Monday Messes Office Purge

This post was an idea from last August – You can catch up with the original post here.
share your mess jkmcguire

My Monday Mess is painful to share. Our basement is too damp for storing anything, but items in plastic bins and our home has no attic. We have limited (hear me on this very small) amount of closet storage space. SO I am forced to let things go out of necessity.

If I want to live in a clutter free, simple as possible home, and maintain my sanity with all these people under one roof I am going to have to eliminate the extras. We have to get rid of all the things.

Monday Messes Tour – The Great Office Purge of 2016.

We began by removing everything from my office. The office was the room which had received the most boxes when we first moved. When I walked into the house filled with all of our waiting things after the closing… I couldn’t even make it through the office doors. Floor to ceiling they had packed them in tightly. After a few phases of unpacking and purging we were able to shuffle the load and paint the room.

It went from this: Monday mess office purge 1

To This:

finished office paint
Behr Paint colors: Dolphin Fin and White

You can see more images on my Instagram feed.

Now I am only willing to put back into this room the things I need to write, create well, and the paperwork important to our family.

Which means using a heavy handed approach to my library.


Books which were important during a particular season, but I have now outgrown were quickly added to the box to give away. Books I would never pick up again were also added to the box. Curriculum was set aside. I have a huge stack of Christian devotional books we have been given as gifts over the years. What in the world am I supposed to do with these? I dislike fluffy little texts of daily God slobber. You know where that pile went …

With every box and bag we remove, I find peace settling into the creases. With every bit of old dirt, and cracked surface we scrub clean, patch, and paint over, I am finding more and more space for me… for us. Working in the crooks, crannies, and details with my hands, face to the floor is adding more and more water to the creative well.

When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally make way for inspiration and ‘good, orderly direction’ to enter. – Julia Cameron
Who knew a few buckets of paint and removing books of leftover thought patterns and teachings would be such a liberating experience?
My spirit feels wider. My life feels ABLE to receive more wisdom now that we have taken out the trash. I am more open to creative expression because those boxes of books represented years of destructive teachings and habits I needed to finally release – without guilt or shame or fear – are gone from my living spaces.
julia cameron quote clutter

Monday Messes are about Purging the Excess.

Tips for Purging Your Junk.

Start with the books – bookshelves with books orderly and NOT overflowing or bulging over the edges can make a room instantly appear less cluttered. I know junk makes my emotional, spiritual, and creative spirit feel drained. There does come a point when you have too many books (gasp. Shock! What did she say?). You can have too many and it overwhelms your home.

The presence of junk makes my spirit dry. If you feel creatively “hung-up” or spiritually “stifled” consider purging excess teachings and thought… by releasing old books. It’s cathartic. I’m not that woman anymore.

First Round of Book Removal:

  1. Purge what your family has outgrown (if the kids aren’t into picture books anymore consider saving classics and favorites while giving the rest away to your local library or preschool or friend with younger kids). It is OK to let them go. If you have unused curriculum and are waiting to sell it? Seriously how long have you been waiting… put it in a box and get it out of the house.
  2. Go through your adult books meticulously – if you heavily marked a book it probably was/is significant to your journey… keep it. If you never opened it, are you going to have time or is it something you are currently interested in reading? If not, throw it in the box. Did you start a book and find it didn’t fit you? Also throw it in the box.

I only kept the books that were symbolic and meant something on the path, those I still go back to for quotes and understanding, and ones I haven’t read, but intend to soon.

  1. Keep classics if you have room. I am keeping books I want my kids to read.
  2. Release the gifts. I often have gotten books as gifts over the years. If they are significant to my spirit, I keep them. If they left me feeling agitated and annoyed, I pitched them. If I outgrew the phase (first time mom), I added them to the purge box. If they felt the least bit condescending or passive aggressive in nature (I am giving this to you because WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!)– consider the relationship you have or not with the giftgiver and then let them go.

It is easy to get caught up in the emotionalism or sentimentality of a book or gift. You may have a history with it. Evaluate where the feeling is really coming from and then decide to keep it or purge it.

I also set aside a stack of books I wasn’t sure about in the moment and came back to later on. Most didn’t make it back onto the shelf.

It feels good. I am two huge boxes of books and one entire book case released back into the universe! More space for beautiful and life-giving white space. Less opportunity and room for clutter.

What about you? Do books and clutter take over your space making it impossible to create, breathe, or be inspired to get things done?

Where would you start?


Ps consider sharing your Monday Mess on our private FB group

Or find me on Instagram: /JessicaKMcGuire or with the hasthags #mondaymess #shareyourmess

Can’t wait to see you there.

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