Monday, January 09, 2006

Clean Sweep

There's a television show called Clean Sweep where a television crew goes to the house of someone who is so desperate that they are willing to allow America see how awful things are if it means that afterwards things will be clean and nice. These are people who are on the way to becoming the kind of old people who die in their houses and it takes the fire department six hours to tunnel in far enough to find the body.

This was also the state of my office.

Bob got me a new bookcase and one of the obstacles to cleaning my office was the piles of books. My office is 11' by 12' and has a desk, two six feet tall bookcases and five filing cabinets in it. And a lot of papers and books. It's so bad that when I was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, one of my thoughts was, 'I've got to clean my office. I can't leave it for someone else.' But then they told me I would be fine so I didn't bother.

On Saturday, thinking about my big, mostly empty bookcase downstairs, I thought I might start clearing a little of the office. I tend to start on these projects and after about fifteen minutes, I get overwhelmed and I quit. I started Saturday around noon and I finished about an hour ago. I feel so virtuous.

I took everything out of the room. It helps to have a son in college because I could use his room for a staging area. I went through every file cabinet. Every box. I emptied the closet. In a moment of true bravery, I threw out my 1983 income tax forms. Okay, I threw out everything tax related before 1995. I went to Home Depot and bought closet organizing stuff. I painted the whole room pumpkin and then put back in only what I hadn't purged. It's beautiful! I can go into it without walking sideways! It's better organized! It's clean! (If I was allergic to dust, I'd have been dead.)

As soon as I find the connecting cord, I'll upload pictures. I think the cord is in the bedroom. The bedroom isn't as bad as the office was...


Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

I have seen your office. It's cleaner than mine.

January 09, 2006 11:18 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

It really is now.

January 10, 2006 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, this sounds so familiar--except for the new bookcase part.

January 10, 2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Clean Sweep. It's my favorite of the plethora of home improvement/design/strangers come in and wreck your house shows. Why--because it's so darned inspiring. Every single room I've seen on that show has been worse than mine, which makes it easy to say "If they can do it, so can I." They show you how to go buy shelves, then how to use them.

In fact, I think my office needs to be re-Clean Sweeped...gah...

--Carrie V.

January 10, 2006 3:54 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

I am in awe. I have no office per se, just a desk that acts as a staging area, tucked in the back of the sunroom. My real office lives in my laptop case. But there are three file cabinets in the basement which I really need to go through. I've got papers from high school, for God's sake. I know they're in there. Maybe I will be inspired by your magnificent example.

And I think pumpkin is a swell color.

January 11, 2006 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was an article in our paper about a woman in Ohio that died, didn't want to be buried, and was found two years later proped in a chair in front of her t.v.
Did you find her when you cleaned your office?

January 13, 2006 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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March 24, 2009 1:53 AM  

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