Updated November 2021
However, the run up to Christmas is always manic and your home office is in a bit of a state! Not to worry, today I will share how to declutter your office in just one day so you are ready for the New Year to hit those goals!
Why is it important to have a tidy office?
There are many reasons why it is important to have a tidy office. It saves you time, and time is money as we all know! But an untidy office can cause stress and anxiety. When we have a messy office and things are out of place it is difficult to concentrate and to get work done as you will feel like tidying up while you should be working. To reduce stress have a read of my Mindfulness routines for when you are working from home as well. Helpful tips to keep stress levels down.
I, personally, have 2 offices but in both everything has a place as I can’t stand having mess around me and hate having to look for things. I work best at a clear and tidy desk with a to-do list – I assume I am not the only one! I have several to do lists on Trello and a paper one – don’t ask me why, this seems to work for me!
How to declutter your office
Decluttering your office is not difficult, you just need to have processes in place. Follow these easy peasy steps.
The desk area
The first area to look at when decluttering your office is your desk area. This is the most important area of your office as it is where you spend most of your time and it is the place where you need to have all your stationary within reach but not cluttered all over the place.
Items you find here are your computer, mouse, speakers and stationary. If you have a stand-alone computer make sure you have all your cables tidy. There is nothing worse than having lots of cables on your desk which get tangled up with your paperwork. If you have a laptop, it is slightly easier as you only have one cable. I work on a laptop as I like to switch from my desk to my sofa, to my dining table. On my desk I have got my power cable positioned to the side of my desk so I can get to it easily but it is not in the way.
With regards to stationary, make sure you store your pens, pencils, scissors, paperclips, tape, pins, postitts and everything else you need in a pencil pot. I found a great cardboard one in Ikea, which can also store little notebooks. It is so simple but so effective. And environmentally friendly as it is made out of cardboard so should I want to change it, it is no biggie!
And last but not least make sure you have a bin under your desk! I scribble lots on bits of paper, post-itts etc while I am working as I constantly have things popping into my head, I am a bit weird like that! At first I did not have a bin and would throw the bits of paper over my head behind me once the task was executed! I would then have to tidy it all up at the end of the day! My husband kindly gave me a bin…..much easier!
The next area that needs attention when decluttering your office is your paperwork. Paperwork can be a bit of a hassle, whether it is actual paperwork or documents on your computer, as it can pile up quickly. The way to deal with it is to have folders for each of your clients and areas of work. Now we all know that filing paperwork immediately is not always possible either because they are active files (you are still working on them) or because you haven’t got time to file them and that is fine! For your actual paperwork you can have trays on your desk/bookcase and for your digital paperwork you can set up working folders in which you temporarily store your active documents. Of course you do need to make sure to set aside time at the end of the week to then file everything away properly in the correct folders.
Nowadays we are working more and more paperless, which is great, but it also means that our computers store a lot of information and can get slower over time. If this happens you need to set time aside to clean up your computer. Make sure you only keep the documents you really need. This also counts for photos. And make sure you store as much as possible in the cloud by using Dropbox or Icloud for example. This way your computer doesn’t get clogged up but it also means your documents are backed up should your computer crash. Quite important!
Planners, notebooks etc
And the last step in organising your office is old planners and notebooks. Whilst this might seem like a silly step I am very careful with throwing out old planners, notebooks etc as I have found in the past that I have needed them for one thing or another. I keep a shelf in my bookcase specifically for them so I can easily refer back to them.
So, all in all organising and decluttering your office is not too complicated but it takes dedication! You need to make sure you set aside time each week to file all your paperwork and have your to-do list ready for the next week. This way it won’t get in the way of you getting your work done and growing your business!
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How are YOU preparing for the holiday season?