What would Martha Stewart say.

talley_sue_nycApril 3, 2007

What would Martha Stewart say.

if she could see your office at work?

I work at a company that is known for its visual sense, especially in terms of d├ęcor. And one of our most important and high-ranking employees is particularly known for her tidiness and her sense of order, as well as her stylish acumen. Its pretty much the equivalent of working for Martha. (Some of you will know exactly what I mean.)

So this bigshot got into a survey of the office space, and her "tour" took her even to my way-around-the-corner nook.

Where, Im embarrassed to say, I had let all the old files pile up at the end opposite from my desk. And, at the end of the last work cycle, my freelance worker had dropped off all the loose papers from her work. And stuff Id put on the shelves was sort of higgledy-piggledy.

"Ive sort of let things go," I acknowledged. "Uh-huh!" she said, pointedly. "Im about to send them off to archives," I apologized. She apparently mentioned the mess to a couple of other bigshots, once of whom did her own tour, and said, when I mentioned that it was in need of tidying, "Yes, I heard. It's too bad you don't have a window!" So I'm not sure which was mentioned most--my total lack of window, or the mess.

Now, Im not the only offender ont he floor, or necessarily the worst. And, when I began tidying, it went really fast. It was one projects worth of paper, and four projects worth of files. They just needed to go in boxes and be picked up by Office Services. And the stuff on the shelves was the RIGHT stuff, and in the rightspot--it was just leaning every which way.

One of my good friends in the office came and helped me straighten up quick, in case the CEO herself would come and look at the place!!

One lesson I took away from our efforts, esp. my friends, was this:

-Stop "staging" the stuff to go home, on the floor. Put it up on a shelf, consolidated inside one another, to get it out of the way and keep the place looking orderly.


What would "Martha" say if she saw your office?

(Oh, and our "Martha" thought mine was much better, when she came to see it yesterday after her meeting in our department, but she said, "You need shelves." I thought, "Infrastructure!" and thought of my posts here in which I proclaim how important it is. The funny thing is, at work, I dont actually need more infrastructure; the shelves I *do* have, have a little air left on them still, and will have even more when I bring a couple of things home. But Id also tucked some files that were destined for someone elses office, behind a board, and she said, "Youre hiding stuff! Stop that!" she scolded. So we had a little bantering bonding going on there.)

"Martha" also asked me, as we were walking to my office, whether I was embarrassed (this after she told me she HAD mentioned my office to the CEO!). A little, I said, but I'll live. "Oh, don't be," she said warmly.

Thank God I don't have to invite her to my home!!!!

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If Martha could see my cubicle, she'd say, "It's sad that some people have to live like that. I guess they don't know any better."

(Same goes for my house, probably ...)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 1:48PM
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no, she wouldn't, Harriet--she'd say, "get rid of this stuff! Clean that! Organize this! Get some shelves in here! It won't take that long. It'll make a huge difference."

Martha doesn't waste any time pitying people--she just orders 'em around.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 2:16PM
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She'd be irritated with me, but not really be able to give me any concrete suggestions to fix the problem. She wouldn't have a response for the fact that I had to dumpster dive my desk, chair, and old student desks used as tables. She would get irritated that I couldn't organize myself when I came to work and found my office moved somewhere overnight because "they needed the room." I just never found my system for my work space. Too much was out of my control most of the time.

I find it difficult to get my work space at home to function well. I'm still caught in the vertical/horizonal piler quandry. The same space needs to function while I spread out papers for the grants I'm writing for our Irish Dance non-profit. I need to sew ties in this space. I need to keep my stash of books in this space. My sewing supplies in this space. I've got bookshelves, but the room is only 8 feet wide and 25 feet long. I can only get so many shelves in and still have room to walk around my sewing table.

Oh, well. It's the best I can do right now and it doesn't interfere with my ability to get done what I need to get done. It's still a cozy place I've got decorated with things I enjoy.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 5:39PM
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I'm a science teacher, so I don't have an office. I try to keep things fairly organized, though there are days when I have papers piled on my desk for lack of a better place to put them (because they have to be returned/handed out, etc). I usually even have it neat on lab/activity days, though last Thursday there were beans all over my floor from an activity simulating owl survival (parents had to feed "owlets" beans using forks as talons). I don't think Martha could say too much considering my profession (7th grade science, btw).

I try to be uncluttered for my sake, so I don't lose things. Plus, I don't work well in a cluttered area. I don't think as well when clutter is around.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 5:42PM
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She wouldn't have a response for the fact that I had to dumpster dive my desk, chair, and old student desks used as tables.
Actually, she'd think that was great, but she'd have all sorts of suggestions for painting them the same color, and covering the scarred tops with leather, and stuff.

Or, if that's the office, she'd have the VP of facilities on the carpet for not giving you proper equipment to do your job! (you should see OUR facilities team!!)

vtchewbecca, your science room sounds like fun!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 9:12AM
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Martha wouldn't like it. I use the "guest" room as an office, with a long desk with computer, etc. on it, two chairs, a bed (just in case GD comes), file cabinet (piled with photo boxes), marble-top dresser with computer stuff in it, cedar chest with heavy, large doll house and 2 file boxes on it, boxes under the bed, and papers, notebooks, and Christmas decorations in the small closet. The top of the bed is covered with papers and notebooks, and frankly I can't find anything. Maybe that's why I sit at the computer and read email, Home Forum, and play games. Too discouraging.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 6:42PM
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I dunno ... not much you can do with industrial beige fabric walls, industrial beige and blue psychedelic carpet, chewed-up industrial beige office chair, industrial beige laminate desk top and computer (at least everything matches!) in a space approximately 7' x 9'. I do have three golden pothos plants, a cat calendar, a New Yorker poster, and some office memos for decoration. And lots of our books (I'm a book production editor). It's not really messy; I just haven't been able to do anything to make it very chic. I was thinking that even Martha would throw up her hands, though you're probably right, she wouldn't expend any pity on me.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 1:14PM
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Oh, and she wouldn't throw up her hands, LOL!

She has a suggestion at EVERY turn. Even a storage closet that looks decluttered, tidy, and well-labeled, is "badly organized!"

I have seen one of her offices--it's not chic at all. It's VERY bare and utilitarian. Big table for a desk, a wall full of shelves and drawers, and that's it. No art, no fabrics. Very spare.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 9:42AM
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My cell was nicer than that....

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 2:12PM
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