Office 7: The Brainstorming Wall

Day 7. Halfway there. And so much more than fifteen minutes a day, but still, doable. I’m still tripping over six boxes, but now it’s on to the . . . well, it’s hard to know what to call this one. I mean, obviously, there’s the white board. But underneath it is all this storage I just sort of stuck there without a plan:

Brainstorm Walla

So clearly, the big job here is going to be figuring out what this wall of storage is for, beyond a place to stick things. And then figuring out what I’ve stuck there and sorting it out. I already took my extra copies of my books and put them in the bookcase with the mailing stuff since I end up mailing them out. That seemed logical. Also there was room for them there. Or there will be until I go through the four cases of Agnes I’m supposed to sign and then send different places. But my archive copies will have to go on this side and there’s really not a good bookcase here. And the whiteboard supplies have to go here, but that’s easy. Then get rid of the reference books or put them in the library. And then . . . I dunno. Which means i just have to dive in. Bleah.

So, an hour later, it’s done. Not bad. Plus I found my American Gothic DVD which I will watch all in one weekend some time when somebody is staying here with me because it’s so wonderfully creepy. And an ARC for a quote that I don’t have to feel guilty about not getting to: Garden Spells which is doing great. And my Alphasmart which seemed like a good idea at the time. And another post-it pad. And after thinking it over, I decided to keep all the grammar references after all. At least until the final day when I look at everything in one last sweep because I think I’m keeping some things that I really don’t need. I’ve already take four large green garbage bags out of here, so the first purge is pretty radical, but I think I can fine tune it more. Or maybe on the last day, I’ll just go to iHop and celebrate with pancakes. Anyway, here’s the brainstorming wall:


And now, six boxes and the bookcase. And since I have five more days, probably a start on the hall where the rest of the bookcases are. Although those boxes are really threatening. I remember moving one to Columbus, and that would be about 1995 . . . Well, at least I can get to my whiteboard now.

Nothing but brainstorming ahead.

46 thoughts on “Office 7: The Brainstorming Wall

  1. Wow. A huge improvement over last night’s doomed post – in so many ways. You’re an inspiration. Cherries and CBs all over the world are cleaning, sorting, tossing. Landfills are going to love you.

  2. Wow.
    I think that seems like the most drastic change. It must make a large difference in the room since it opens up the doorway. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Enjoy some IHOP for me!

  3. Oooh! I really like the organization of that space. Especially the boxes with shelves on two sides. It’s lookin’ good!

  4. The shelving on this side is mega-cheap: shoe storage from Lowe’s. I think each piece was between twenty and thirty bucks. Of course, it LOOKS cheap, too. Oh, except for the pieces on each end. Those were from West Elm, except I bought them at the Pottery Barn Outlet so they were reasonable, too.

    Somebody asked where I got the bookshelves with the squares: that’s more West Elm. But a warning: the black scars really easily and the white stains. I still like the way they look, but you can probably find something similar somewhere cheaper, since you’re not getting really hard finishes with these. I wanted these because they’re sturdy and they roll, and I move things around a lot.

  5. Now that is a really big change! You are really getting the hang of this. Finish the project and then invite your mother over while there is still time! ๐Ÿ™‚

    You are inspiring in so many different ways!

  6. If you were out here I would make you blueberry crepes to celebrate. I make a mean crepe and then you could give me advice on what to do with my office. I need all the help I can get.

  7. Fantastic job!

    I remember several months (years?) ago when you were cleaning your desk and posted pictures. Do you have a big clean up after every novel, then?

    It looks just great (-:.

  8. I thought that looked like shoe storage! I’ve been thinking of that for some of my yarns. Right now I’ve got it in Ikea things that are soooo deep that it’s like burying it in a cave.

    This is looking so good. Will it feel different to work there now? I imagine it will. After I clean my desk off, I feel so free. Until I make another mess. /;+))) Keep doing what you’re doing because it’s working for you and for the rest of us, too.

  9. Its bad when you have to start carbon dating your boxes to figure out how old they are! I’m wondering whether boxing left under your bed at your parents house would count? In which case I can probably beat 1995. Otherwise you’re several years ahead. Or behind.

  10. Wow, that just looks fantastic!

    If you’ve got a box that hasn’t been opened in over a decade, you can probably safely throw it out without even opening it. If you haven’t needed anything in there until now, you probably never will.

