14 Oct Declutter Your Office Space, Bring Balance to Your Life
Declutter Your Office Space!
Decluttering your office space can immensely improve your work experience and organizational skills. However, to declutter and organize any room, we must all accept this one truth… that our society has gotten caught up in a masterful yet vicious cycle: Buy stuff we don’t really need. Enjoy it for a while (or don’t). Put it away. Forget about it. Repeat. This cycle is often repeated when it comes to our office space, also. When we accumulate too much stuff, do we get rid of it? Of course not — we buy boxes and shelves and hangers and entire storage systems to display and organize it all… or worse, move to larger spaces just to house all of our possessions.
It’s America’s obsession with having the latest and greatest.
The Clutter Culture.
Call it what you will, but for many of us, the day-to-day effects of this constant collecting are taking a toll, without us even realizing it. Research by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute has shown that when your environment is cluttered, the chaos can restrict your ability to focus. Those stacks of papers around the office and that overcrowded supply closet are competing for your attention. It’s like trying to complete a never-ending to-do list, which is enough to drive even the most laid-back person mad!
If you’re tired of all this dead weight in your life, you’re in luck. An industry full of decluttering and organization experts has popped up as an answer to our mind-numbing addiction to “stuff.” For thorough, lasting results in your endeavors, we recommend Marie Kondo’s techniques from her #1 New York Times Best Seller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” It’s approximately $10, a quick read, has logical and simple advice, and may be the most influential book you read this decade. Though she focuses on residential decluttering, her principles can most certainly be applied to your office space, as well.
Declutter Your Office Space #1
Go Big or Go Home
Many organization experts advocate a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach: tackle one room or task at a time. Kondo disagrees: if you tidy a little each day, you’ll be tidying forever. She states that making a profound change can alter your entire mind-set — something you can’t achieve by doing a little bit of decluttering each day.
The key to staying clutter-free is to do all of your decluttering in one shot. Decluttering your office space could take one afternoon, an entire weekend, or two weeks of concentrated evening sessions; however, make the time do it all now, and Kondo promises you will never have to do it again.
Declutter Your Office Space #2
Visualize Your Destination
Kondo first says you need to picture the lifestyle (or office space) you dream of. Think in concrete terms, and try to vividly visualize your life without clutter. Then, ask yourself why you want these things. Write it all down. No matter what you visualize, it all comes down to wanting to be happy; but Kondo argues that you need to walk though this step and come to this conclusion in your own way.
Declutter Your Office Space #3
Start With Intense Discarding
With your end goal — happiness — in mind, it’s time to get to discarding. This is where Kondo really shines. “We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of,” she states. It’s the total opposite of how most of us approach decluttering.
Kondo’s criteria for whether or not to keep something is simply to pick up each item, hold it, and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, by all means, keep it; if it does not, you must discard it (assuming it is not an important document you need to keep). Holding each item is key, as she says your body reacts when you touch each possession. It may sound like an odd tactic, but it works!
It’s also important to tackle your discarding in the correct order:
- Miscellaneous items
- Sentimental items
Gather all items from a category from your entire workspace or house and place them in one area to sort through. Then, go through everything in that category in one sitting, discarding items that don’t bring you joy when you pick them up and look at them. For papers, which may be the biggest clutter culprit in your office and which probably don’t spark much joy, Kondo recommends keeping only documents that are currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely.
“As you reduce your belongings through the process of tidying,” states Kondo, “you will come to a point where you suddenly know how much is right for you.”
Declutter Your Office Space #4
Designate a Place For Each Thing
Once you’ve discarded (you should have picked up or touched pretty much every possession in your office by this point), it’s time to put everything away. Kondo stresses that each and every item should have a designated spot in your office space or your home. It’s the key to maintaining order.
While Kondo has numerous tips for how to store items from each of the aforementioned categories, her rule of thumb is to pursue ultimate simplicity. You don’t need to invest in expensive storage systems and components; it just becomes part of the clutter in the end.
Declutter Your Office Space #5
Feel the Effects Decluttering Has on Your Life
A clean and tidy working or living environment is not the only outcome you’ll see after you declutter. Kondo promises — and countless others have experienced firsthand — that you’ll feel dramatic changes in your life after you go through the “magic of tidying.” You may feel more confidence in your decision-making ability, and you’ll learn just how much you can do without. You’ll be much more selective when you do shop, not wanting to disrupt your clutter-free workspace or home. This, in turn, will save you money. Perhaps the best outcome of all is that you’ll be able to focus on what is truly important in life — the people around you, your work, and the hobbies and activities that bring you joy.