Monday, July 09, 2012

Cluttered, but not Empty

I like this quote, and I couldn't find a sign that I liked so I figured I would just make me own.  Feel free to steal.
I am probably the most disorganized girl on the planet.  Every year, I resolve that this will finally be the year that I get organized.  And, truth be known, it's not the getting organized that's the problem--I've done that a million times over--it's the actually staying organized that I can't seem to manage.

A few months ago, my mom called about our summer vacation.  She wanted me to set up some frequent flyer accounts for all of my girls.  Great!  No problem.  Except, apparently you need Social Security Numbers in order to sign them up.  Fine, they were around my mess of an office somewhere.  I looked everywhere, though, and I never could find the cards.  I did find Bria's and Chloe's vaccination records, which also contained their SS#, but I couldn't find anything with Sophia's.  One would think that past tax records might help, but I couldn't find those, either.

This is just one (very egregious) example of the chaotic state my office was in.  The "inbox" on my desk was overflowing with so many papers, it couldn't serve a purpose anymore.  I missed filling out important forms because they were quickly buried in the avalanche.  My children didn't get their school class pictures this past year for that very reason, and I still feel guilty every time I think of that one (give me the freakin' Mother of the Year Award right now).

You probably don't remember, but my word (phrase, actually) for this year is Lighten Up!  I chose it to remind me to quit carrying around so much baggage in my life: Debt, weight, schedule, attitude, and yes, clutter.

If I had to make an accounting of the first half of the year, I'd say that I'm doing okay on getting rid of the debt.  There's still a long road ahead, but it feels good to kick some of it out of our lives.  I was doing really well on weight, until the dreaded Achilles Tendinitis hit.  But, I graduated from physical therapy today, and hopefully my gym going will start again as soon as the play I'm in closes this weekend.  I think I'm doing better on the whole attitude thing, but I am making an effort to further improve.  Schedule?  Ugh.  Well, that's a total failure, and frankly, because of the schedule, the clutter hasn't improved much, either.

That said, I was absolutely resolved this summer to get my office clean and organized and functioning.  The first order of business was to buy a freaking filing cabinet.  I mean, who doesn't have a filing cabinet, anyway?  Me, that's who.  In my defense, I used to have one, but it was kind of destroyed in the move from Arizona to Utah, and I just got rid of it before moving here.  And in almost three years of living in Michigan I have not bothered to buy a filing cabinet.  I have reorganized and rearranged my office more than any other room in the house, but it never actually occurred to me to buy a filing cabinet.

So off I went to purchase a filing cabinet. And, just my luck, my friend was having a yard sale down the street and I thought I'd check it out before heading to Office Max to pick out a filing cabinet.  And guess what she was selling for cheap?  An oak (or maybe not, but nice wood, nonetheless), four-drawer, FILING CABINET!  I bought it faster than you can say designer file folders, headed to the store to arm myself with pretty filing supplies, and thus began Operation Organize Lara's Office.
Organized At Last
I know.  Operation Redecorate Lara's Office should happen sooner than later.  That wallpaper and paneling really must go, but one thing at a time, my friends.
Three days, five garbage bags, and about one hundred file folders later, every last paper in my office had a home.  I found all the social security cards, passports, tax files, birth certificates, and other missing papers amongst the debris.  And yes, I have one file named "to be filed" but in my defense, I ran out of folders.  And I've even kept up on filing all the papers (where do they all come from, anyway?) for the most part.  I am so proud.

However, even though my desk was really, super, amazingly clean once Operation Organize Lara's Office was complete, it has since morphed back to its usual slovenly habits.  I'm so disappointed in it.
The Clutter Hath REturned
But hey, at least it isn't empty.  Right, Einstein?
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Lara, it is the fault of the desk. It is evil.
    PS have you read the book "Does this clutter make my butt look big?" I bought this book at Office Max, believe it or not. It is by the guy who does "Clean Sweep " on TV and it speaks to all of the things you blogged about! :) Lucy

  2. I was going to offer to send you a box of unused file folders I have in my closet, left over from my teaching days....but you got it!

    It's a constant battle for me too.... and paper multiplies on its own.

  3. You are so funny! Of course it is your desk that likes to be cluttered, not you! As for that filling cabinet, it is beautiful. Wood? I am so jealous. I once heard paper multiplies faster than bunnies and with how often I have to organize the desk, I believe it!

  4. Feel guilty no more - you can call Brockway Photography and order the class photos!

  5. You are too funny! It does feel great to get organized doesn't it, not like I'm any expert or anything. I try to get organized but usually only lasts a day or so. Your new filing cabinet is beautiful! I just found your blog and I'm your newest follower!


  6. I have such a hard time with clutter, that I leave the office door closed and make Splenda Daddy deal with it! : )

  7. I have been doing the same thing at my house..organizing and de-junking. It feels good. Like you said, now if it could stay that way :)


  8. I feel like I'm in a never-ending-cycle of being unorganized. Whether it's at home or at work... I always have the best of intentions. I'm so proud of you for conquering the office once. You can do it again!
    p.s. I LOVE the Einstein quote. Maybe if I post it somewhere it'll keep me from being in trouble???