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Tips on how to declutter your work environment

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If your work environment looks more like the aftermath of a paper-and-stationery volcano eruption than a place where you actually get work done, then chances are you’re on your way to qualify as the world’s messiest desk owner (this guy is your competition, FYI). While this may be your lifelong dream, in which case we’ll applaud you for having come this far, chances are you’re desperate to remember the colour of your desk … or even find it in the first place! But don’t despair, we’re here to help, so read on to discover how you can turn your desk from war zone to glitzy clean money-making machine.

To declutter or not to declutter, that is the question.

Maybe you’re happy being the lone human in a world of paper piles, but research shows that less paper piles actually make for happier humans. You can check out our previous post about messy and tidy work environments here if you feel like a little more reading, but here’s the general gist of it: Tidy spaces make for productive humans. Why? Well, if you’ve ever been stuck in a situation where you’re about to walk out for a meeting and suddenly remember that you have to present xyz but can’t find it in your paper avalanche, then you probably already know why. Melvil Dewey, the father of the Dewey Decimal (library classification )System, was on to something good – keep it organised and referenced, and ensure that no treasures get lost. Simple, really.

I would declutter, but I don’t know where to start.

Ah yes, a timeless question, and one that unfortunately doesn’t have a right answer. But the best way is to simply start where it’s easiest, and that’s usually with the biggest things, in this case, your office furniture. Keeping your stacks of paper on the floor because you don’t know where to put them? Then drawers, storage spaces, or even filing cabinets are the answers to your problems. Sure, you still need to sort the papers, but at least you’ll have somewhere to put them (or hide away quickly if Mr Important comes for a surprise visit).

Every document deserves a home.

While stashing your papers into said filing cabinets gets rid of the apparent mess and instantly turns your work environment into a glitzy office space, this really doesn’t solve the problem. Luckily, files and folders love doing their job, and all you need to do is take all your documents, print-outs, and other paper materials, sort them into relevant heaps, and then pop them into a file or folder. If you need certain documents to stay together, then stationery supplies such as staplers and transparent sleeves are your new best friends. Simply bind, file, and, voila — tidiness!

There’s more to life than documents.

True. Work environments aren’t magical creations held together by paper piles. You’ve got pencils and markers and crayons and glue and… You get the point. But even these stationery supplies deserve a good home, and rumour has it that pencil trays are the coolest spot for pens and other writing utensils to hang out. Get your hands on one, or a few, preferably ones with different compartments, so you can simply slip your pencils in one compartment, your markers in another, etc. You can even consider tying stationery supplies such as markers together with a rubber band so none of them ever go missing.

Make space for your calendar and planner.

Now that all your documents are filed away, your pens are easily accessible, and you know where to look for what, the only thing left to do is grab what you need and head on down to your meeting. Wait. What meeting? Decluttered office environments are no space for sticky notes (and neither are clean computer desktops), so you’ll have to find another way to remember all your meetings, events, and to-dos. What works best? Wall calendars, desk calendars, and that trusty old diary. If you get a great desk or wall calendar, then you can simply scribble your meeting times and to-do lists in to the designated spaces. Double-up by noting the times in your diary, and you’ll never miss a meeting again. You can also punch the meeting time into your smartphone and enable alerts, so you’ll have technology on your side as well.

So, there you have it. You can now officially be on your way to turning your life around and switching from super messy work environment to super clean productive machine. But if you still need a little help (or nudging), get in touch with OfficeBox and jump-start your declutter engine.

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Image Credit: infoislami.net

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David Adams
05 May 2016
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