    Unless you’re missing the deed to the house or something on that scale. Then it’s worth opening and tossing everything but the deed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wow, what a difference that hour made. You deserve to celebrate at IHOP after all this hard work. Way to go!

  12. I’ve gone from the beginning of your office adventure just now, and my mouth is watering. I love organization! And office supplies! And reading nooks!

    It’s making me wish I had an office as beautiful as yours. Plus now I want to do housework, so thanks!

  13. Don’t be afraid of the old boxes in the hall. I have discovered that old piles of stuff are actually a GOOD thing: after they have aged appropriately, when I go through them I discover that I no longer need (or care about) 99% of the stuff that I wasn’t sure what to do with in the first place! A few bits of the rest of the stuff find permanent homes. The rest…well…the start of a new pile?

  14. A round of applause is in order! Atta girl!

    I’m working on the lawn/leaf bag disposal system. I have two different sizes – one for the Goodwill donations (they get heavier so I use a smaller size) and the other for trash.

    I wasn’t nearly as productive as you were, but I did more laundry and have reclaimed most of my kitchen floor.

    I’m planning to celebrate at iHop also – but with french toast, or maybe biscuts and gravy, or shoot, I’ll just go with that combo platter and get them all. This will be a serious celebration.

    Go Jenny.

  15. Congrats on making it to Day 7! Your office looks so amazing and awesome!

    If you wouldn’t mind sharing, what is the four section pinkish thing hanging on the wall over the whiteboard?

  16. Congrats and WSS about last night’s doomed post.
    Doomed Jenny=worried cherries.
    Happy Jenny=happy cherries!

    I’ve got to ask–which book is the NYT (I’m assuming) list for?

  17. I think I’m going to have to break down and buy some more storage. My kitchen doesn’t have enough drawers and my closets don’t have enough shelves. But I’m going to try to avoid buying new – I’ve never been a garage sale person, but I really shouldn’t get any more furniture I’m attached to.

    Also, I’m broke, due to the recent move (in so many ways…).

    I’m so impressed with how great everything looks!

  18. You know, I’ve been inspired by reading all of this and watching your progress. And I keep thinking about tackling rooms and areas in my house. But it’s just ever so much easier to just watch you….

    Hmmm…wonder if I could inspire the hubby to do it by sending him here.

  19. The four section thing is a piece of Mexican folk art–my big weakness–that I bought in a Seattle gallery, although I’m pretty sure whoever makes them made a lot of them. It’s called The History of Love, and I’ll try to take a picture of it because it’s hysterical.

    NYT is for Agnes. And now I must go buy contact paper. And a milkshake to drink while I go through some boxes. Argh.

  20. I found this link through Lynn Viehl’s Blog. Fantastic transformation of your office! You’re doing awesome! She showed off some of the stuff she’s doing as well. I’m definitely going to take inspiration from your progress. The rolling cube shelving looks fantastic and I think target has a set that doesn’t have wheels.

    Why do you have to move your office around so much, if you don’t mind me asking?

    All the best,

  21. My mom’s kitchen is very traditional – gorgeous, expensive, custom cabinets, her retirement dream home – and sooo not my style. It’s pretty dark because there’s a second story deck over the one outside the kitchen window. So, because of that and the fact that I just want something more open, I’m thinking about having all the cabinets taken out and replacing them with stove, fridge and individual pieces, like an antique dresser with the sink set in it, and so on.

    Her house also has a huge garage. And, between us, there are probably at least 8 complete sets of dishes of at least 12 place settings each. Plus probably the equivalent of six sets of pots and pans. A lot of stuff from two women who were both into cooking and entertaining. Also, being a person who hates to throw anything out, anything good, that is, I got the brainstorm to have the kitchen cabinets installed along the garage walls. I really don’t need more dishes or pots and pans, than those used on a daily basis, to be in the kitchen. PLUS I can store all those sets of dishes etc., in cabinets, where they’re accessible, rather than being packed in boxes or crated, in the case of the good china (which hasn’t been unpacked since the move from SF when my mom retired), so they never get used, even when I’d like to use them.

    That’s the *first* phase. After a while, I’ll be better able to look at all those sets of dishes and say bye-bye to some of them. Stages, people. Jenny, I cringe every time you mention the garbage bags of stuff you’ve throw out. It hurts, and it’s not even my stuff! Your determination amazes me. Scares me, too, but sort of in a good way. /;+)

  22. I’m floored. I think you are my new heroine. I can’t believe how much you are getting done. You obviously don’t share my distraction gene. I would have been sitting on the floor happily reading stuff from a decade ago. That would take me hours. Congratulations

  23. zaza–If you want to get rid of the some of the china, check out Replacements Unlimited. They buy china at pretty reasonable prices.

