Having a workspace that’s organized and free of clutter can improve your productivity, giving you the freedom to complete more tasks and freeing you from stressful distractions. Maybe you’ve put off tackling the mess because you’re somehow attached to what’s in the room, are pressed for time or just don’t want to make choices about your stuff. But whatever the reason, there’s a way to improve your workplace! Here are tips for decluttering your workspace:
Put cleaning on your calendar
Once cleaning is on your official agenda, consider yourself committed to the job. Blocking off time also ensures that the cleaning effort isn’t going to interfere with anything else, so you can feel less stressed about it and accept it as a priority.
Find out exactly what you use
Jot down a list of everything you use for at least one to two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, you’ll have a list of items that you actually use and likely should keep. Everything else, with the exception of occasionally used cables or files, is probably kept with a “just in case” mentality and is a candidate for digitalization or donation.
Sort, move and donate
Once you know what should stay around in your office, separate everything that stays in the office from the things you want to move, such as things you’ll take home or things that belong in a supply closet, or give away. Be ruthless. Don’t keep what doesn’t support your work or make you genuinely happy to see. You should be able to identify the purpose of every single thing in your space, and there shouldn’t be duplicates. If there are items you cannot donate, drop them off at your nearest recycling center.
Once a week, go through your office and get rid of accumulating junk. Don’t eat at your desk or accept freebies, and don’t let yourself buy more shelves or containers to hold more. Each day before you leave, look back, ask yourself if you’d be proud to bring a client into the space and remove anything that would make you look unprofessional.