Will you be gearing up to go back into your office for at least part of the week? If so, these how to declutter a home office steps will come in handy. This is a good time to clear the clutter that has collected in your home office over the past 15 months. You will probably still need to use your home office for remote work so getting it better organized will make this next transition an easier one. Follow these 6 steps to start clearing the clutter.
Step 1: Collect items that don’t belong.
As you are systematically going through your home office remember that it can be difficult to see the trees from the forest. Items like a sweater you wore during the winter when it was really cold or your dog’s squeeky toy may just be blending in with the background. This is the time to return them and other random items that don’t belong in your office and that are cluttering it up to their rightful homes.
Step 2: Discard items that you don’t use.
Your home office space is valuable real estate and shouldn’t be used to store items that aren’t used or are broken! Look for a local e-recycling event in your community and drop off old desktop computers and other electronics. Your home office is not a storage unit, so it’s time to recycle, donate, or throw out everything that is no longer relevant.
Step 3: Clear off your desk.
If your desk is covered in clutter, it’s impossible to work. You are postponing the inevitable each morning when you shove piles of papers aside or even worse put them on the floor. The clutter can be distracting so tackle it and be done with it. With a clear, clutter-free desk, you can start each day focused on the first task on your list and never wasting time trying to find a pen or important document.
Step 4: Promptly put items in their home.
Assign every item a specific space that makes sense to you and you’ll never have to search for what you need! Finished with a file? Put it back in the filing cabinet. Entered a new contact into your database? Toss the post-it with the info. Once this habit becomes part of your daily routine, you will save lots of time. Be sure to keep those frequently used items within arm’s reach.
Step 5: Label. Label.
Rarely is a home office only the office. Frequently it is a multi-purpose space. Sometimes it is used for additional storage or a guest bedroom. When your space is used for multiple functions and shared by different members of your household, labeling will help keep the space organized. Label file folders, storage bins, the inside of drawers – everything! By doing this, everyone that uses the space can easily help keep it clutter free.
Step 6: Maintenance should be a priority.
Once the decluttering is done, you’ll have a well-organized workspace… at least initially. Have a plan for maintaining the space is critical or the clutter will soon creep back in. Get into the habit of doing a daily or weekly sweep of the space to clear whatever has collected. Schedule time on your calendar once a quarter to do a deeper dive so that you keep the clutter at bay.
If you can schedule time to tackle the 6 steps for how to declutter a home office, it will be a good use of time. You will not only rid your space of the clutter, you’ll have a more professional looking area which will have a positive impact on your productivity. If you need a specific tip, please reach out.