    **Not affiliated in any way. Just used them to get rid of some of my excess stuff!:-)

  24. I have to move things around because I have a very short attention span and I get bored easily.

    Hmmm, Replacements Unlimited, huh? Wonder if they do Art Deco china.

  25. Halfway there! Congratulations Jenny! Now do be careful of that replacement site. Looks great, could be trouble. But you’re really cleaning your office, so what’s a little purchase for the dining room? Hhhhmmm.

  26. I knew I liked you for some reason! I have loved checking in on your progress with the clean-up.

    Another great place for cheap shelving is Ikea. Also, I got this cool little bookcase at Target for $15 that I have next to my bed.

    You have given me some neat ideas for storage!

    I think it would be cool, too, if you had framed copies of the book jacket art from your hardbacks. Agnes was the best with the flamingos and bullet holes!

  27. I have framed copies of some of it up, but I stopped in the middle. The foreign covers are the most fun, but Agnes is definitely going up there. I like most of my hardcover jackets, but some of the pbs . . . uh, no.

  28. Yeah, I had a feeling you wouldn’t have a picture of first-title-you-don’t-want-reprinted up there!

  29. Replacements Unlimited. Thanks for the reminder, Courtney. I know them well. Only the money is usually passing in the other direction. ;+))) My mom’s good china would definitely be a good candidate for them. Assuming I can bear to part with it. It’s sweet little pink rosebuds on a white background with a gold band, IIRC, and I remember it fondly from when I was a little girl. ;+) Ooh, and there’s my huge set of Occupied Japan in a dogwood pattern. But I love that one, too. Took me a while to get all the pieces. Thank you, eBay.

    I have to learn to stop thinking of these things as friends and learn to pimp them out for cash. /;+))) Or I could fulfill my dream of many years and open a tea room. ;+)

  30. Sorry to keep jumping in, but when I was at the hardware place this afternoon, I saw some cube storage similar to your shoe thingies, only the squares were much bigger. And they had zippered fabric “boxes” to go inside, I guess so you could throw in a bunch of loose stuff and not have it falling out. But it would be great for my yarns – just the right size space, and a way to keep the light away from them so they don’t fade.

    You crochet, Jenny, so you have yarn, too. If you’re interested in the brand, let me know, and I’ll write it down next time I’m there. Or when I buy mine. /;+) Today I bought some closet dowels to hang from the rafter of the storage shed. I have a ton of baskets from when a “friend” talked me into a gift basket business, then bailed on me. I’m going to slip the dowel through the handles of the baskets and get them up in the air and out of the way. Heh.

  31. I just have to add my “WOW” and “AMAZING” in appreciation of your efforts. Trully inspirational. I have so been living in CHAOS and you’re showing me, one day at a time, that it can be done. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Just one more reason you’re my idol. OK, fangirl moment over now. Off to the corner where I must sort my next box and make Jenny proud. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I have my yarn in two of the big and two of the little West Elm bookcases. I’m covered. Also, I’m not buying anything else to go into the house. Everything goes OUT. Val has a good plan; for every one thing that goes into her house, two things have to leave. Cleans the place out in no time.

  33. Zaza, as a knitter, I understand the yarn storage issues. I like the idea of using the fabric bins in the bookcase. Right now, I have a large plastic tote, numbers of bags and baskets holding all of my stash.

  34. That’s amazing, Jenny. Is all this open space making you want to write?

    My mom has this rule that any box that has not been opened since the last time we moved house must be tossed unopened. It’s a good rule, mostly. On the other hand, I think that’s why my little brother’s baby book disappeared.

  35. I’m loving watching you clean. It’s great. And so much more enjoyable than doing any cleaning myself–which is sad, but what the hell. I noticed you said you weren’t happy with your Alphasmart. I just happen to be in the market for one for my 13 year old son who is destined to be a doctor if his handwriting is any indicator. If you’re at all interested in selling it to a worthy cause, email me. BTW, you’ve even seen the kid. He sat at the back at the Columbia SC Book Festival looking up only when Bob said anything about maiming, mayhem, or military stuff.

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