Especially with many working from home right now, those workspaces can become quite chaotic at times. And even for those located still on site at the office, desks can get messy and unorganized. This often leads to feelings of frustration, a lack of motivation, and a loss in productivity.
Having been organized, a clutter-free workspace can make a huge difference—even when it comes to your attitude regarding your job in general. Think about it, you walk into your home-based office or on-site office and are met with papers and files strewn everywhere. Random stacks are occupying valuable desk space. And when push comes to shove, you have a difficult time even finding a pen to use. You are likely not going to have a smooth and seamless day given this scenario. On the other hand, what happens when you walk in and see a perfectly organized desk. The clutter is gone, and everything you need to do your job is within arm’s reach. Probably a better day lay ahead.
In this article, we wanted to offer a few tips regarding the best way to declutter your desk and office. You will be surprised by how much easier life seems. When you declutter the physical, very often this is also a chance for your mind to relax a bit and experience its sort of decluttering.
Take everything out / Clear everything off
If especially you’re working from home and have a designated room that seems to slowly be filling up with random “stuff,” then it is time to begin again. Take everything out of the room. And in the process remove everything from your desk. And this means everything. Empty drawers. If in the room there are cupboards, be sure to clean those out as well. You want to have a blank canvas when you are finished with this first step. The best organizational plans lay everything bare. Sure, you may have shoved some items into a closet to get them out of the way, but if that is not their proper place, then on some level it is likely bothering you. Again, this is as much about a mental exercise as it is a physical one.
Cleaning in and of itself is a very positive, forward-moving act. It sets the tone for the remainder of the decluttering process and basically, it just makes you feel good, as though you’ve at last accomplished something within the space.
Treat all items equally
Yes, there may be some things in the space that seem to be more necessary…but then again. If you look at everything as equal and treat each item accordingly, you do gain some perspective on what exactly is necessary per se and what is not. So furniture, your desk, chair, lamp, for example, we tend to look at these things and think they are larger items, mainstays in a way, and so your mind doesn’t even question whether or not you truly do need them. That is not to say you don’t need a desk and chair, but maybe there’s another chair or two in the space simply taking up room. If they tend to not get used, and you generally find yourself walking around a piece of furniture, it’s probably dispensable.
Some people have a desk and then separate tables for miscellaneous items. More often than not, these miscellaneous items turn into a junk pile that rarely gets sorted through. Perhaps by moving the said table out of the room, you not only gain more ground, but you add another level of organization as you will no longer be tempted to just throw something on that table.
What are the necessities
Now that you’ve emptied the room and have begun to evaluate the contents of the room, you need to decide what is essential for your workspace. There may be certain things that you consider a necessity and yet if you think about it, you probably only use it once a month. This can be stored somewhere. It does not have to be a part of your decluttered office. Some will find that once they do get down to the nitty-gritty of what is essential, they have a desk, chair, computer, and a few office supplies. We very often think we need far more than we are going to use. This is the point of this process—figure out what you use, strip that desk/workspace down to the barebones, and free yourself of the burden of too much clutter.
Consider where you place items
As you bring your things back into the office—those things that you need—really spend some time thinking about where they should be placed. Placement is an important part of the decluttering journey. You want to maximize the room and space that you have. You want to make sure that items are accessible and the space easy to navigate. Especially if you are working within a smaller room, placement is everything! Getting organized is a very thoughtful process. If you’re just randomly bringing things back in and setting them down without rhyme or reason, you’re missing the point of the work you’ve thus far accomplished.
Stick to decluttering regularly
Once your office and desk are decluttered, you should feel a renewed sense of motivation and purpose even. Looking at an organized workspace is refreshing. Keep in mind, this probably isn’t a one and done task. Clutter has this way of creeping back into your life, despite your best efforts. You need to commit to decluttering regularly. You might even want to put it on your calendar, by way of reinforcing that commitment. As in, the first Monday of every month you will assign a couple of hours to declutter and organizing that office.