Many working professionals are now opting in for a more convenient option of working from home virtually.
How can this transition impact your work spaces and/or home offices? Perhaps now that your home office is out of public view and non-accessible by your cubicle mates, your care for keeping this vital space organized starts deteriorating?
Whether you’re a full-time work from home employee, student, or occasional home office user for monthly bill payments, many of us often utilize our home offices as our primary work spaces. Therefore, it may be a worthy question to ask yourself…
Are your spaces reaching their full optimal level for efficiency? Or are they cluttered and full of distractions?
Working in a clean, organized, and efficient environment can actually physically relieve stress and allow you to think more clearly.
Take one minute to analyze your work space right now as it is.
What do you love about it? Are there any aspects of your work space that can be improved? Do you have unpaid bills floating on your desk or taco wrappers still sitting in the corner from last week?
Take this minute to ask yourself, “If an individual looked at my work space objectively, what message would it say about me?” Maybe your answers range from unorganized, clean, messy, or even peaceful? Write your answers down and allow yourself this moment to examine if changes are really needed. Be honest with yourself without negative judgment.
The key is to search for areas of improvement.
Not quite fond of your answers? No worries! Start trying these three simple and effective steps to drastically increase the efficiency of your workplace starting today.
Step 1: Clear the trash.
This step is not only very simple, but also very self-explanatory. It’s easy—discard the food wrappers and those job fair pens that don’t have ink in them anymore. You will be surprised as to just how much junk you have been storing unknowingly.
- Stationary you no longer use, like Crayola gel pens your son used to use in 5th grade.
- Defective items, i.e. a hole puncher that can’t punch a 3rd hole any longer.
- Old bills or papers you no longer need.
- Items that do not belong in home offices, i.e. food wrappers and miscellaneous items that have somehow traveled into your desk drawers from the dining room.
- Any literal trash—yes this includes your Krispy Kreme donut box.
Step 2: Start practicing the art of decluttering.
What do I mean when I say decluttering? It’s simple. Stop holding on to items that are no longer usable. Refrain from using the excuse, “oh well, maybe, one day, this might come in handy?” Chances are, if you haven’t used a particular item (that’s causing this debate in your mind in the first place) in 2 years, you probably won’t be utilizing it anytime soon.
1) I had a family member that held on to a meat lovers cooking book, when he was himself, vegetarian. That may be a bit senseless.
2) Holding onto a full bucket of free items you had received over the course of a lifetime, from job fairs, free educational events, or company gifts.
Step 3: Practice learning how to look at your items from an objective, non-attachment, and non-emotional view.
1) Holding on to an item due to emotional attachment or social obligation. Your friend gave you a vase, which internally you think is absolutely hideous, but hold on to anyways, well because, she may visit one day and ask you where it is.
Learn to be honest in a polite and loving way, especially if there are gifts given to you that you absolutely know are not useful or do not make you feel pleasant internally.
Key note: Your home is your space, its items and flow should energize you, not make you feel anxiety, obligated, or even unsightly.
2) Keeping an item due to memories or bonds associated around it, but it still lacks value to you. I held on to a makeup book my uncle had given me when I was 16 years old. At that time, it was relevant because I was a heavy makeup wearer. However, now (10 years later), I never use the techniques discussed in the book. Why did I hold on to it then, you ask? My uncle passed away from cancer five years ago and keeping this book provided me comfort.
It’s understandable and reasonable to have emotional bonds with items we keep in our homes, but there are always other ways to cherish these items if they are no longer of use to you.
My way of cherishing my uncle’s memory was creating a family memory scrapbook instead. And the book that my uncle gifted me, I actually donated to a young girl who was a makeup enthusiast. Not only was she ecstatic, I too felt joyful knowing that I was able to provide a useful tool for someone else.
Now, one major theme I always signify to anyone who starts a journey of decluttering, is that learning the art of donation is crucial.
Donating can not only help others obtain useful items at a minimal or zero cost, but it can also clear your individual clutter simultaneously.
Often, when we donate, especially to friends or families or even local charities and foundations, we really are participating in a noble case.
Recently, I had business casual clothing I was no longer fond of. So, I found a shelter that took in business casual clothing to donate to women newly in search of jobs after coming out of a domestically violent household.
Finding any items you can donate? Compile them and complete a quick Google search to find the closest donation centers near you today. If there are specific causes or charities you are passionate about, search for those as well! Remember, your invaluables could easily be someone else’s gifts!
Step 4—the last step: Start buying organizing “helpers.”
What are organizing helpers you ask? –Any item that can aid in the organization of a space and serve a primary function of grouping similar items together.
- Bins and jars.
- Filing cabinets and folders.
- Paper organizers.
- Desk organizers that can hold pens, pencils, and important stationary.
- Sectional items that can keep large piles of desk supplies organized and separate based on their category, i.e. a separate section for pens and another separate section for pencils.
A constant pattern I’ve seen in homes is that people often think of “The Container Store,” as the only option for buying organizing tools. Albeit, some of these high-end stores have wonderful and useful products, but many of them can also be over-priced. Depending on your budget, you can often find some of the same, if not very similar items at other stores for a much more budget-friendly price.
Due to the notion described above, often people shy away from organizing because they feel it can be an “expensive project.” I’m here to tell you that’s truthfully not the case! There are various of places to find cost effective organizing helpers ranging between prices of only $1.00-$10.00:
- T.J Maxx
- Home Goods
- World Market
- At Home
- Family Dollar
- Dollar Tree
- Michael’s Crafts
- Joan Fabrics
Many of these stores sell bins and jars for very reasonable prices! Many of them also have available coupons, which can increase your additional savings. I personally buy many organizing baskets from Michael’s crafts and mason jars from the $1 store to help store small items like paperclips or batteries.
If you enjoyed this organization article and were able to take away even one useful tip that can help your home offices reach their full potential, please comment below! Additionally, If you’ve tried any of the tips shown above and they have been successful for you, I would love to hear about it! Remember, a clutter free space can lead to:
Decrease in stress
Increase in efficiently
Increase in productivity
I truly believe that when your space is clear, your mind is clear and when your mind is clear, you are an overall happier, more fruitful, and joyful human being.
Good luck in your organization endeavors!