Last week I finally got stuck in and cleaned up my home office.
After a Skype phone call that left me feeling energized, I took action.
Since my office had been playing double duty as a bedroom for my brother over the last couple of months, it was a bit of a mess.
As much as it would be nice to have someone else to blame, I’m afraid the fault was all mine.
For starters, my desk was covered in paper. Just to be clear, I have two desks. One is a computer desk (which overlooks my office window); the other is an old style desk with three draws on each side. The old desk was the one that was always covered in paper. The floor under the desk wasn’t looking too good either, it was scattered with A4 binders which should have been filed away.
As I have mentioned here before on the blog, I seem to be a paper magnet, whether it be in the form of books, magazines, newspapers, junk mail or miscellaneous scraps of paper that just seem to mysteriously end up on my desk.
Now that my office is clear and clean I intend to keep it that way.
Here are 5 reasons to clear the clutter in your office.
1. A messy environment contributes to a scattered mind
Not a good combination for a creative person.
One quick tip on how to clear your desk, clean it with a cloth and spray disinfectant product. Take everything off the desk, clean the surface and be diligent about what you place back on.
Only add what you really need. Sort through, throw out, recycle or file everything you took off.
I’m not sure why exactly, but for me, moving the furniture helps. I move the furniture and clean the area with the vacuum. When I am feeling stuck or seeking a change, physically moving my furniture and creating a different space helps me.
I rearranged my bedroom furniture, shortly after finishing in my office. Moving furniture also counts for a good workout, I had muscles hurting two days later that I totally forgot I had.
Related working from home content –
- Working Alone – Is it For You?
- Working Alone – Is it For You? Part 2
- Working Alone – Is it For You? Part 3
2. Clutter is distracting
I saw a great quote on Facebook the other day compliments of Farnoosh from Prolific Living. Farnoosh, by the way, is the person I had the Skype call with, so a big thank you to her for inspiring me to take action.
“Nothing is as fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” ~William James
All I could see in my office were the projects I hadn’t completed and the filing, shredding and sorting I was yet to do. It was giving me with a heavy feeling every time I walked in my office. Hardly conducive for optimal productivity or creative thinking.
3. Your confidence could suffer
Your first year of business is hard enough particularly if like me, you are doing something completely new and out of your comfort zone.
There are daily challenges and frustrations. There are also moments of pure joy. It makes sense to have your office life as simple and organized as possible.
On the days when things aren’t going well, you might feel disheartened. When you are feeling like this, I guarantee you looking at a mountain of messy paperwork, won’t make you feel any better.
It won’t give you the confidence or energy you need to get the work done.
4. Creative people need a creative space
Your clutter is standing in the way of your success.
It’s blocking you from new opportunities. It’s haunting you with unfinished projects and missed opportunities you could have pursued, had you been more organized and ready to take action.
Keep your desk, office, and mind clear and open for new creative opportunities.
Another good tip if you work from home. Keep your work in your home office, don’t have documents all over the house.
Naturally, you can work in the garden or at your dining table but when you have finished make sure all of your work goes back into your office.
Other than my two large bookshelves which don’t fit in my office, I keep everything related to work in my home office. I try to avoid it spilling out all over the house. The reasons are obvious, when I am in my office I am working. When I am in the lounge room I am relaxing.
I had trouble with this particular boundary when I first started working from home. You can read about it in an earlier post Relaxing at home when you also work there.
5. You are running a business
You don’t want to be wasting your precious time, energy or money searching for files, paperwork or invoices.
You need to have important resources close at hand and up to date.
Organisation just doesn’t apply to your office. Clean up your laptop or PC.
When I was working on someone else’s computer recently, I noticed their desktop was full of icons. They were practically covering the whole screen. It was near impossible to find anything. Only keep the basics on your desktop.
Admittedly, my office project isn’t 100% complete yet.
I still have quite a bit of recycling that I need to dispose of. Unfortunately, there are too many newspapers to dump in my recycling bin all in one hit. Not unless I want to seriously tick off my neighbors by taking up all the bins. That particular culling project will need to be a gradual process.
There is also a small pile of filing that I need to do. I have already sorted through this paperwork to make sure there isn’t anything pending, important, or urgent lurking in the filing.
Though it is not a priority, I will schedule time in my calendar to make sure this task gets done.
I’m enjoying my clutter-free workspace and my energized work attitude and I’m looking forward to it paving the way for new opportunities and growth.
I hope clearing your office does the same for you.
If you enjoyed this post, please forward it to your friends on social media.