My paper was on the desk yesterday. I put it on the pile. Oh and then I sat a folder on it, then I moved that pile over on top of the printer table. But now I can’t find the paper. Does this sound like you? Is your home office a bit cluttered?
Clutter is everywhere! Without making the time to organize your workspace, your home office can gather clutter quickly. This wouldn’t be an issue if clutter would help you be more productive, but you know all too well that clutter is a productivity killer. In reality, a clutter-free office is a productive office. You’d be able to find things quicker and get more done without the frustration.
You know you need to make some changes to your organizational habits if you see piles of papers, files, or junk in every nook, corner, and crevice. Or just piled up on your desk. Or maybe you search and search and can’t find what you are looking for. Once clutter takes over your workspace it’s time to fight back with some clutter-free organizational tips!
3 Tips For Creating Your Clutter-Free Office
- A clutter-free office starts with the desire to get rid of the clutter. Every morning make it a goal to put away (or toss) ten things that are not in the right place. You can use this strategy anywhere – at home, in the car, or at work – and you’ll notice a huge difference on a day-to-day basis. If you’re rather motivated, try removing 20 or more pieces of clutter. Think of how many pieces of clutter you could eliminate if you spent half an hour to the problem! Imagine the progress you will make in a week or so. Every item counts!
- You also need to come up with a filing system for papers. Paper is often the worst clutter culprit, and if you come up with a way to deal with all of the paperwork, you’ll find your office to be much easier to work in. This is often as simple as having “in”, “out”, and “to be filed” boxes. Getting the paperwork off the desk will change the whole look and feel of your space. If you are a “piler” instead of a “filer”, then you need to work extra hard in this area.
- Empty your garbage bin at least once a day. Maybe every day is a bit much for a one person office, but make sure you do it regularly. You also need to make sure that you have an adequate-sized wastebasket. If you don’t, you will find trash all over the place. Not only would this be distracting, but you’ll have a bigger job on your hands than if you had just emptied the bin to begin with!
2 Tips For Dealing With Computer Clutter
- Make sure that your computer is clutter-free, too! It’s easy to store everything on your computer, but it still counts as clutter, even though it’s virtual. Remove any unused icons from your desktop, empty your recycle bin, and make sure you check for viruses and spyware to ensure your computer is running smoothly. It is a good idea to schedule an hour or so to do this monthly so you don’t build up too much clutter. You will find you work so much faster when you have less clutter on your machine. Having virtual clutter on your computer will slow you down and distract you just as much as having real clutter in your office.
- Delete unnecessary email clutter. Spam and routine messages and newsletters can bog down your inbox. The goal is to have no more than 10 messages in your inbox at any given time. (I say that while I have about 5000 in mine today!) Every week or so, schedule an hour to go through your messages and delete what you don’t need, file things in folders if you need to keep and delegate items to others if necessary. If you only have a few messages in your inbox it only takes a few minutes to check your email and review.
A clutter-free office really is a more productive office. You need to make sure you implement one or all of these strategies so you can maintain a clutter-free office, day in and day out. It may take some time and effort to get rid of the clutter and keep it that way, but the work will be well worth it because you’ll feel better, find things faster, and get a whole lot more done in less time.
Which tip will you implement today to decrease your home office clutter?