Home Organizing Challenge Week 5: The Office

February 1, 2015


14 Week Organizing Challenge


We are entering week 5 of A Bowl Full of Lemons 14 Week Organizing Challenge – The Office. This week will be tough for a lot of you but don’t fret.  We will get through it together.  Once this week is complete, your stress level will go way down.

If this is your first time participating in the challenge, welcome! Each week, you will receive a new challenge & you will have 7 days to complete it. If you are not subscribed to my blog & want reminders for the weekly challenges, you can sign up here. The first thing you need to do is print out your 14 Week Schedule. You can hang it on your fridge and check it off as you go. Print it out here.


Home Organizing Challenge Week 5 The Office via A Bowl Full of Lemons


WEEK #5 TASK – The Office:

This week we are cleaning and organizing the home office. If you don’t have an office, organize the area of your home where you keep your paperwork, mail, computer, etc.


Home Organization Challenge Week 5 The Office via A Bowl Full of Lemons


WEEK #5 CHECKLIST: (Print out the free checklist HERE)


Gather 6 large bins or boxes, one for each of the following.
  • Shred
  • Donate
  • File
  • Return (to other rooms)
  • Keep (Everything that stays in the office)
  • Trash/recycle
  • Paperwork – Give yourself at least 2 hours to go through ALL of your paperwork.  Each piece of paper will be placed in one of the following bins (shred, file, trash).  You are not organizing at this time – Just sorting.
  • Everything Else –  Go through the remaining items in your office. Place everything into one of the 6 bins (listed above).
  • Clean the windows, blinds, frames & mirrors
  • Wipe down doors, baseboards, doorknobs and switch plates
  • Wipe down desk & shelves
  • Clean out trash can
  • Wipe down office chair
  • Vacuum
  • Clean ceiling fan & lighting
  • Clean the keyboard, mousepad & computer screen (according to instructions)
  • Filing System – Now it’s time to organize all of your paperwork into a filing system. The categories I use are listed here.  At least 50% of the paper you have now should be tossed.  You can also go paperless at this time.  (Log into your accounts and chose this option).
  • Mail Station – Create a designated mail station. You will need one to get control of the incoming paper clutter.
  • Books & Magazines – Organize your books & magazines in an orderly fashion.
  • Everything Else – Create categories for everything else in your office, then label & organize into containers, drawers & baskets.


  • Is this paper necessary to keep? (Taxes, etc)
  • Will I use it in the future?
  • Do I have a place for it?
If you answered no, toss it! (Shred if needed).


Week 5 The Office via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Organizing Inspiration


Here are several blog posts that will inspire you to get your Office organized.

1. My Office (& Project Life Organization)

2. Purging Your Desk

3. How to Organize your Taxes

4. Tax Preparation Checklist

5. Purging Email Subscriptions

6. Paper Organization

7. Purging the Bills

8. 5 Tips for a clutter Free Workspace

9. Household Bill Payment Center

10.  My Office Organization

11. Filing System Organization

12. Budget & Mail Drawer

13. Budget Binder



Share your progress on Instagram using the hash tag #abfolorganizechallenge, blog about the weekly challenges – sharing your before and after pictures and/or share over at my Home Organization 101 group here. Hold yourself accountable and finish all 14 challenges!



If you are just joining us, visit the challenge details page here, to learn what it’s all about.



Week 1: The Kitchen

Week 2: The Laundry Room

Week 3: The Pantry

Week 4: Master Bedroom



I’ll see you back next week for another organizing challenge.

8 comments on “Home Organizing Challenge Week 5: The Office

  1. As I was getting ready for taxes this year I realized the filing cabinet was bursting. I removed so many old bills extra to shred. Now the drawers can actually shut without force.

  2. Paula says:

    I SCAN my paperwork & use basically the same “files” – except on my computer….That cuts down on LOTS of paper……Much easier!!
    Of course, you must be disciplined enough to have regular back-ups!!!

  3. Monica says:

    Where did you get the pencil organizer? I love it!

  4. Lilou says:

    I have been reading your posts for a while now and I find them very inspiring … so I decided to join your challenge for the week 5. As part of my office I keep my children’s Artworks. Even if they are both pre-schoolers I have accumulated a fair bit of their creations. Would you be able to suggest ways to keep, store or even reduce the never ending piles of artworks entering my house every week? Many thanks.

    • Rachel says:

      Welcome to the challenge! Check out THIS POST on setting up memory boxes. I would encourage you to be picky about what you keep. You’re going to want to keep every piece of art work, school work and so on. Be picky. It’s OK to get rid of some of those masterpieces!

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