I love how she hid her files


My client from about a year ago recently moved. She just sent me this picture of where she put her files in her new house! I just love it. It's always fun to see the ideas that emerge as a result of saying "no" to the traditional filing cabinet. We've all seen office closets before, but this is different because it's not in the office and it's not strictly for supplies. This is where she keeps her working files. A few tips from Carol: - I left enough space between the shelves so that you can easily see the file folder labels from a standing position. It wouldn't work if you had to crouch or use chair for the files you use often. - The top shelves with the boys report cards do need a stool for access, but I figured that once or twice a year that would be ok. I saw a little folding stool at the Container Store that I might get. - The only other thing I may add is some closet lights under each shelf. - Supplies are in wine create

Container Store supplies used: Acrylic Desktop FileBigso Translucent Desktop FileBlossom Hanging Folders

2 New Additions to the Filing Hall of Shame

Please help me in welcoming two new additions to the Inspired Office Filing Hall of Shame!  You can imagine my excitement when my client and I unearthed these two gems from a filing system that hadn't been purged in at least 5 years.  Consider these to be examples of how not to label a folder!  Why exactly?  They're just glorified piles, telling us nothing specific about the contents. The good news is that anything in these folders self-expires after even just a short amount of time.  We had a good chuckle and tossed their mysterious contents in a matter of minutes.  Don't know where to start purging your own files?  Hunt and peck through your office for any vaguely titled folders and envelopes.  Trust me, you can blindly toss the contents.  If they once were "important" or required "action," their ship has sailed and you're surely onto bigger and better things. Need more examples of unhelpful labels?  Check out the original Filing Hall of Shame here! Do you have folders worthy of the Inspired Office Hall of Shame?  Please share!  Email me pics and you too could be a member of the esteemed club of folks who are swiftly moving towards a filing system worthy of the Inspired Office Hall of FAME!  This is all in good fun.  My clients all know that their folders are lovingly showcased here and have graciously offered to serve as examples!


A Clever Little Product To Organize Your To-Do's

This video is a follow up to my previous post An Odd Office Organizing Product & Proof That it Works. I've used it many times since, and shot this short video in Alabama last week  to give you a tour of my client's pockets, what they are labeled, and exactly how they are helping to zap miscellaneous stashes and undone to-do lists.  I was coming down with a cold, so forgive my quiet little voice!  Every word was a struggle, but I powered through in the name of organizing!

Purchase your pocket folder here.

What categories would you put in a pocket folder?  Would you keep yours in one place or carry it with you between work and home?  Is this a solution you could see yourself using? Please share in the comments below!

How To Dismantle (And Love Again) A Beloved Collection

  Once upon a time in crawl space sat a treasure box.  Well, a treasure box disguised as a Tupperware bin.  Up until last weekend, it housed more than thirty batik fabric pieces I collected during my trips to Bali, Indonesia - last trip being in 2002.  I consider them to be some of the most beautiful things I own, attached to so many beautiful memories.  I bought them with intentions of cutting them up into so many projects, but there they sat, eternally folded, lonely, and probably missing Bali too.  Recently, I asked myself, “How special is an object if it never sees the light of day?”

A few years back I turned my most beloved antique one into two pillowcases that I now sleep on every night.  This is the one that I would have liked to preserve as if it were the Constitution in the Archives.  It was the softest piece of cotton I’ve ever touched and begged so many questions about who wore it.  It’s so much happier under my head though, and I’m so much happier being reminded of my trips every time I go to bed.  The rest remained boxed tight in the dark.

Many of you know I’ve been on my own personal decluttering bender lately.  First it was the Domino Magazine collection, then it was my only bookcase, and this recent attack was on this fabric collection.  No one is safe here at Planet Kacy.  You should see what I just did to my cook books….  So there the remaining thirty some batiks sat.

Even though I have enough storage space, my inner organizer is always nagging me to keep it as empty as possible.  Being your own professional organizer comes with a lot of chatter upstairs.  She constantly nags, “If it’s stored, why do you need it?  If you never see it, why is it there?  Yes you have beautiful things tucked away, but aren’t your favorite things already out?”  So a few weekends ago I gave in and brought out that box.

Like most organizing projects, parts were harder than I thought and parts were easier than I thought:

Batik sorting
Batik sorting

The hard parts:

-       The beginning.

-       All of the “But this one is so beautiful!” moments.

-       Remembering details about purchasing each and every one.

