If you’re like most people, chances are you have some sort of clutter in your life. Whether it’s a messy basement, an overstuffed closet, or an office desk that’s littered with papers, we all have something that could use some tidying up and decluttering.
There’s clutter and clutter
While these messes may seem harmless, having a lot of clutter in your home and work space can cause real-life challenges. Clutter in your home or office, for example, can cause disorganization and chaos in your mind.
In addition to being an eyesore, clutter can also lead to emotional distress such as feelings of stress or anxiety. According to Psychology Today, this happens for a number of reasons:
- It distracts us.
- It bombards our minds with extra stimuli.
- It makes it more difficult to relax.
- It creates feelings of guilt.
That’s why decluttering is so important. It can help you find the focus you’ve been looking for and feel less anxious about your work. By organizing your desk, for example, you have one less thing competing for your attention. This will allow you to concentrate on important tasks rather than getting distracted by the growing stack of papers on your desk.
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What’s more, decluttering actually helps you sleep better. According to a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, people who slept in cluttered rooms were more likely to have sleeping problems. This includes having trouble falling asleep at night and experiencing rest disturbances. And let’s not forget how important sleep is for productivity at work!
Tips for efficient decluttering
If you’re ready to declutter, here are a few tips to do so in one of the most important areas in your life – your workspace. Clear out your office and you may just find you have more clarity in your mind.
1. Your Desk
The first step to decluttering your desk is determining what you actually need on the top of your desk, the actual working space, to successfully perform your job. Create a pile of need and don’t need. If it’s easier, just create two physical piles for this.
Once you’ve prioritized your desk items, the next step is to figure out where to store the ones you don’t need. Decide whether you put them in a drawer or throw them out altogether.
Next, move to your desk drawers and declutter and organize by importance. The items you use the most will go in the closest drawer, while everything else can be put in the drawers that are further away.
A few other things to consider:
- Make sure the cables underneath your desk are stored away properly. Use a cord organizer if you need to.
- Keep personal items, such as photos and other decorations, to a minimum – only what motivates and inspires you.
- Invest in a paper shredder if you’re handling a lot of sensitive documents so they don’t end up in a pile on your desk.
2. Your office space
Do you scratch your shin on the filing cabinet or bump your knee on the coffee table every time you move from one end of your office to the other? Your office space needs some decluttering too.
First, rid your office of any bulky furniture obstacles so that clients and team members have clear pathways to enter and exit your office.
Now, take a critical look at how your office desk is situated. Are you constantly startled by people coming up behind you? Is your desk facing a window where people are always peering inside?
If so, realign your office desk to reduce unnecessary distractions and give you a fresh perspective 🙂
Don’t forget to also consider these important feng shui tips from the experts at The Spruce:
- Add indoor air purifying plants to your office.
- Fill a small space with one or two over-sized pieces of art.
- Add a tall lamp that fits harmoniously with your surroundings and adds light.
3. Your computer
We have so much digital clutter in our lives, from our inbox to our desktop, where random files can live for months at a time. Solving your computer’s clutter is not only important from a security perspective, but it’s also critical to your productivity.
Start organizing your computer by deleting old files or moving them off your desktop to an external hard drive or cloud storage system.
Next, create a labeling system using folders to organize the files that you plan to keep on your desktop. Just make sure to keep these just as organized. Folders can get filled with documents you don’t need, or lose order, just as quickly. Decluttering the folders you use regularly should be a regular tasks.
Here are a few other simple ideas to declutter your computer:
- Regularly clear your recycle bin and your downloads folder.
- Get rid of duplicate files.
- Set up auto archive on your email so you spend less time clearing your inbox.
- Unsubscribe from emails you don’t want anymore.
Declutter and Be More Productive
Everybody has things that could use some tiding up. Don’t let clutter keep you from doing the best work you can.
Use these tips and tricks to declutter your life and increase productivity, whether you work out of a home office or a cubicle.