Day 20 - The Organized Home Office
Papers, pens, old travel brochures, paperclips, and lots of mail; it seems like my office paper has babies through the night, and the next day there's more than the last. Organizing and keeping and office organized is no quick task, but by following a few guidelines and creating healthy habits we can quickly organize and keep our space (and our minds) free of clutter.
While reading about accountability and building healthy habits, I realized there's one place I actually have built in accountability! My doorless office space. That that's right, I have no door, and yet it almost never looks good! The office is always disorganized, and even though any guest who comes over can see it, it's still chaos. Somehow I've convinced myself that by shutting the light off they won't see it when they go to the bathroom. Mmmm, between a creepy mannequin for my style business and the dog bed, they're bound to look in and see something! So this got me thinking about what I can do to improve this situation and live with less so I have less clutter lying around! I have a desk right? I just need to be able to find it and then I'll be able to work at it!
So here's what you're going to look for and declutter in your home office space!
1. Pens & Pencils - In my office I also store all our craft supplies. So go through pens, markers and all writing utensils and make sure they actually work! Throw away the broken ones and have a designated spot to keep them. This is an easy one to start!
2. Office supplies you never use - trash them! old pen holders, files, clips, empty tape dispensers and old sticky notes that don't stick.
3. Computer clutter - clear your computer of old files and programs you don't need. Clear your mailbox of old emails and junk mail!
4. Old and broken cell phones - dispose of them
5. Greeting cards - old greeting cards, trash them! If you haven't had time to organize your office what makes you think you'll have time to craft with them. Just do yourself a favor and throw them out. Take that stress off of yourself of having another thing to do. Keep sentimental ones from parents, your spouse, or loved one but move the rest along to the trash.
6. Old travel brochures and documents - throw them out! Bye bye!
7. Tax information and old bills - if the bills are paid and your tax documents are more than 7 years old, shred them and throw them out. You don't want boxes of paperwork to stack up higher and higher. You can also use that scanner we've discussed. If you really think you'll need something scan it in.
8. Get rid of old paper files you don't need - I have a lot of paperwork with having my own business throughout the years. I went through my supply bins and found so many documents and brochures that were out of date and useless so off to the recycle they went.
9. Cords to electronics - oh my this can get crazy. Cords everywhere and what do they go to! Go through your stash and try to figure out if you even still have the device that charger is for! If not, chuck it. If so, use a label maker, or use a piece of tape, to mark what it goes to! This will save you a lot of time when you need it next.
10. - Office Furniture - extra chairs, dressers, drawers and organizers that are not being used. Remove them, donate them or put them to the curb. Free up some space and allow the room to feel bigger and brighter, you'll find it easier to concentrate and be creative when not surrounded by so much stuff. Maybe, you even need a smaller desk!
Lists are great. They help us focus on key areas to tackle, but it doesn't necessarily solve the problem. Sometimes just taking that first step, opening up the door, opening up the trash bag, and throwing your first item away is the hardest part. But you have to do it. You must stop procrastinating and tackle this if you really want to enjoy and work in your office. If you're struggling, try finding an accountability partner, or take a before picture to track your progress and do it little bit by little bit.
Once your office is clean, set your desk up for success. Have what you need in reaching distance and since you just reorganized everything, it should be easy to find. Each day when you're almost finished working, end a few minutes early and shut off the computer. Begin tidying up before your "end time," your brain will respond better to this than at quitting time when it just wants to be done. Put your pens away, file papers where they belong, take out trash and put things away. This will help the beginning of tomorrow look bright and happy instead of sitting down at a desk that's once again messy and unorganized. Habits are what make us, so make sure your habits are making you happy!