Our mission at Restoring Order is restoring the original design of people, families, and businesses so that they can reclaim their household, work, health, and spirit. In other words, we are committed to whole life restoration! In our Reclaim Your Spirit aspect of our mission, this means helping to release the greatness that is within each individual.
Making Room for Expansion: Ministry Office Overhaul
I recently had the honor of being a guest on the television show Sister to Sister on Cornerstone Network. Sister to Sister is a talk show of Christian women similar to “The View.” As part of the segment they wanted to me to film a chat session with the sisters, PLUS an organizing makeover to showcase the work that we do as Order Restorers.
I worked side-by-side with one of the co-host “sisters”, Flo, on a home office makeover. You are going to LOVE these home office ideas to tackle the business center of your life!
My client was Flo Demus. Flo is a powerful woman whose ministry is expanding. Maybe you can relate….as her call and responsibilities grew, her home office began to suffer. Her home office is located in her family room, so the convergence of burdened work space and personal life was overwhelming. Flo knew that her productivity and clarity was suffering.
Flo began to pray for an answer – for help to be sent to her doorstep! And THAT is exactly what happened! When I was asked to be on the show, I had it in my heart to help Flo. From watching the show, I knew that she was a force…a woman whose mission needed to be supported. And so I told the producer – from my own research and sense – that I was supposed to work with Flo. The producer was surprised that I came in knowing what person I wanted to help and what project I wanted to do!
I just KNEW that if we could restore order in Flo’s central hub, we could release even more greatness in this woman. In almost two decades as a professional organizer, I can tell you that – just like in Flo’s case – home office chaos creates untold mental strain. Conversely, taking back your home office is the fastest route to restore your sanity!
You see, disorganization has a sneaky way of keeping us stuck and thereby preventing us from accomplishing our purpose in the world. This is why it’s not enough to reclaim your space…there’s a spiritual component of INTERNAL ORDER, too. Also, it’s not sufficient to know your purpose; there’s a practical component of EXTERNAL ORDER! You must create order in all areas of your life – both inside and out – to operate optimally.
In Flo’s home office I used 4 key strategies that will help YOU take back your home office, too!
Living a life of order is all about living your true priorities! And yet, the process of establishing priorities and intentions for a space is often skipped over in the organizing process.
Instead of allowing a prescribed floor plan or past habits to inform how you use a space, really step back and start with identifying your priorities. Then, don’t be afraid to allow these priorities to totally disrupt the way you’ve been doing things!
I conducted a lengthy interview process with Flo over FaceTime – all the way from Oregon to Pittsburg! We toured her home office visually, and I took notes on her needs and processes and priorities. Flo shared about her ministry and the convergence of her personal and professional life in one space. Her priority was to distill and simplify the space and restore her focus.
Become a detective
From our conversation, I picked up some other key clues. Good organizing requires detective work!
Flo had piles expanding from her desk area into the family room. These piles covered the carpet and even the fireplace mantle. But I knew these were more than piles; these were clues! Look for clues when you’re organizing; your space will reveal a story! It’s not actually clutter, it’s evidence of habits!
Through our detective work, I concluded that Flo needed A LOT more workspace because her small desk and vertical arrangement was cramped and insufficient. She also needed a hub that didn’t feel like an “officy” corner in her cozy family room; it needed to blend in, look and feel “executive,” and upgrade her experience of working from home.
After identifying your priorities, begin gathering clues for what’s not working in your current environment. Get out your magnifying glass!
Before you start the actual organizing process, stop and look for 2 things:
- Go through your space and look for WHERE clogs are occurring, where items are piling up, where you’ve spread out or gone vertical with clutter.
- When you identify these clogs, look at WHAT is landing there.
These two pieces of information will tell you what types of systems you need and where to locate them to work with your natural habits.
In Flo’s space we discovered that she had a lack of workspace. Her clutter had spread vertically in stacks and horizontally along the floor, pointing to a lack of not only work space, but also storage space. Flo needed more file space! Her little desk had no file space and her tall metal vertical file was not only ill-suited for a living space, but it did not provide any extra work/processing space.
Design Tip: If your office is located inside a personal space, blend it in by mirroring the style and “weight” of furnishings, rather than just dedicating one corner to an office function. Matching styles will create a continuous “feel” to the room. Also, streamline current projects so they can be put away each day and surfaces remain clear and easy on the eye.
Unload space in an organized way
Unloading your space is a key part of the organizing process. When done in an intentional way it expedites and INFORMS the process.
I prefer to use labeled banker’s boxes to unload a space. That way, you are performing a macro sort while you unload, naming each type of item when you place it in a box. When finished, you know how much you have of each type of item and can more quickly make pruning decisions.
Sorting Tip: As you unload, however, don’t get bogged down in separating and making decisions on paper. If it’s not quickly apparent what a paper is, create a box called “sort later” and keep moving! It’s easy to get burned out in the unload process if trying to make decisions at the same time.
Keeping Track of Hot Items: Especially in a home office, where a lot of our “to dos” live, make a box for current projects. These are the hot items that you don’t want to lose track of. Making a designated space to capture these items ensures that important information doesn’t get misplaced in the shuffle.
Set up your space to empower your roles
For Flo, we created attractive, executive workspace and added more storage space to empower her in her work. We also created a special intimate space where she could have her morning devotional time, which is very important to Flo. After all, the purpose of ordering one’s space is to empower your roles!
Flo not only enthusiastically embraced her space makeover, she knew it was an internal clear-out, too. . She reflected, “I believe that when you have clutter [in your space], your soul is cluttered.” While clutter definitely signals a back-up and/or a myriad of juggled responsibilities, it very often also reveals internal disorder. The key to sustaining order long-term is discovering and resolving both the inner and outer matters affecting us.
One of the things I love to differentiate is how the marketplace views “organizing” versus how we at Restoring Order view “order.” Organizing, as the marketplace sees it, is allocating space to things and using bins, baskets, and color-coded files.
That’s not who I am. I am an Order Restorer who is a REbuilder and a REnewer!
Our role as Order Restorers is as treasure hunters there to detect what has happened so we can correct it and restore it to its rightful order. To achieve lasting order, we must get to the root cause of disorder and take time to understand the design and function of the individual. This is why I wanted to get to know Flo and her ministry so that I could support her unique design and function in the world.
We were able to effectively bring order to Flo’s home office in a way that she feels equipped and empowered in her roles.
Flo reflected, “There’s such honor in [the process]. I think sometimes what can make you shy away [from getting organized] is you think “shame,” “embarrassment,” “humiliation”. The enemy loves that because now he can keep you from being effective. Vicki gave me a plaque and spoke to me about being a Life Reclaimist and that’s really what it’s about: God’s original intent. That’s what we want to flow and operate in and out of because that’s what’s in us.”
It was an honor to partner with flow to further release her greatness into the world and empower her gifting. See the full conversation and makeover: