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Restoring Office Functionality

The Crowders want to get their shared home office in order.

Before: Out of Control Clutter
Christie Crowder runs a consulting business out of an 11' x 12' office in her home. Since husband Curtis uses the office as a well, the space tends to get a little cluttered.

Now with a baby on the way, Christie no longer has time to organize her office and the space has gotten out of control.

It is overcrowded with office supplies, software boxes and luggage. Piles of paper make the desk virtually unusable, the closet is jam packed with junk, and too much furniture makes maneuvering around the room nearly impossible. In addition, electronic equipment is scattered about, making performing a simple task anything but simple.

Disorganized files fight for space with packaging for software. Office supplies are scattered everywhere.

Travel bags seem to multiply in the dark. Many are unused, and most are not stored in any particular spot.

Professional organizer Monica Ricci is prepared to transform Christie's office back into a manageable workspace. She shares her plan, starting with sorting through all those piles of paper and either filing the items or sending them to the shredder. She also wants to add more shelving, improving the clutter control, redo the closet, and add a fresh gold paint color to the walls.

After: Attractive and Functional Home Office
The electronics have all been put in one place for easy access, and files have been stored in pouches on the back of the bathroom door. New matching furniture replaces the old worn down pieces, and touches of red are used to accent the fresh wall color. There is even space for Christie's favorite personal items and pictures.

Now a new desk and tall shelving make the work area not only attractive but also functional. The home computer is located well away from the working area, so crowding is no longer an issue.

Shelves along the closet wall take advantage of formerly unused space. The drafting table is kept away from the desk, and its top remains uncluttered.

Ricci's Tips


  • When clearing off surfaces, make piles of like items.

  • Be sure to shred personal information — don't just throw it away.

  • Instead of saving bulky software boxes, keep the disk, manual and password in a clear sheet protector. Unnecessary packaging takes up a lot of space, so look for ways to eliminate it.

  • Take advantage of wall space by building up — use shelves over desks.

  • Limit luggage to what you have space to store. Initiate a one-in/one-out policy when acquiring new pieces.

Products from The Container Store:

Skandia shelves, drawer and drawer pulls
shelf pins
Skandia Kickboard
kickboard pins
Skandia upright and shelf caps
Elfa ventilated shelves, Platinum
acrylic CD tower
Bold Boxes, Red
Bissley two-drawer file cabinet
Elfa letter file cart, Platinum
Silver mesh hamper
Portofino document boxes and letter boxes, Red
mesh wall add-a-pocket
five-section expanding sorter
magnetic wipeoff board
Days of the Week magnets
Magnutz magnets
All Crate
Blueprint cart attachment
men's shoe containers
accessory box
plastic four-drawer storage chest

Product from Improvements:

Desktop Lazy Susan

Product from Levolor:

White faux blinds

Sherwin-Williams paint color used:

Mannered Gold SW-6130, satin finish

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