5 Office Decluttering Tips

Is your office feeling small? Here are some ideas to help you control the clutter.
5 Office Decluttering Tips
Studies have shown that a disorganized office often goes hand in hand with a disorganized brain — or at least, a brain that’s not functioning as productively as it ought.

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A cluttered office is no small matter. An unruly office can send clients — and employees — the message that you’re sloppy and unorganized. Messes and knickknacks strewn about can make it more difficult for you to find the documents or tools you really need. Truthfully, though, the implications are even direr than that. 

Studies have shown that a disorganized office often goes hand in hand with a disorganized brain — or at least, a brain that’s not functioning as productively as it ought. Office clutter can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. For small business owners, taking the time to clean up and declutter office space is crucial — but how can it be done? 

Start all over

You may have tried to declutter before, finding that it just didn’t work. Perhaps you tried removing what you felt was throwaway, only to find yourself having a hard time parting with all your junk. 

Here’s a novel, alternative approach: Just start all over. Clear your desk and its drawers. Everything must go. Leave yourself with just a desk, a chair, a computer and a phone. Put everything else in boxes — and if you find you need something else, go and get it out of the box. Other than that, though, keep all those surplus items boxed up. 

Take stock

If this approach strikes you as a little extreme, take some time to simply go through all of the items in your office. Assess whether you actually need them — or whether you just think you might need them. 

Ask yourself honestly: Did you even remember you had this item in your office? Do you ever use it? 

Make it flow

Decluttering is not just about separating the essentials from the not-so-essentials. It’s also about making sure that those essentials are organized in a way that makes sense. In other words, you need to give your office space a sense of flow. 

There are several ways to do this. You might put important stuff in the top desk drawer and stuff you use less frequently at the bottom. You could also try a left-to-right flow for your desk space: Incoming items, a workspace and outgoing items.

Using the space

If you can’t do much more to eliminate items from your office, you might need to try making the office bigger. No, a costly remodeling project is not really needed. Instead, think about: 

  • Buying an upraised computer monitor to make better use of desk space.
  • Installing some new shelving.
  • Buying a tool to manage your computer cords and cables. (A rain gutter works well here, believe it or not.) 

Straighten up

No matter how hard you work to declutter, clutter is going to appear again. Don’t panic. That’s just how offices are. If you don’t end up with some more clutter, you may not be working hard enough. 

In order to keep your office from growing too messy all over again, it is important to spend some time straightening up each evening. When you finish work, return every item on your desk to its “home.” This will take 10 minutes at the most, and potentially save you from another office clutter nightmare. 

About the Author

Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic Inc., a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, Calif., and Dublin, Ireland.

Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects and often engages in content and social media marketing, drafts resumes, press releases, Web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.


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