Lately I’ve been thinking about how much my surroundings impact me. For instance, I feel one way when I am outside in the fresh air and sunshine with Kiley and I feel another way cuddled up on my couch with a great book.
My surroundings impact my mood, my energy level, my eyesight, my health- everything!
I think that in the same way that the people we surround ourselves with can either weigh us down or lift us up, so can our physical space.
This got me thinking about my office space! I spend a large portion of my week working in an office. Now, I am one of the lucky ones that gets to work at an amazing workplace with beautiful people- I know we are not all so lucky. We do not have complete control over our work environment but we do have control over our work space/surroundings.
Decluttering is not just for the home, it is for all of the spaces in your life that need a good tidy! Decluttering is about removing the unwanted and the excess so that you and your space can shine more brightly.
So, whether you work from home, in an office, or in a cubicle here are five steps to declutter and tidy your office, inspired by The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up!
Step One – Visualize your ideal office or space. What do you want your space to look like? What is your ideal space? Keep this inspiration and image in your head as you declutter, organize and tidy. Let your ideal vision guide your process. For me, I visualized a bright, positive, simple space because I work with students and I always want them to feel comforted and encouraged.
*Please do not skip step one. It may seem simple or unnecessary but I promise it will help you when you become discouraged or lose motivation.
Step Two- Take everything out. Every. Single. Thing. Pull every item from your cabinets, your files, your drawers – all of it! Pull items down that may be hanging on your walls or cork boards- leave no corner untouched. Separate these items into categories such as books, papers, office supplies, etc.
Step Three – Decide what you want to keep. Instead of asking yourself what you want to get rid of, ask yourself what you want to keep. Hold each item in your hand and if it sparks joy and makes you happy, keep it. If it doesn’t, let it go. This may seem silly to do with office items- can a pencil sharpener really spark joy? It can! As you touch and sort through items it will become clear which items spark joy when you see them and which ones don’t.
*Paperwork is something that may not spark joy. When sorting through old paperwork I recommend going in with a mindset of total disposal. Prepare to recycle or shred all of it. Then, only keep what it essential. You can scan important paperwork you want or need to keep. Utilize technology to reduce physical clutter.
**Beware of training and hiring paperwork. We tend to hold onto old training/hiring paperwork because we think we will reference them, in most cases we do not. You have what you learned in your brain and in your heart, you do not need to hold onto the paperwork.
Step Four – Avoid “just in case” items. It can be very tempting to hold onto an item you haven’t used for a while “just in case” you might need it “eventually.” The truth is, we won’t need that item. Many just in case items add up and clutter our space. If you’re having trouble deciding about an item use The Minimalist’s approach and ask yourself if you have used it in the last 20 days or if you will use it in the next 20. If not? Let it go.
Step Five – Find a place for each item. When each item in your work space has a home there is no need to tidy. When you are done using something put it back in its place to rest. Treat our items with respect and they will last longer, bringing you joy for longer!
That’s it, just five steps. You can do this in one day or over time. Just don’t spread it out over too much time, it’s best to declutter and tidy in one go.
Remember to brainstorm and visualize the space that you want.
I thought it might be helpful to see my office space. I recently decluttered and most of what I let go of was paper work and small office supply bits I no longer use.