Office organization

trilobiteDecember 5, 2009

*waves* I haven't been around for awhile, but wanted to share. I had to move everything off the floor of a co-worker's cube in anticipation of the carpets being cleaned.

On the floor of her cube,

Empty boxes. (tons)

Plastic bags. (ditto)

Half broken office "stuff".

Serving plates (and more serving plates).


Paper Cups.

Coffee maker.

Coffee carafe.

Two dustpan/brushes sets.

A plunger (!)

Glass vases.

Wrapped gifts.

Boxes of greeting cards.

A stash of returnable cans.

Half a dozen disposable tablecloths.

A radio.

Extra trashbags.

Old fake leather soft briefcases.

Christmas decorations/lights.

Piled on her desk, I conservatively estimate 2X2X6 feet worth of "stuff".

I had always known she was one of these fussy office "savers", but wow. Being in her cube just made me want to start madly tossing stuff into the trash.

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Thanks for posting, I got quite a chuckle out of it. A lot of it looks like (from the list) the remnants of an old Christmas party that never made it home. Except for the plunger..........

Or, she wants to be prepared for anything! Need a gift, here ya go. Need a part for a stapler, here ya go. Need some cash, take these cans to the redemption center, here ya go. Feeling constipated, take this plunger, here ya go.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 11:41AM
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Here's the flip side: There are always office gatherings--a little party when somebody's leaving to have a baby or take a new job, a holiday gathering, etc. Your "pod mates" always need the small plates, napkins, etc. (decorations, too) for those "bring in some cookies" moments, but just who steps up to make sure you have these things? And when one party's over, you know another one will come someday, so who steps up to store these necessities? Most people, it seems to me, always think someone else will take care of them and be the "mom" and have these things. That was your friend.

After an entire floor of my office building was renovated, my co-workers and I moved back to a redesigned space, schlepping all our stuff back up. We had 3 small Staples cardboard boxes (as opposed to the legal-size storage boxes) full of cups, napkins, plates, utensils, serving utensils. It's not the stuff you want to throw out, because we do reach for those things all the time (like when we order pizza--you need plates and napkins, or Chinese and the delivery people forget utensils). But somebody has to step up and be the keeper of this stuff.

Other than the plunger, there's nothing really surprising on that list. Now if you found a half-eaten sandwich, then you'd have something to write home about.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 3:28AM
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Have to disagree, pammyfay. Looks like someone who can't see anything "go to waste" but doesn't use it, either. If it were used, there would not be so MUCH of it.

Total hoarder.

The party organizer or the admin assist usually does those sorts of things.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 4:06AM
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Just to clarify, this woman handles refreshments for board meetings and that kind of thing, so yes, some of this stuff is necessary.

BUT...there's actually a not inconsiderable amount of real estate in our office for storage. There are three file drawers filled with plasticware/serving utensils/etc. There's some serving stuff stored in the large conference room where we have the board meetings. And we have an office supply close that holds decorations, vases, etc.

This is all the stuff that won't fit in the file drawers and won't fit in the office supply closet and won't fit in the storage space in the conference room. Everything I've described is "stored" in piles wedged against the cube walls around her desk.

Also, I don't think I've adequately described the empty boxes and plastic bag situation. I think she has probably fifteen empty boxes ranging in size from little stationary boxes to big copier paper boxes and wads and wads of plastic bags.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 10:16AM
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It surprises me when I read stories about hoarders whose co-workers were unaware because there were no indications at work. How could you be unable to throw things away at home but do so at work?

I worked with a woman whose desk was a lot like the one described by trilobite, but she didn't have the party responsibilities. I never went to her home, but I would not have been at all surprised if I had learned that she was a hoarder. She mentioned once having an unused car in her yard for years because she couldn't locate the title to sell it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 9:47AM
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Was she responsible for keeping the stock of the party supplies? I know a couple of receptionists that had stashes of stuff that they kept at their desks, so they knew when someone came for something that it was time to reorder it.

It still doesn't excuse the bags.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 2:21PM
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The plunger......why the plunger??????


    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 11:34AM
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holey moley

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 11:44AM
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The lady may think of herself as the unofficial "keeper of the boxes." I have a hidden corner in my office that is used for storing miscellaneous boxes during the year--usually 1 that held copier paper and a dozen or more boxes of different, smaller sizes in and around it. Our large shipping boxes are stored in the supply room, but people occasionally need "a box to send this mug to my brother," or "something the right size for sending these sweaters to my nieces," or (just yesterday) "a tiny box to hold a thumb drive." If they sat out in the open, I wouldn't keep them, but it's no trouble under the circumstances. Most of the boxes disappear at this time of year.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 8:46AM
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Melissa Houser

I wanted to say a big thank you for posting this thread. I know you were talking about a co-workers cubicle, but my office is in my living room. I had piles of papers that needed to be handled, and I did just that today! Everything is now either shredded, trashed, or filed. :)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 4:10PM
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