Office Organization and Decluttering

After moving in my house over 2 years ago, the one space that has been so hard to keep decluttered is my office.  I just kept putting more and more things in there, that I would bring home from events and conferences.  All sorts of stuff made its way into my office and the bookcase was just being overtaken by, shall I just say it….useless clutter.  So, over time I just quit going in there.  I am loving lounging on my living room sofa with my laptop, but I’d like to use my office again.

So, this spring I’m on a mission to declutter my office and make it more inviting, so that I’ll want to spend time in there again.  It’s such a pretty room and I need to take advantage of it.  Decluttering will definitely help the feel in there and I’m also going to lighten up some of the furniture.  That room doesn’t get a ton of light, so painting a couple pieces of the furniture will lighten it up a lot.

office clean up

It still looks pretty good here, but it definitely needs a big dose of decluttering.  Spring always gets me in the mood to get decluttered and organized.  How about you?  Paper is always my nemesis and the hardest thing for me to keep under control at my house.

office shelves

I took most everything down off those shelves and once it warms up enough, I’m going to paint them in a creamy white, to lighten up that wall.

office bookcase

I’m also going to paint the bookshelf creamy white (and maybe the bulletin board frame too).  I think lightening up these pieces will make the room feel so much better.  I’ll keep the desk and console table black.

office messy baskets

Everything came off the shelves and you can see how much I took out of there.  Not all of this will go back and I’m really going to try to be selective about what I put up again.

Here are some inspirational ideas for you, in case you need to declutter too.  Anyone?


A Bowl Full of Lemons has a great post about home office organization and isn’t this a pretty, yet functional space. I’ve got one of those white Expedit systems from Ikea and need to get mine all organized, so I know what are in the baskets.  Love her shelving on the wall too.


I love this filing drawer system from A Bowl Full of Lemons.  She’s got some great organizational posts.


I’ve got an ugly metal file cabinet like this one and I think I’ll use this technique to add frames and paint it white to make it much prettier.  Take a look at this how-to, it’s amazing what she started with.  I do need more file storage and just need to get my file cabinet looking better so I can move it in my office.  It’s been in my garage since I moved in.


BHG always has some great organizing ideas that are pretty and practical.


Sometimes when you are limited on desk space, it’s a great idea to go up and on the wall.  This little system from BHG is cute and fun too.  That’s a shower caddy.


My friend, Traci, did one of the best small office/craft makeover spaces I’ve seen, by making this closet into a home office/craft area.  Great use of space!

So, I’ve got some major decluttering to do and some painting too. I can’t wait til it warms up and I can get this project finished and my office space feeling and looking good again.  I’m really going to try this time to keep it organized and uncluttered.  Being organized totally helps us to stay motivated and think more clearly and I’m not always the best at staying organized.

I’m determined to change that.

How are you doing with organizing and paper clutter?  

Working with Ebay again and I’ve got a new guide up, I hope you’ll check out.  Adding color and texture to a small powder room with blue and white.  
blueand white powder



- Rhoda


  1. The metal file cabinets are nicely updated and put onto the wood base like they are, really adds a nice touch. My Spring cleaning will involve my dish closet, it has gotten a little out of control.

  2. I like the idea of using the closet for a home office/craft area especially the peg board for organization. This is an especially good idea for those of us with small houses. I’m in the process now of staging my home to sell & I’m finding that I have so much “stuff” I really don’t need. These are great ideas I can use on my next house.

  3. I love your blog, and so enjoy seeing your posts for fashion and decorating! You have a true gift! I love the shelves on your office wall. Where did you find them?

  4. LindaSonia says

    Maybe you could take down some of the artwork on the walls too. Lightening up some of the pieces should help a lot. Good Luck!

  5. I went back to look at the entire room to check out the closet. Since you have the doors off and your filing system in there, could part of your problem be the position of your desk? In order to file stuff, you have to get up and walk around your desk to get to the closet storage area. I know, if you’re tired, it’s easier to leave it stacked there on the desk. Been there!

    I also have a small room for an office and tried every possible arrangement of desk, credenza, bookshelf, etc. I ended up with putting the desk facing the wall. The one window is on the same wall, but I still have access to it as well as being able to see what’s happening out in the front yard. The credenza is to my right – forming the typical L-shaped office setup, but it works with printer and phone and storage of frequently used office supplies. Since there is this open area in the center of the room, it feels much larger. I also have a few fold up “tv tables” in my closet which can be set up to handle projects.

    The one thing I need to do is tear out the built-in closet system – it’s wood, heavy and of course, not the correct configuration to be able to store anything efficiently in there. Someday….

    • Hey, Liz, the room is pretty small so I think the desk position is about as good as I can get it. I’m going to move a real filing cabinet in there and that should help with my filing problem. Right now, I’ve got files in those boxes in the Ikea closet piece and it’s just not working. I need a real life file cabinet that will hold it all. So that should help when I do move in my old metal file cabinet. I just want to make it prettier. I’m going to clean out the baskets and bins in the closet system to clear up some clutter in there. It just got out of control!

  6. I love your office, but I’m thinking painting the pieces a creamy white will make me love it even more. Can’t wait to see it all finished.

  7. I want to know about your cheery curtains — they look like cherry lemonade from here!

  8. Oh Rhoda, you haven’t seen an office out of control until you’ve seen ours!!! But I have plans, just like you, for whipping it back into shape again! I think you have some great ideas already!

  9. I think painting those shelves will be a BIG improvement. I love black furniture, but too much of it can be overwhelming, especially in a small space. Can’t wait to see the end result. Paper clutter is my nemesis; whatever systerm I design eventually fails. 🙁 I guess I have to use it to have it work. Getting my bills and statements online has helped somewhat… then i just print them off once a year. O throw junk mail away immediately. I guess it’s just the miscellaneous accumulation that gets me…I’ know I’ll use it sometime. 🙂
    p.s. Have you ever considered moving the small (very lovely) picture and sconce to the right of the window. I think eliminating those would allow more focus on the shelves, ;not that you asked.

    • thanks, Teresa, I’m going to go over the room with a good eye and try to keep things to a minimum this time around. Having it lighter and brighter will help and I don’t want to over clutter it with stuff, so I will be getting rid of some of it.

  10. Marilyn C. says

    I have dark furniture too and a piece (chest of drawers that belonged to my parents) that I can’t decide whether to paint or stain, or paint all of the furniture. I am going to paint the walls too eventually. My problem is that I am confident about painting walls, but worry that I will mess up furniture if I try to paint it. But I have been leaning towards painting the furniture all white. I can’t wait to see how your space turns out.

  11. Nancy from RI says

    I know for me the hardest room to keep neat and clean is my office. Paperwork always overwhelms me and now with it being tax season it’s all the more messy. Future posts on office ideas would help greatly.

  12. I know whatever you do it’s going to look fabulous!! You have so many pretty pieces!

  13. Hi Rhoda! So glad you like my ugly file cabinet update. 🙂 They were gross before, eh? All of my most successful projects involve using what I’ve got in a new way. I’m proud of that one… cost me almost nothing and adds so much to that room. Maybe I’ll host a Haven session on that. haha! See you in July!

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