It’s time to declutter
your business office or cubicle. Part I
by Jennyce Garber
Your cubicle is a chaotic disaster. The boss is breathing down your neck because you can’t find the printout that he wanted you to bring to the meeting. Your co-workers walk by and make snarky remarks. You can’t find anything in the piles of papers and debris covering your desk. Your disorganization has come home to roost, and it’s not a pretty sight. Don’t freak out! Spring cleaning starts with decluttering, and here are some tips and strategies to do just that.
Declutter your thinking
Decluttering must begin with decluttering our thinking. The battle is already lost if we give into the voices in our heads that say, “You don’t have the time!” or “It’s not your fault you have too much stuff!” or “You’ve never been trained for this!”
Worse, we may believe the humorous lie that says, “A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind!” Or simply, we may fear that if our desk and work area is not covered with piles of paperwork, then our coworkers and boss will think we do not have enough work to do.
So, let’s declutter our thinking by identifying and tossing out all those incorrect thought patterns and get to it – successful decluttering is all about keeping things moving!
Declutter your paperwork
Truth: 90% of what’s within arm’s reach, on or in a typical desk and workspace, has nothing to do with your current work flow.
The secret to decluttering is two-fold: decision making and letting go. You need to look at every document in every stack in or on your desk, work table, shelf or window sill. You need to sort that mess into four groups:
- Stuff you need today and use on a weekly or monthly basis
- Stuff you will not use unless asked for by someone else, or you are required by policy to keep
- Stuff you can give back to its original owner
- Stuff to throw away or shred
It’s that simple! So get the portable office dumpster and a shredder. Then, just do it!
Once all that stuff from groups 3 and 4 have been returned, tossed or shredded, what’s left is the “good stuff” you need to keep.
When putting it back:
- Group 1 stays within arm’s reach and goes into hanging files or stackable trays.
- Group 2 gets sent away in hanging files to file cabinets or in boxes for archiving.
Now that all the visible clutter is gone, let’s move on to the invisible clutter that’s less than an arm’s reach away – your email!
Click here for Part II and learn how to declutter your email and 2) stay decluttered. See you then!
“The reward of one duty done is the power to fulfill another.” ~ George Eliot ~