Declutter and take a deep breath: how to upgrade your working experience

Apparently, the messy work environment can help you be creative. But what if your to-do list is long and you are short on time to complete those tasks? Easy access to necessary equipment and documents will probably boost your mood and productivity. 

So, today, I'm going to talk about how to declutter your office. If you're familiar with the Kon Mari method, it's similar to that except it's specific to a home office. 

Does it belong here?

Walk around your office and look for garbage and recyclables. You may be surprised at the amount of trash you have—Empty cardboard boxes, plastic shopping bags, ancient receipts beneath the desk, old software, bookkeeping records that are more than seven years old, etc. Getting rid of them will instantly clear and open up some space.

Next, pick up items that belong to elsewhere such as dirty dishes or carpentry tools and return them to their natural habitat. Don't worry about washing or organizing these items until you've finished decluttering your office. 

The goal is to remove anything from your office that isn't work-related. Not only are they unnecessary, but these items are most likely making you less productive by being a dust trap and a source of stress. 

Do I use this?

Walk around your office again, but this time look for items that you haven't used in a year and remove them from your office. (But do keep what you're required by the law.) Can you donate or sell some of them? 

Can I work without it?

So now you have in your office stuff you use regularly. But, do you really need all of the stuff? Can you get rid of some if you updated your working style?

For example, if you decide to go digital and get rid of the most of the paper product in your office, you can get rid of your bookshelves, the file cabinet, the shredder, the printer and so on. Think of the way you can declutter your work processes and see if that leads to getting rid of even more physical clutter in your office. 

Related post: An extreme makeover: how to digitize your home office

Does my workspace make me happy?

Last but not least, it helps to have a nice environment to work in. If you love your office, great! If you're not crazy about some aspects of our work environment, can you change it? Is your office too small for your needs? Can you get a smaller desk to work on? Get a big mirror to make the room look less cramped? Do you crave more natural light? Is it possible to move your office elsewhere in the house where it is brighter and airy? Or make your laptop your mobile office and work anywhere in the house, at a cafe, or at a co-working space?

I love working in my "office." It's just a dedicated corner of my bedroom. The bedroom contains only the necessities like a bed, two side drawers also used as side tables, a dog bed and of course my desk. Since we don't have enough stuff to create clutter, space is perpetually organized without effort (except for my unmade bed; I never make my bed.) It's important to me to work in a clutter-free space. It's what makes me happy and a better worker. 

So figure out what elements in your office are working and not working, and think of a way to increase the former and decrease the latter. 

My office as of June 2017. My bedroom has two small alcoves with a bay window, and I use one of those as my "office." All I have is a small desk and an exercise ball used as a chair. I do have some not so work related items on my desk, e.g., makeup, but they don't seem to have negative impact on my productivity :)

My office as of June 2017. My bedroom has two small alcoves with a bay window, and I use one of those as my "office." All I have is a small desk and an exercise ball used as a chair. I do have some not so work related items on my desk, e.g., makeup, but they don't seem to have negative impact on my productivity :)