Updated: Apr 14, 2022
Clutter is caused by indecisiveness and collecting things we don’t need. A messy space can lead to a messy mind when you’re overwhelmed by stuff. You’ll be more productive and efficient when you aren’t wasting time looking for something you under piles of paper.
Start by tackling the space where you spend most of your day - your “work space.” Many more of us are now working from home, so it’s essential to have a dedicated and organized space for working effectively. Answer these questions about the items in your work space.
Does this item deserve space in my work area?
Is it replaceable?
Can I get it somewhere else?
Does it get updated?
Is it actionable or a resource?
Will I really ever use it?
Invest in some folders or shallow bins to organize and hold the few actionable items that are left in your space. Any style can work, but even folders can become overwhelming, so don’t go crazy! A dozen will get you started. Some label ideas are: “To File,” “To Read,” and “To Do.”
I have also found when I was on the road with limited office time, a file for each day of the week would allow me to organize items I knew I needed for that day. I packed a form needed, meeting agenda, list of calls to make that day, etc.
If your item is replaceable, gets updated, can be stored elsewhere or you may never use it, eliminate it from your space. Don’t forget to recycle paper items if possible!
If you’re hesitant about eliminating it and it can be scanned or clipped, turn it into an electronically retrievable item and clear your space. Consider using programs like Evernote to help organize your digital files.
If your items include snail mail, keep only the most important actionable items (bills, etc.) and file important financial statements. If any of these items can be turned into electronic statements or autopay, do it. Try a one-touch method - it is either something you trash, file, or act on.
If your item is reading material, only keep what you know you will reference consistently or actually read within the next couple of months. If you will reference it, file it under a topic or add it to your electronic collection so you can eliminate the physical item.
Starting the process of decluttering can be overwhelming, but it’s worth it. You’ll feel much better starting off the new year with a clean space. More than likely, you’ll even find that you needed a lot less stuff than you thought.
Join me again tomorrow for Day 2 of your best year ever! Together, we can make 2022 the year you meet your personal growth goals.