-       Deciding which first few pieces would go.

The easy parts:


- Deciding which ones would go (these on the right) after getting my sea legs with letting go of the first few.

- Pretty containerizing at the very end for the pieces I kept.  I repurposed a stray jumbo apothecary jar.

- Coming up with some rules.  Let it go if it’s:

- Machine made (as opposed to hand-dyed).

- Pre-fabricated for a piece of furniture I don’t own (ie: a square tablecloth)

- Was a gift and I’m only keeping it because it’s a gift.  I cherished that gift long enough, right?  Nobody said we have to keep gifts forever.

Image 1
Image 1

So in the end, I was left with a mostly empty box, a beautiful one-of-a-kind display, and ten batiks to sell.  I can enjoy these pieces instead of bemoan the space they take up.

What are you “hoarding” that is too special to use?  Is it note cards you picked up overseas?  Is it a pen that was gifted to you?  Is it a collection from your travels that you thought too beautiful to display in your office?  Do you have a collection in mind that you can dismantle, condense, and finally start enjoying?  Please share in the comments!

This Might Upset Book Lovers

I got rid of my only bookshelf. There, I said it. I didn't get rid of all my books, but I did get rid of my one and only bookshelf. I'm going to tell you why and I'm going to tell you how. I'm also going to share with you what I kept and why. The Why: When I told my friend about this she said, "Why? Books are wonderful!" My new bookshelf-independent lifestyle isn't a commentary on books per se, but rather a reflection on living only with things that are indeed wonderful. My answer to her: "Well, the books I donated weren't that wonderful." I get it - I know countless folks who would rather go without indoor plumbing than go without books. I'm not saying that's wrong, I'm just not one of those people. Ever since buying a Kindle last year, I actually read more than ever. I'm a slow reader, so reading a book twice has little appeal. During this process, I learned something about myself: books to me have always been resources or decoration. When a resource though hasn't been referred to in years and the decoration just blends into the background with time, what good is it? I've also come to realize that I value empty space above most objects.

The How: Last Sunday I came home from a weekend on the Chesapeake Bay with friends and family. I was un-showered and hungry, but all I could do was make a beeline to the bookcase. Once I make up my mind to get rid of something it has to happen immediately - even before food and personal hygiene! I was literally obsessed with the idea. Friends, this was NOT easy. Here's the breakdown:

1. I started my own organizing project like I do all others - with the low-hanging fruit. I took from the shelf the books that I knew I didn't want to keep. These were the easy decisions, and there weren't as many of those as I expected.


2. Realizing that in order to make this happen, every book must come down, I took every book down. A semblance of piles formed. A box appeared. Delusional aspirations of only keeping what would fit in one box surfaced. I blame that more on the hunger than the quest for minimalism.


3. Better, smarter piles began to take shape. The four piles you see below are the books I kept: - Books to keep on shelf in living room. These include some sentimental gifts (yes, I do keep some of those!), 3 organizing books, an Estonian travel guide I'll actually use, coffee table books that I actually look at & my favorite book ever, "Illusions" by Richard Bach. - Bali and Indonesia books to store with boxed Bali memorabilia. (I studied abroad there in 2000 - um, yeah, great decision!) Don't shed any tears; I have plenty of teak furniture and Indonesian art that are much bolder reminders of my time spent there. - Feng Shui books to store with Feng Shui notebooks. In my early twenties I took 5 feng shui courses. I used to do feng shui consultations. Since I don't do this now, the books don't need to be front and center in my life.


4. I bagged up the books to donate. These included great books that I read that I'll never read again, freebies from networking events, Feng Shui books that were too basic (I kept the rare & advanced ones), and even an autographed book that wasn't worth keeping just because it was autographed.


5. Here's how I displayed the keepers!


With an empty corner where there once was a tall sexy designer bookcase, I do feel much lighter. I have no regrets. Looking at my books now, I know that each one is special and truly chosen by the person I am today. The smaller collection feels rich, curated, and meaningful. Decide for yourself what collection of yours no longer has the value it once did. For me it was books. For you it might be clothing, decorations, art, or furniture. Whatever it is, do whatever it takes to feel lighter, because it's a wonderful feeling that money can't buy.

Do you have a collection that's weighing you down? Have you ever let go of a collection? How do you feel about books? Do you think I'm nuts for doing this?! Do you think you're ready to look at your things with a new set of eyes now? I want to hear your thoughts. Please share!