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Getting the Home Office In Order

Professional organizer Vicki Norris helps Tracy and Brian McEvoy rid their home office of clutter and turns the room into a sleek and efficient space.

Before: Cluttered Shared Space
Tracy and Brian McEvoy share a large upstairs room in their home as an office for each of their businesses. He owns a contracting business, and she owns a business selling home accessories.

While there is plenty of space, the abundance of clutter in the room makes it hard for them to get any work done.

His blueprints and files for his contracting business are scattered everywhere, while boxes of her home-decor products consume huge amounts of space. Toys are scattered among the boxes, and built-in bookcases are underused.

Both desks are a wasteland of unfiled papers, and Tracy shares a desk with Brian's bookkeeper. This tilting, disorganized desk and chair are shared by two people and a cat. The only thing easy to find in this setup is the pet hairs that cover the seat.

Boxes of products for Tracy's home-decor business take up a huge amount of space. Plus, those boxes have to share space with the toys!

Professional organizer Vicki Norris has a plan to make the space colorful and functional. Tracy and Brian will each get their own work area, separate from each other.

After: Functional Workspaces
Sleek new matching desk furniture, an efficient organizational system for desktops and paperwork, a new reception area and a different color of paint for each area add up to an inviting adult space that is as beautiful as it is functional.

Brian's new workspace is located in front of the large arched window. Deep red and gold walls add a masculine look and help define his space.

Tracy's office, painted a soft green, is tucked in front of a window. It has a wonderful new system for filing papers and plenty of space for preparing her products.

An old table once used as a desk is now a work surface located between the two office areas so it can be used easily by Brian or Tracy.

This workstation, with its ample storage and desk surfaces, can now accommodate Brian and his accountant easily and efficiently.

A rustic old hutch is used to display Tracy's products in her new office area.

Some of Vicki Norris's tips for getting your office organized include the following:


  • Itemize items that are being donated and then put them in the car, where their constant presence will be a big motivator to drop them off.

  • Don't keep working files and papers in bags because you can’t see what is in them and they could get lost or forgotten.

  • When reorganizing, take everything out of the space and put items back sparingly after careful evaluation.

  • Look at items with an eye to repurposing them. For example, a trunk was moved into position as storage for rolled-up blueprints, and a day bed was redecorated as a couch to create a reception area.

  • Donate computers to a local school, or do a web search to find an organization in your area that could use it. Be sure to erase the hard drive of any personal information.

Sherwin-Williams paint colors used:

Cajun Red, flat SW0008
Empire Gold, cashmere SW0012
Sheraton Sage, flat SW0014

Products from Restoring Order:

five-tray paper sorter for the Action centers
bleachered file stand for the Project centers
four-drawer supply organizer used underneath project center and monitor for the Essentials centers
drawer dividers
Rubbish Bins (garbage cans)
Journal Cases (magazine holders)

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