Friday, May 25, 2012

Someone Else's Stuff

We recently had some changes at my part-time job.  One staff member left, a new person was hired, and some reorganizing of duties has been done.  I switched offices with someone.  And in the midst of all this, the Cleaning Bug hit.  Files are being scanned and the paper copies shredded, supplies have been put in a central location rather than being hoarded in various drawers and boxes, and a major decluttering is underway, most of it done under the watchful eye of the vice-president while the president was away for a week.

Which leads me to my boss.  While my job is a mish-mash of different tasks, I'm still the adminstrative assistant to the president of the company.  Who has been here for decades and to whom this is a second home.  On her return, she was amazed at how clean the offices were.  And I offered to help her clean out her office.  Actually, just a part of her office - a wall unit consisting of a dozen built-in drawers with shelving above it AND two credenzas.  Stuffed with papers and newspaper clippings and greeting cards and personal stuff that shouldn't be in anyone's business office.  But I can only push so far; she is the boss, and this was somewhat overwhelming for her - because of the personal nature of much of it, she was seeing notes from family members who've passed, finding pictures of her kids when they were little, ... we needed to take baby steps to get her through it.

She sat at a conference table while I brought each drawer's content to her, making it easier for her to sort through.  We made piles, thankfully small, of the items she wanted to keep, and filed things back, grouping them by category (personal, company-related, various committees and organizations for the town that she's involved in).  At the end of the day, two contractor bags full of garbage were in the dumpster.  Shirts and other promotional materials were donated to a local cause.  Half of the drawers, two shelves, and both credenzas are now empty.  And one box full of photos waits for her to scan to her computer.

Have you ever helped anyone organize a part of their office or home?  How did you find the experience?  And was the person able to maintain what you'd done?

1 comment:

momto8blog said...

my daughter sound like your boss...and I sound like you!!! she keeps so much stuff..papers from high school! and I look at it,file it to throw it out....I could not imagine helping someone declutter...I would get rid of everything!!!
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