Picture this: you walk into your office and there are mountains of papers piled so high on the desk you are unable to see anything else. There are office supplies, books, and boxes of files stuffed in every corner of the room. How productive do you think you can be in a space like that? Probably not very productive at all, right? This picture doesn’t have to be your reality. There is a better way! Here are 5 simple steps to a clutter free office from this Professional Organizer in NYC.
- Purge your space. Take inventory of the items in your office. Go through stacks of paper and toss out or shred duplicates or paperwork that you no longer need. Clean out desk drawers and bookshelves and discard or recycle those items that you no longer need, use or want. The key question to ask yourself is “when was the last time that I used this?” After you are done purging, it will be easier to organize what is left!
- Think about your office space. Items that are relevant to a given activity should be kept in the same part of the office where the work is done. If your trash can is on one side of the room while your desk is in the other, you’ll be tempted to leave papers on your desk rather than get up and throw them away when needed. Take time to arrange your furniture and files so that everything is easily accessible and supports how you work.
- Designate a home for every item. You’ve heard the saying – a place for everything, and everything in its place. This is true even for your office space. If every item has a home, you won’t end up with excess clutter on your desk or table. So designate spaces for your office supplies, your files, and even a limited number of personal photos.
- Clean out your files. Take time quarterly or annually to clear out your old files. You can move any files from clients or projects that you are no longer working on into long-term storage, which frees up space for work that you are doing for current clients and new projects. This also means you can move that pile of paper from your desk and file it appropriately.
- Establish limits. A common problem is not setting limits and having too much stuff collect. Space is valuable, especially in smaller office spaces, so it’s important to use that space for important items that you need instead of items that don’t serve you or your work. Set limits for yourself – instead of multiple photos on your desktop, pick one or two favorites. Hang up special mementos instead of keeping them on the desk or tabletop. Store all of your promotional items in a box or bin instead of in your active workspace.
The key to keeping your office clutter free is to take time every single day to put everything away. If you leave your desk clear of clutter when you leave at the end of your day, you’ll be able to start you next work day with a fresh start! This Professional Organizer in NYC urges you to start your decluttering process with these 5 steps, and reach out if you need more help!