It’s impossible to be productive in a cluttered office. Not only do you feel distracted, but you often can’t even find the things you need. Luckily you can get started decluttering your office today — and why not? You’re obviously not going to get anything else done!
1. Take One Section at a Time
It can seem overwhelming to tackle a big job all at once. Separate your office into “sections” and complete one section at a time. You don’t even need to do it all at once; you can organize your desk area one day, and your file cabinets the next. Just make sure you get it all done within a reasonable time frame: otherwise you’ll end up in a situation where only one part of your office is organized at a time!
2. Remove Items That Don’t Belong
Begin by taking out anything in your office that belongs somewhere else. Take some time to scan your surfaces, drawers, and cabinets for things that are supposed to be in the kitchen, garage, or living room. Over time, it’s pretty easy to start bringing things in from elsewhere.
3. Invest in Storage Options
If you’re finding yourself putting things everywhere, it’s probably because you need additional storage. Before you go further, buy some filing cabinets, drawers, and organizers, so you have a place to put everything that’s currently in disarray.
4. Digitize Your Documents
Paper documents can stack up quick, and they really don’t have to. Most documents can go digital. Digitize your receipts, bills, invoices, and other miscellaneous sheets of paper. As long as you’re able to store them in an area that will get regularly backed up, it’ll be just as safe as having paper copies. And then you get to throw everything away!
5. Separate Your Items Into Piles
Don’t know where things go? Separate your items into piles: things you need to keep, things you no longer want, and things you have to do something with. You can sort the things you need to keep, sell or giveaway the things that you want, and deal with the things you have to do something with later. The most important thing is to make sure they’re properly sorted and categorized.
6. Put Old Documents Into Storage
Anything old that you still need can be put into storage. There are some things, like leases or signed contracts, that you really need to have a physical copy of… even if you don’t use it a lot. Box these things up and put them in your attic or garage storage; you aren’t going to be referencing them frequently, so they don’t need to be in your office.
7. Clean and Dust Everything
You don’t want to put your things away in a messy office! Now that you have everything removed from the office and sorted, it’s the perfect time to dust, sweep, and generally clean your surfaces. You’ll feel better when you’re surrounded by fresh air, rather than stacks of random paperwork.
8. Decide on a Space and Make Labels
Identify the areas you’re going to be using for storage and make labels to define each storage area. You won’t need to wonder where everything is: labeling makes it much easier to find things while you’re working without killing your own momentum.
9. Put Everything Back in Its Place
After your areas have been identified, you can begin the work of neatly putting everything back in its place. As you go, make sure things are paired with the folders or boxes that they should be paired with, and that everything is put back in a neat, orderly, and accessible fashion.
10. Keep It Up!
Clutter builds over time. In order to keep it up, you might need to develop some habits moving forward. Always put things back after they’ve been used and take some time to clean up at the end of each day. If you find yourself struggling to store things, invest in more storage options rather than trying to use something that is ill-suited to the task. Finally, if you see it getting out of hand, it’s time to schedule another decluttering!
It’s that easy; you can get your office decluttered in the space of a day. It’ll make it easier for you to work and you’ll be happier while doing it. For more tips for decluttering, check out our tips for decluttering and maximizing your home office space.