There are three questions everyone wants to know about my projects:
How long did it take?
Did they keep it looking fabulous after you left?
How much did it cost?
It’s the New Year, and everyone wants a fresh start, so I thought you would just love to see this little project that a client and I completed between Christmas and the New Year. His goal was to clear out the space so he could do something with it, maybe create a much needed home office office down the road.
Knowing that paper takes the longest to organize, we contracted to go through the paper and purge unwanted furniture and items.
This is a third floor bedroom/dormer space that was already finished, but being used to store tubs of paper and household cast-offs. This picture shows just half of it.
Here’s the other half.
So how long did it take to get this organized? Remember, there are five steps to getting organized (as always, with a nod to Julie Morgenstern’s great book, Organizing From the Inside Out):
- Arrange/Analyze remaining items
- Establish a maintenance plan
We planned on spending about 8 hours, and we spent about two hours longer than that. And that is only because we went shopping, bought a new desk and file cabinet, and put them together. The client got way more than he bargained for! Here they are, on day 2, the final day of the project.
And the other side of the room. You can see the new file cabinet hiding back in the corner. Yes, the client went through all the paper that you see in the before photos, and what didn’t get shredded or recycled got divvied up into the three small but sturdy drawers. There was a lot of recycling out at the curb the next day.
And to help with containerizing, we added two bookcases,
and we reset the bookcase that was already there.
Now this office really works. And we did all of this, just the two of us, in just a few hours over two days. So that answers the first question.
Will he keep it fabulous and organized now? Probably. He now has places to put household papers, his own personal paper retention guidelines, and a real desire to use this space for work instead of storage. Most of all, he has systems with the file cabinet, the bookcases that store books, and the one bookcase that holds his office and teaching supplies.
And how much did it cost? Well, in round numbers, it was around a thousand bucks for the services and the new furniture. My organizing projects themselves start at $350. This guy will probably deduct all of this as a business expense. Smart move.
He said to me, “We got more done in 4 hours than I have gotten done up here in the last 5 years.”
Aw, shucks, that’s what I love to hear!
I hope this gives you some real inspiration for your winter organizing project.