Working From Home & Decluttering Your Office
Stress in the workplace is something that most of us deal with on a daily basis. Many people don't realize that working in a clean and organized environment can help relieve work-related stress. Unnecessary objects lying around your desk or office space can be distracting and pull your focus from the task at hand. By decluttering your physical and virtual workspace, you will see a huge difference in your productivity, focus and stress level.
Below are some tips to help organize your home office and minimize your stress.
REMOVE ITEMS THAT DON'T BELONG
Begin by going through your office and removing everything that belongs somewhere else in your home. It may be easier to make a list of all the things that are used on a daily basis. The items that don't make the list should be removed from your workspace. Be ruthless and don't keep what doesn't support your work. You should be able to identify the purpose for every single thing in your space.
Empty out the areas that can become the most cluttered like drawers and shelves. Organize what you have and get rid of duplicates. You don't need 3 staplers taking up valuable space.
DOCUMENTS AND PAPERWORK
It's very important to remain organized in your home office and to efficiently manage your hard copy files. You don't want to waste two hours of your time trying to figure out where that one piece of paper is located.
In this day and age, digitally storing paperwork is a standard practice. Try to digitize as much of your documents as you can to cut down on the paper clutter even more. Make sure to regularly back up where they have been stored. This will be as safe an option as having a paper copy.
There are some documents, such as signed contracts, that you really want to have a paper copy of. They don't need to be kept in your office as you won't be referencing them frequently. These can be boxed up and put in storage.
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LABELING AND STORAGE OPTIONS
If you find that you are putting things everywhere, you most likely need additional storage. Before you go to the store, identify what kinds of storage solutions you will need by grouping everything. This will give you a better idea of the size and amount of storage containers you will need.
Once everything has been organized, make sure to label everything. Labelling will make it much quicker to find what you need without killing your own momentum.
CLEAN AND DUST
Now that everything has been removed and sorted, it's a perfect time to clean your office. Clean from top to bottom by wiping down shelves and surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth. Use monitor wipes to clean your screens and compressed air to blow dust from between the keys on your keyboard or gently clean them with cotton swaps. Always do the floors last so you don't end up having to do them twice.
CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER
While getting your physical workspace organized may take precedence due to its visual presence, your online workspace is just as important. A clean desktop and organized folders can make a world of difference in how long it takes you to find information and documents. Go through everything on your desktop and get rid of anything you don't need. Relocate everything that is not work related into a separate file to keep it from distracting you while you work.
KEEP IT UP
The process of decluttering your home office can be a lot of work. To keep your new workspace clean and organized, you will most likely need to develop some new habits.
Always try to return things back to their "homes" once you're finished with them. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to straighten up your desk. Bring the coffee cups back to the kitchen, wipe all surfaces and clear off your desktop.
Set aside a time weekly or monthly, to go through your computer and get rid of files you don't need.
If you start seeing that things are piling up again, it's probably time to plan another decluttering.
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