You spend 40 hours a week at the same desk surrounded by stacks of paper, coffee cups, and your various electronic devices. By the time you get your work done all you can think about is heading home and leaving this space until the next day. Living in this vicious cycle can quickly make your life unorganized and unmanageable. Even though it can be difficult on top of the hard work you’re already focused on, cleaning your office space will ultimately benefit you in the long run.
Paige Fowler from Shape Magazine reported that clearing away any clutter in your workspace could help you make healthier choices, improve your relationships, and even boost your workout. Fowler explained that when you have a long list of personal to-dos on top of everything else, it might prevent the natural decline in cortisol that occurs during the day. This can worsen your mood, sleep, and health, so it’s smart to tackle any task you have each day in order to keep your list short. Fowler also commented that according to a study in the journal of Psychological Science, “people who worked in a neat space for 10 minutes were twice as likely to choose an apple over a chocolate bar than those who worked in a messy office for the same amount of time.” So just by simply being in a clean space, your mind will feel orderly and will have you make wiser health decisions.
Now, you might be thinking: I don’t have time to de-clutter my desk because I’m too busy doing other work. It might be hard to make time for some cleaning up but when you’re organized at your job, you will feel more efficient and productive which in turn will motivate you to finish your work at a reasonable time. This will give you more hours to focus on your relationships, eating healthy, and some well-deserved down time.
The first step to de-cluttering your workspace is deciding to make a conscious effort to shuffle through those mounds of paperwork and useless knickknacks. If you take the necessary steps to live clutter-free, your work will improve and you’ll be feeling less stressed. Here is a list of tips to help you get started:
File As You Go
One of the biggest offenders to desk clutter is the multiple stacks of paper. You could have piles of different documents to read, to complete, and to file. To help organize this space use hanging files or labeled baskets and establish set days for each category to be completed so you don’t fall behind and you can clearly see what needs to be done by a certain date. It’s also a good idea to keep these files color-coded so you can have a mental reminder of what needs your attention first. Even with an organized system of papers, you could still be harboring some overflow. Try getting a basket to store your short-term files for items like your daily newspaper or magazine subscriptions. Go through this basket on a rolling basis so these papers can be discarded and you can make room for more random documents in a space that won’t distract you with clutter. Once you have set up a filing system for yourself, you can file as you go and keep your desk clear of miscellaneous papers.
Clean Your Electronics
A busy workday often calls for you to eat at your desk and drop a few crumbs that can be accidentally ignored. Also, eating finger food can get smudges on your phone screen or computer monitor. You probably take your phone with you everywhere you go and place it down on various public spaces. Your co-workers could spread germs onto your devices, which makes you susceptible to different bacteria. Your electronics could be harboring some disgusting germs that could affect your health, which can cause unnecessary stress by taking sick days. To avoid getting sick and to disinfect the devices you’re glued to every day, pick up some Wireless Wipes. These cleaning wipes are designed to wipe down any type of electronic glass (and even your glasses) to leave it streak-free and germless. Not only will it keep dust and debris from spotting up your screens, but it will also help keep pesky germs away.
De-Clutter Your Desk and Computer
We all have that one drawer where everything gets shoved into and forgotten. Since it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind, right? Wrong. Many people use a catch-all drawer but after time they don’t even know what’s in it and can feel anxious opening it. It’s important to keep your desk and all of your drawers clean so you can use your space wisely and have it clear of useless junk. It’s a good idea to invest in a drawer organizer so you don’t have paper clips all over the place mixed in with old post-its and a calculator you thought you lost last year. Try going through this drawer once a month to clear out anything that you don’t use or is in the wrong place. If you remember to do this every few weeks, your mind can be more at ease knowing where everything is if you need it in a pinch.
Keep only what you need at arm’s length. Get rid of old food containers, coffee cups, boxes of pens, etc. Try to only have essentials on your desk like your computer, phone, one notebook, a few pens, and one personal item. You don’t need 5 mugs, a teddy bear, and row of family pictures when organized files could take up that space instead.
Your computer can be just as cluttered as a desk full of papers. A screen full of icons and files can trigger stress and make it impossible to find anything. Go through your documents and create electronic folders. Essentially, perform tip #1 on your computer. Try to delete any desktop icons that you don’t use or don’t need for work so your apps can be easily accessible and you won’t feel tempted to browse un-work related functions. Your documents will be easy to find and manageable if you organize your desktop to look fresh and clear of clutter.
Make Sure Everything Has a Place
In order to work in a more organized space, your entire office should have a place for everything. A good tip is to have hanging hooks off of your office door or cubicle wall for your outerwear, bags, accessories, and umbrella. Personal items can quickly overwhelm a space if they don’t have a designated area off of the floor or desk. If you get in the routine of putting things in a specific spot every morning, you will have a habit of keeping things de-cluttered and your colleagues and guests won’t have to worry about sitting on your bag or tripping over your scarf.
Keep It Up
After you’ve taken the time to clean up your area, don’t let your office space get out of hand again. Take out your garbage and sweep/vacuum your floors often to avoid germs and dust. If you stay on the right track you will always be working in an organized environment, which can have you motivated to complete more tasks while feeling less stressed. It’s important for you to get your work done but it’s also important to have a healthy life outside of your job. Living life clutter-free will improve your mood and will give you more time to focus on work and your personal life.
Images via: pintrest, forbes,wireless wipes, and personal organizing.abou