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Lifehacker reader IronManMac remodelled his office and workflow after mountains of clutter left his office so messy his wife would hide it behind closed doors when company came calling. More pics below.
When we asked IronManMac what inspired his radical departure from an office piled high with books, papers, and spare electronic parts, he offered up a two-fold answer. The first is a phenomena almost everyone has experienced at some point: stuff will expand to consume every available space if left unchecked.
Over the years I tried adding more surface space and I ended up with more stuff occupying that surface space. My previous office had a custom designed desk with lots of surface area. It turned out to be a huge mistake.
I relate strongly to his experience; before my own office makeover I had two full size desks in my office both packed with clutter. Just like the articles on decluttering and organisation had inspire me to change my office, they also had inspired IronManMac:
The office makeover actually started with a lifehacker article I had read about how to make an inexpensive Linux file server. Over the years, I had collected eight drawers of files. So I got my server up and running on an old pc and proceeded to scan and shred eight drawers of files. That in itself was an awesome undertaking. All my files are now electronic, and it freed up a lot of office space.
He didn't stop there. He continued to purge, throwing out years of accumulated computer books, software boxes, and a sizable stash of old computer parts.
At this point, many people would pat themselves on the back for a job well done, but IronManMac knew himself all too well.
I find that when I work, I tend to mess up my area. So my concept was to occupy the smallest space possible, and have a way to quickly close it off when company arrives.
Where to hide a mess? Why a closet of course. The transition wasn't as easy as pushing a desk into a closet, however. He had to cut out the custom desk that was the landing strip for his clutter and find a desk that he could wall mount inside the small space of the closet. Regardless of the one-time hassle, the end result was a more peaceful office that didn't need to be hidden away from company. What little mess that might occur now and then can easily be shut away behind the closet doors. Thanks for sharing your pictures and story IronManMac!