6 Tips on How to Start Decluttering Your Workspace

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Our workspaces should be our havens and inspire us to be more productive and accomplish more things. However, if we have too much clutter, we will feel that we cannot accomplish the tasks at hand or new projects.

Decluttering is getting rid of things that do not have a significant purpose anymore.

It is a process of transition so that we can make room for something healthier such as being able to breathe better, less anxiety, clarity, empowerment, and so much more.

When we are too busy, we might feel that it is a waste of time to declutter. However, if we can dedicate a few minutes of our time every day to sort out things, put them back in their proper places, toss trash immediately and empty our “to do” bin, we will be able to work smoothly. Time management is part of organizing.

Here are more tips on how you can start to declutter:

1. Visualize your workspace without the clutter. Why do you want to declutter? What is your vision? Your desire to achieve the benefits of decluttering would help you to be more determined if there are setbacks that might arise. Maybe you want to feel less stressed or happier. Write your end goal or make a vision board and gather pictures of your dream workspace. This goal or vision board will help you to keep moving forward and encourage you to pay more attention to maintaining a clutter-free workspace.

2. Focus on one area at a time, one day at a time. What is the part of your workspace that you have been wanting to sort out for a long time? What causes you stress? Is it your filing cabinet? What is the area that matters to you the most? Pick one and start there. Resist the urge to declutter everything all at once because you will feel overwhelmed and might want to give up. You do not want that to happen. Then, make a priority list for other areas. Remember, the clutter did not accumulate in one day, so do not expect to master decluttering in one day. Be patient with yourself

3. Allocate at least 15 minutes every day to purge things or put them where they belong. Schedule this on your planner or create an alarm to do this.

4. Do not go on a shopping run and purchase containers or organizing supplies. Assess first what you have and group them together. You will probably see that you already have what you need.

5. Get a box and label it “Donate”. Maybe you have too many mugs in your cabinet or too many office supplies. Put them in the “Donate” box and find an organization that you can give them to. It will take time to sort this out. It might take weeks or months for you to realize that you do not really need the things in the box. Be confident that you can let them go. You will probably feel that “just in case” or “what if” moment for the items in this box. Avoid it and just drop the boxes at a thrift store or charity organization. My next blog will be about breaking through the “what if I need it someday” syndrome.

6. Ask for help from friends, relatives, or a professional organizer like me. It is challenging to approach decluttering. You might feel emotionally stuck and have issues letting things go. A professional organizer is trained to help you make decisions and focus on your bigger goal of why you want to declutter.

Final Thoughts

Do not give up. You will feel amazing, proud, confident, and empowered after you have decluttered. It will take a lot of effort, but it will be worth it. You will have better control of your workspace and be more productive.

© Janet Fishman
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Professional Organizer

Janet Fishman, J.D., C.P.D.S., Professional Organizer, President of HOPE Organizers, Inc., obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School, her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Cal State University Long Beach, and her Associate Arts degree in Police Science from Mount San Antonio Junior College. She is a member of both the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and NAPO’s Los Angeles Chapter as well as the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. She is also a Certified Paper Document Specialist and Certified Home Inventory Consultant through Family Documap. Janet is also a member of AADMM - the American Association of Daily Money Managers through which she has been background checked.

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