NYC Professional Office Organizer

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Ask a Professional Organizer – Decluttering Your Office

As you dig into your organizing projects this spring, make sure decluttering your office is on your list of tasks. This month your NYC Professional Office Organizer is answering questions about organizing and decluttering your workspace.

Q: I want to take advantage of this urge to spring clean my workspace, but I’m very overwhelmed by the whole project. How do I know where to start?

A: Pick a really easy spot to start your spring decluttering project. For instance, you can focus on your desk junk drawer. If you are like many of my clients, you probably have a supply of plastic silverware and ketchup packets in this drawer so the decisions should be easy to make. Be sure to set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes and get started. Once the timer goes off, you’re done for the day. You will need to schedule additional 15 minute blocks during the week
to continue work on this project. Think of this as a marathon and not a sprint…as you work your way through your space, the results will motivate you to complete the job.

Q: I tend to bring too many personal items into my office. I’m decluttering and ready to pare down, but how do I decide how much is okay to keep in my space?

A: I would start by determining the number and type of personal items that would be appropriate to have in your office. If you are referring to photographs and other personal memorabilia, I would limit the number of items to 1-2 on your desk and a similar number on the bookcase or windowsill. You can replace them twice a year with the same number of items. Timing this swap out to coincide with daylight savings time or spring/fall office decluttering will make it easy to remember to refresh the personal items on display.

Q: I’ve done some spring decluttering in my office and love my office again! I want to make sure it stays this way. How can I keep it up throughout the year?

A: Congratulations on getting your spring decluttering done! Maintenance is a key part of the organizing process and time should be scheduled on a quarterly (or more frequent basis if needed). Blocking time now on your calendar for maintenance tune-ups will ensure that this task stays top of mind. Spending a little time every few months to clear the clutter that has accumulated will ensure that your office space always looks professional and that you’ll be able to maximize your productivity.

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