December 12, 2014 | 3 minutes

Decluttering Tips

By Nathan Strum

Is your New Year’s Resolution to keep a tidy office that will influence your productivity? When you have too much going on in your office, it can take a toll on your efficiency. Different papers and files are fighting for your attention, while the important contract you need for today’s meeting is nowhere to be found. Here are tips on how to declutter your workspace and bring it to its old professional vibe.


Important Items at Arm’s Length

Probably the most important section to keep away from clutter is your most-used work area. For most, this is your desk.  At Arm’s length you should only have what is absolutely necessary to complete your job. When sticking to the basics try to limit your desk space to your computer, telephone, a lamp and about two pens. You need to part from your stacks of papers, boxes of writing utensils or snacks.


Start From the Beginning

Admittedly, starting from scratch can be one of the most frustrating things to do but also the most effective. Sometimes decluttering little by little has just not provided results. Removing everything from your desk and drawers and then proceeding to putting these items in a box can provide insight as to what it is you really need. If you find that you are not taking certain items out of the box, then it is most likely because you do not need it for your day-to-day work. Whatever item you find you need most should be placed back in your desk or drawer.


Organizing your Cables

If the bottom of your desk looks like an IT room, then it might be a good idea to try to organize the jungle of cables.’s, Whitson Gordon, recommends IKEA’s Signum line or Cablox. He states, “Cablox is a small pad that organizes your cables any way you want within its grid of small rubber pegs. What I really like about it is that you can not only manage your cables, but route them in different directions.”


Create a Paper System

If you find yourself buried under paperwork, creating a systematic method will help you stay organized. Forbes suggests to, “Streamline the process with hanging files or baskets labeled: To Read, To Do, To File. Establish set days for each, so that you don’t get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.” Creating this system will help you prioritize your attention.


Look at Your Office in a Different Perspective

When you are in your office nearly every day, you recognize that it needs a bit of tidiness, but you’re not sure where to start. You can try to take a few pictures of your office then go back and look at the photo. Using this method, the clutter will pop out. You will be surprised at what you did not see before by just standing in your office.


Schedule Clean-Ups

Organization can become consistent if you treat your office as a client. Schedule your declutter session into your calendar. In this way, you will be more invested and aware of when you need to clean up your office. A complete declutter should be scheduled at least three times a year to keep you on track.

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