There are plenty of arguments for the genius that accompanies a messy desk, but I have to disagree. When my mind is scattered and stressed, my purses, closet and office reflect the same all-over-the-place mentality. Consequently, once organization falls apart, it takes twice as long to get a task done. Taking the time to organize, discard and prioritize office items opens up a pathway towards clearer work and tasks. Here are 5 easy steps to declutter your office.
1. Let it all hang out
Take everything out, one drawer, pencil case, or file cabinet at a time. Empty everything onto the desk and floor. Yes, no doubt this step will look a lot worse to start with, (maybe even resemble something of a bomb), but go forth with deep cleaning strength—it’s the only way to truly tackle the task.
2. Let go: Discard and Separate
Grab an empty tote bag or grocery bag, and as you sort through each item (yes, let no item be overlooked) really think about what you don’t need. How many pens are necessary? Do you really need to keep those files from your last job? Remember DaVinci’s words, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Although everyone’s workspace or desk size is different, along with the requirements of your office, this step is universal.
Set up labeled files organize by Immediate, Upcoming and Finished. Color coordinate these three labels, and the finished colors can hold items like Car Papers, Tax Papers, i.e., everything that has been taken care of but must be to filed away.
Keep a drawer or basket that neatly holds your essential office supplies like printing paper, stapler, post-it notes, anything you like, or need, to have around when you are working.
4. Images of Tranquility
One check-off in LEED certified office spaces is having images of nature around your immediate work area. Put up a few beautiful images of natural places or inspirational quotes that will add touches of tranquility to your work space.
5. Calendar Everything
Keep a physical calender. I like to have a planner to write down everything I need. If keeping this information on a computer calendar is better for you, go with what works for you. But make it a habit to dedicate a space (virtual or real) to keeping track of due dates and appointments. Now not only your physical office is decluttered, but you can declutter your mind because every upcoming task is in one place.
Now every item has a neat place, and your desktop is clear. Time to do some productive work in your clean office space!