Monday, October 26, 2009

Amy’s Office


Amy won my basic two-hour assessment at an auction. She is a minister and wanted to rearrange her office to add some privacy and comfort when she met with her parishioners. In our two hours together she learned how to evaluate, eliminate and integrate her office furnishings.

We began by reviewing the plan for furniture rearrangement she created with room design software on her computer. I explained a few of the how to’s for organizing and design, made suggestions for improving her layout. She had many bookshelves scattered around the room. I suggested she group them into a single wall unit. We decided she could live without the return L portion of her desk which would free up a lot of room and give her more flexibility in where she could place her desk. We switched a few chairs with another church office so that hers all had complementary upholstery and planned for them to be grouped in a comfortable conversation area. And then we dug in and began the massive job of sorting and reducing her paperwork and library so that she could get to the fun part - moving the furniture.

Luckily, the church was having a yard sale that very day so we had a convenient and instant place to recycle books and possessions she no longer needed. I suggested ways she could free her office from years worth of thank you tokens from her congregation and still keep the sentiment of those special gifts. We started by removing the inscribed flyleaf from a book - a book she would never read again – and putting the sweet note in a scrapbook. Then the book went into a box of things to pass on.
I gave her permission to let go of other gifts she had been given. A gift is given to you. It is yours. You can do what you want with it. Even though the green movement has made re-gifting acceptable, there are things that are still hard to part with. To remember them she could take photo of it before she passed the item on, or use it in a different room or for a different purpose than it was intended.

By the end of our session Amy had specific boxes for:
· Things to file
· Things to return or re-gift
· Trash
· Recycle
· Yard sale

She also had a plan of what to do next and the momentum to it:
· Continue to evaluate every single item in the room
· Clear out her flies to make room for the current files
· Arrange for help moving her furniture
· Hang a curtain rod over her large window with curtains that can be closed for a private consultation

I went back this Sunday to see how she has progressed.

She still has more work to do but this is huge improvement. She gained more floor space by removing the desk L. She moved her desk under her windows so she can enjoy the courtyard view and see who is coming. The conversation area is much more cozy and the books are all in one spot. With just a few more discards, filing, and hanging some artwork she is done!

"After" - mostly. Just a bit more work to complete it.

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