Archive for Organize Your Office

10 Easy Steps to a Clutter-Free Office

Staples storage box

Staples Economy Storage Box

More of us than ever before are working from home. A clutter-free office allows you to feel more comfortable, and therefore more focused, and productive. These 10 easy steps apply to any office, whether or not it’s a dedicated room, and no matter where it’s located.

A quick, easy decluttering of your workspace does not make you organized, but it does set you up for successfully finishing the organizing project at your own pace, while simultaneously allowing you to experience the freedom and focus that a clutter-free office can give you.

You still have some sorting, purging, organizing, and filing ahead of you, but you can start enjoying your clear desktop and functional workspace immediately.

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What do you love about your office? Here’s what I love about mine.

This is the view from my home office desk.

I think the key to being productive is to be comfortable and happy spending time in your office. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a corporate cubicle; a dedicated room at home with a door that closes; or another space you’ve carved out for yourself.

If you love your office, great! Carry on.

If you don’t, though, here are some tips and inspiration for decluttering your office and making it a place where you really enjoy spending time.

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Are your files backed up?

I originally wrote this post for World Back Up Day (Don’t be an April Fool – Take the Pledge!)

But…really, shouldn’t every day be Back Up Day?

(Click to view video: “What Would You Do if You Lost Everything?“)

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Are You Organized for Tax Time?

Organized for Tax TimeWhether you do your own taxes, or have them done by someone else, it’s hard to prepare for tax time if your paperwork is a mess!

It will take only a few minutes to gather up the pertinent documents if you have good year-round paper management habits. Here’s what I mean:

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3 Tips for Clutter-Free Business Networking

Rather tidy, color-coordinated, networking clutter.

Unrealistically tidy arrangement of color-coordinated networking clutter.

Are your desk and office cluttered with promotional items? You know, the stuff you bring back from business networking events, seminars, expos, conferences, luncheons, and meetings? Don’t know what to do with it all? Here are my top 3 tips for controlling networking clutter:

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It’s All About the Labels (not the label makers)

keep tryon donate bags

Use of labels in the organizing process. Black Sharpie on white bags.

I was sorting clothing with a client. Rather, she was sorting and I was managing the rapidly growing piles. We used white kitchen trash bags to contain categories, clearly labeled by me with a black Sharpie, such as: Keep; Donate; Repair; Try On; Wash. We talked about how, in this case, the labeled bags doubled as a To-Do List. Then she observed, “It’s really all about the labels, isn’t it?” Yes. Yes, it is.

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Don’t Let Your Containers Overflow!

Recently purged magazine and catalog basket. Still plenty to read, and room for more.

Recently-purged magazine and catalog basket. Still plenty to read, and room for more.

Containerizing is the art and science of deciding which container will be a good home for your stuff. (Perfectionists take note: I said “good”, not “the very best imaginable”.) A container can be a box, bin, jar, or basket. But it can also be a shelf, closet or room. Containers provide structure for your things so that you can find them when you need them, and put them away easily.

There is nothing that can’t be “containerized”: (more…)

What is Your Clutter Costing You?

dreamstime_xs_30424420You know you have clutter. We all do, in one form or another, and to varying degrees. But have you ever thought about what it is costing you? Sometimes the cost is obvious, such as late fees incurred for an overdue bill that was lost in a mystery pile of paper, or that you couldn’t find the time to pay. Other times the cost is mental or emotional, such as the embarrassment of having others see your cluttered space. Or, missed opportunities. Or, time you could have spent doing something else.

Why do I care so much about clutter? And about helping people to declutter? Well, here’s what I believe: (more…)

The 80/20 Rule is Your Friend

One of my favorite concepts in life is the 80/20 Rule. What is it? A.k.a. the Pareto principle, it comes from Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto having observed, in 1906, that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

But why do I like it so much, and why it is your friend? Because it can help you make decisions, and not worry so much, and get stuff done!

Here are some examples: (more…)

3 Steps to Falling in Love with Your Home Office

Home Office AFTER

How does your home office make you feel? If you have the sort of business where you have clients in, are you embarrassed to let them see it? One of my organizing and redesign clients said, about her cluttered, drab room, “I feel like I’m going to prison every morning.” Oh no, that’s terrible! Depending on how you use it, you might be spending more time in your home office than you do sleeping in your bedroom! (Which, by the way, is the other most neglected room in the house for décor, but that’s another story.)

So, what can you do? Here are 3 steps to falling in love with your home office:

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