it works.

  9. Fran says:

    Hi, Karen, thanks for the support! Yesterday I did get most of the too-large clothes sorted and out to the car, and yoga pants and T-shirts that are only one size too large moved to the pajama drawer. Since I have client visits both morning and afternoon today, today’ goal is to transfer the clothes to my girlfriend’s car during the afternoon excursion, and maybe to get a timer, calendar, and stickers — I like those ideas, too. It’s interesting, I get more done if I keep a “done” list than I do if I keep a “to do” list. By the end of tomorrow I want to actually see more of the floor in here. I can’t empty the room, but if I could empty a corner of it at a time, it would help, because then I’ll have to decide if something is worthy of being moved back *in* to the space.

    Losing weight is hard work but so worth it if you really need to. I now seriously feel (and look) so much better. For anyone who needs to do it, I would say that, if you come across a method that intrigues you, that makes you think, “maybe I could actually *do* that,” then it is definitely worth a serious effort, because what really makes a weight-loss method effective is if the person can stick with it for the long haul. The other thing I would say is that I am busy learning and practicing all I can for *maintaining* my lighter weight once I get there, because that is where something like 90% of weight loss efforts eventually go wrong. In other words, I’m learning some new eating (and moving) habits for a healthy life while I take the pounds off, so that they’ll *stay* off. I have to admit I’m pretty proud of myself. It’s taken me several years to find a way (that works for me) to get rid of these extra pounds. Next thing I’m going to check out is high-intensity interval training exercises for the over-50 crowd (yup, that’s me). It’s either that or carry 30 pounds of books in my backpack as I walk to make up for the extra weight that I’m not carting around with me now!

  10. Iris says:

    You’ve reminded me I should clean out both my work and home desks. So much stuff on both of them. I have receipts from years ago.

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