Declutter Tips: Take It Pen by Pen

office clutterBy now, you’ve (hopefully) applied our declutter tips to the rest of your house.

You’ve reduced your coffee mug collection to a more respectable six or eight, you’ve got your capsule wardrobe sorted and the hall closet no longer poses a threat to life and limb.

Brilliant. Now, it’s time to declutter your office.

Because we spend our time there doing office-y things like working (and playing Tetris), we tend overlook the fact that it too needs the occasional clean out.

Periodically spring cleaning your home office is especially important, since it plays host to bills, tax stuff, contracts and whatnot.

Whatnot, I’m sure you know by now, is at the top of the need-to-keep-track-of list.

These are all items you need to be able to locate quickly and easily when the taxman comes a knockin’

Work offices need their fair share of declutter attention, too. But since they’re also full of other people and their stuff, the best you can do is keep your corner of the company real estate neat and tidy.

Whether at home or work though, all offices have the uncanny ability to attract clutter (even kitchen junk drawers are hard-pressed to keep up), so it’s important to stay on top of that stationery fetish.

Don’t think I haven’t seen you stalking CNA’s aisles during your lunch break.

A clean space means a clear mind. You can poke fun all you want, but being a neat freak will save you time and make you happier and more productive. You’ll also be less stressed. True story.

Office Declutter Tips

Decluttering is a little different in an office environment. In other areas of the house —your teenage son’s bedroom, for example— you could just empty everything into a black bag and Bob’s your aunty.

I’m kidding, don’t do that. Make him empty it himself.

But when it comes to your office you can’t be willy-nilly tossing stuff out. I did that with Sporty’s divorce certificate from her first marriage. There was fallout, that’s all I’m saying.

It needs a systematic approach. Think of it as simultaneously decluttering, streamlining and organising your workspace.

If you have papers lying around, go through them and identify what requires your attention, what must be filed and what can be recycled.

Now, I know I said don’t be willy-nilly about getting rid of stuff. But that doesn’t mean you have to hang onto every single scrap of paper either.

How long you keep business records will vary depending where you live, but it’s usually between four and seven years. Everything older than that can go into the shredder. Including the emails from your first office crush.

Especially the emails from your first office crush.

If you don’t have any files, you now have a bona fide excuse to go to CNA. Just not for pens or Post-it Notes or highlighters. I’m watching you.

Organising Your Desk Area

It’s 2018. There’s a good chance you have a laptop, a smartphone and maybe even an iPad. What reason could you possibly have for needing hard copies of anything?

Except for things like divorce certificates (or, so I’m told), pretty much everything can be stored in the Cloud. This means you really don’t have any use for stationery, either.

Puh-leeze, who am I kidding, right?

What would life be without pens, permanent markers, highlighters, a box of paints, a set of colouring pencils and maybe even some oil pastels?

It’s like they say. You can never be too rich, too thin or have too many art supplies. I don’t care if you’re an illustrator or a number cruncher, we’re all stationery geeks at heart.

It can get messy though, so you need to keep it all orderly or risk being buried alive beneath a mountain of HB pencils and paper clips.

Start by discarding all the pens and markers that have run dry. I know it’s hard, but their work here is done. Say goodbye and move on.

Next, sort the items you’re keeping into groups. This could potentially require a return visit to CNA for one of those cute stationery holders.

However, this is only permitted if you don’t have desk drawers. If you have drawers, use those instead. Just like clean kitchen counters inspire culinary genius, an uncluttered desk fuels productivity.

Also, using drawers is the perfect excuse to purchase a stationery tray (or three).

Just don’t be like the boys in my standard six class and store your entire stationery collection in your shirt pocket. Ink and highlighter stains on your clothes takes stationery geek to a whole other level.

If that ship has already sailed, not to worry. Simply click here to learn how to remove those unsightly inky splotches.

The Many Benefits of Decluttering

If you’re new to this business of decluttering, you may not realise the many benefits it holds in store for you. Welcome, you’re about to embark on an exciting journey.

There’s a reason we say minimalism is a means to a beginning.

Clutter can leave us feeling overwhelmed, disorganised and devoid of energy. When that happens, productivity goes out the window and carb intake generally goes up.

When I’m stressed I eat peanut butter toast.

Conversely, a more minimalist environment will have a calming effect on you. FYI: I don’t mean clinically sparse. Your workplace has to at least feel friendly and inviting to inspire great work.

Just like Nike, decluttering your office inspires you to find your greatness. By the end of the day your boss will be offering you a promotion.

Only, you’ll already have left to share your genius with the world.

Minimalism: one // Clutter: zero