Whether you have a home office where you work every day or a home office where you pay bills and run your household, having a well-organized space can be a natural boost to your productivity and help to reduce some stress. It’s not always easy to find time to organize and declutter a space, and some may even feel paralyzed trying to figure out where to start.
If you fall into the “I don’t have time to organize” category then breaking the chore up into smaller, easy to manage tasks may be the best approach. Remember, a bunch of small tasks can equal one big task. Especially when it comes to organizing a space. Just fifteen minutes a day can give you great results. If you are one of the many people who just don’t know where to start, smaller, more manageable tasks may be just the right solution for you as well. Here is a quick roadmap to help you get started.
Before You Start – Take a Photo!
Taking a before photo is not just for Instagram. Having a before photo can be used as a great motivator if you start to feel like you are not making progress, or you lose the motivation to keep going. Once you start it serves as a physical record of the progress you have made. It can also help you to visualize where you want to go. Plus, having a before photo is a great way for you to be able to celebrate your success once you are finished with the five steps below.
Get Rid of “Obvious” Clutter
With a trash bag and/or a recycling bin in hand, grab anything and everything that you absolutely know to be trash. This can be papers, cans, water bottles, and broken items that can’t be fixed.
Contain the Papers
Paper is an organization challenge for many, so if you are drowning in paper then you are not alone. A quick fix is to grab three bins/baskets/containers and label them – file/scan, shred, action needed. Go through paper piles and decide which bin each paper needs to go in. If you don’t have the time to go through the papers now, then set yourself some time later to address each bin.
Clean Off Flat Surfaces
Start with your desk, then move on to any other surfaces. As you are cleaning make sure to declutter anything that you don’t need, no longer want, or that doesn’t belong in your office space. After you have cleared the surface, give it a good wipe down.
Keep Most Used Items Easily Accessible
Part of having an organized office is being able to easily get to the items that you need and use the most. If you use a stapler every day but keep it tucked away in a bottom drawer then chances are it will rarely make it back to that drawer. Every item needs a place, so by making the place logical and convenient you will save yourself time in the long run.
Create a Habit to Maintain Your Space
Once you get your space organized and looking good, you will want it to stay that way. Take an after photo so you can compare it to the before and see all the amazing work you did. The picture can also be used as inspiration to keep it looking good. Set yourself reminders to maintain the space on a regular basis. Take five minutes at the end of each workday to put things back where they belong and do a quick cleanup. Block fifteen minutes in your schedule each week to shred and/or file, and do a more thorough cleaning at the end of your workweek by wiping down your desk surface and equipment.
Finally, if you are feeling really overwhelmed or need more help, this is a great time to bring in a professional. A professional organizer can be a great resource to help you reach your organization goals.
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