Purging: Home Office V.2

Monday, November 3, 2014

Welcome back everyone! I'm so thankful you are taking the time to follow me on my journey to a simpler, less cluttered, and minimal life. This post is all about me purging my office space - and for those of you who know me, my planner and organizational obsessions, this is kind of a big deal. I'm going to be honest with you - IT HURTS.

Throwing away things that you've made, worked hard to accomplish, or even like, is hard. I feel like so many blogs that talk about decluttering/purging make tossing our belongings out to be a breeze. I'm here to tell you it sucks. We aren't wired to have the bare minimum are we? We aren't wired to want just what we need. No, we're told from a very early age to get as much as you can and to fight for it. Therefore, purging and getting rid of your things is no trip to the cupcake store. It's hard. It may make you want to cry. Case in point - my much loved wall organizer.


All on my own - no help from the hubby, no YouTube advice. No this was the very first project I dreamed up on my own and created. Let me tell you more about it. This command center is made from old fencing I found in my back yard. It has a lace ribbon memo catcher, a lace covered bulletin board, a mint file holder, a dry erase board made from mint paint chips, a burlap and lace mail catcher, a chevron stamp holder, and two mason jar pen and utensil holders. It's everything I love - lace, burlap, mint, and mason jars all rolled into an organizing system that I actually used! Well, due to limited wall space, and just not enough room, it gets cut. 

I've been thinking about this day for a very long time. I knew it would come eventually, so I've been hunting for ways to keep all my home files organized without much space. I didn't find anything that would work for us. Nothing that didn't take an entire wall or room of its own, which was the whole reason we decided to get rid of that beauty above. So I put it off, and put it off, and put it off until one day an idea surfaced. I wasn't sure if it would work, but I thought I could give it a try. 

I bought this trunk a few months before my husband and I got married for $35. I used it as my dream box where I'd store all of the things I wanted in our future house. Well, wouldn't you have it that most of the things I kept in there were more wedding centered than future centered. Needless to say, this trunk has been kept at the foot of our bed and has been used to store all of our extra blankets! Well, after some blanket purging, we created room in this little trunk, and my idea surfaced:

"What if I put our filing system in this trunk? We could hide it, I'd still have room for a few blankets, and we could even put some plexiglass on top and use as our coffee table."

But could we do it? Well we set out too. The first thing we did was go out and by one of those hanging file systems that you install in drawers. We found ours at Office Max - a two pack - for $13.00. We were going to get our hanging files there, but they seemed a bit expensive to me. Luckily, Target is right next door and we got a pack of 25, in a chic army green color, for less than $5.

Now that we had the supplies it was time for me to create our filing system. 

Having gone through the experience of purchasing our first home, I am proud of all the things I did have organized, but learned a few areas that I could improve on. Our old filing system was small, see that small file box above? I wanted something that was a little more extensive and better organized. So I started of re-organizing all my files and papers. Here are the categories and sub categories I came up with -

  • Finances
    • Paystubs
    • Banking Account/Information
  • Automobile
    • Insurance
    • Maintenance
    • BMV
  • Taxes
    • 2012
    • 2013
    • 2014
  • Oliver (our furbaby)
  • Debt
    • Hubby's student loans
    • My student loans
    • car loans
    • house loans
  • House
    • Maintenance
    • Home Insurance
    • Purchase Information
  • Medical
    • Hubby
    • Mine
    • Insurance
  • Vitals 
    • Marriage license
    • Passports
    • etc.
  • Office Supplies
    • Envelopes
    • Printer paper

YIKES - I know, pretty extensive, but now I can easily find what I need. Okay, so I had all my categories ready for each file. Next, I took my washi tape and prettied up my folders. I used silver sparkly washi for my head categories, and gray chevron tape on my subcategories. Here's how they turned out:

Pretty cute! It also helped to tie all my mismatching folders together - I had collected so many different one's from the amazing Target Dollar Spot over the years that they made my filing system seem a little less organized. Alright, so I had my frame set up in the middle of the living room and all my files hanging on it. How do I get it in the trunk?

At first I thought I could just set it in there. That could work for some people, but I'm a little bit picky. See, my trunk is kind of deep. Therefore, having my filing system resting on the bottom would mean that I would have to lean over and into the trunk every time I need to file away or remove something. No, it needed to sit up higher. I tried everything! I tried stacking things underneath it, but then the files wouldn't hang properly. So, I put my thinking cap on and recruited the hubby.

We decided to put screws into the trunk so that the frame could hang, or rest on the screws. We ended up putting four screws into the trunk, two on each side. 

Here, you can kind of see one of the screws into the trunk as my wonderful hubby is drilling in the other. Lastly, the hubby hit the screws so that they would angle upwards to create an easier and more secure surface for the the frame to rest. (See below)

I hope you can see how the screw has a slight angle upwards. Lastly, we just sat the frame onto the screw to check for stability! It looked great and is surprisingly very secure! I've included a few pictures of the final project below!

Having a better organized system, more cohesive files, and our important documents tucked away has helped me to feel a little bit better about getting rid of my command center. It's not easy, but I know this will work out really well for us. Below, I've stacked some more office supplies, and I still have room on the left side for our extra blankets. Our final step will be putting the plexiglass on top! 

Selecting pieces that have both storage and functionality are really going to be key in our downsizing. Secondly, keeping in mind the functionality of your home will be really helpful. Get creative with the spaces you need, and honest about how much space needs to be dedicated to that need. I'm really happy that I get to use my dream box in our new home. Sad to see my command center go, but happy of everything I get in return.

Happy organizing!



  1. I don't know how you do it Aubrey. You are an inspiration.

    1. Maureen it's been a struggle. But I am feeling more and more free everyday. :) Thanks for stopping by to read about this journey! We are just about ready to close on our new home!

  2. That is such a good idea - I love it :-)

    1. Thank you LJ! I am pretty happy with the outcome! :)