We’ve survived Christmas, but the holiday craziness is far from over. With New Year’s lurking just around the corner, there are still many tasks left to do.
I’m not sure if this is an Asian thing, but in my family we have this belief that what you do, and the state you’re in on New Year’s Day is basically a sign of the year ahead. Which is why the house (and everything else) has to be sparkly clean and well-organized before the New Year arrives.
I plan to focus on my writing career more next year, so my first order of business was to clean and organize the office.
Last year (in April), I replaced the crumbling, mismatched bookcases with new ones and re-arranged the layout of the room so things would flow better.
My book addiction has gotten so crazy that every available inch of my two bookshelves has been crammed with books. So this December, I bought an additional bookshelf—15 inches wide and perfect for the space between the current shelves and the window.
I moved the big, black filing cabinet to the garage, where it now holds older files. I replaced that and the smaller filing cabinet beside it with a horizontal 2 drawer filing cabinet. It holds less stuff, but fits the space perfectly and matches the rest of the furniture in the room.
I also re-purposed the rolling cabinet beneath the window. The drawers were the perfect size for sorting papers, so that’s exactly what I did. I disposed of the flimsy, plastic paper tray and organized my linen paper, colored paper, copy paper, and binding papers into separate drawers, labeling them accordingly.
The upper portion of the closet was wasted space, so I installed an expandable shelf.
It was easy to assemble and sturdy enough to hold the many boxes, binders and materials I had lying around.
The last part of the whole process was the also the most fun. I hung frames on the wall and lined the shelves with cool fantasy toys and old school cameras.
Some of my favorite wall hangings include my belt display rack, which shows all the martial arts belts I’ve retired as I moved up in rank. I also have a collage of all the pictures I’ve taken with authors at the book signings I’ve attended and some drawings I bought during a trip to New Orleans.
On the other side of the room, I hung up a map of the old English county of Wiltshire which I purchased during my trip to the UK, a shadow box containing my old elementary and high school medals and a “Writing in Progress sign” which a friend gave to me for Christmas years ago.
My favorite wall décor, though, is the picture frame which my CBW-LA officers surprised me with at the launch. It contains sweet, heartfelt messages from all of them, along with a picture of our Story Sprouts book cover.
And of course, I cleared my desk of papers. Sort of.
After organizing the home office and making it more conducive to writing, I’m ready to take on the new year and all the crazy, exciting projects that come with it.
Now it’s on to the closet. If I have time, that is.
What are your year-end traditions?
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