Oddly enough, when work, or life in general, feels like it’s falling apart and starts to spiral, rearranging furniture brings much-needed calm and peace to my headspace. It sounds weird, but it’s true.
A long time ago, the phrase “Learn to let go of what you can’t control” was said to me and it has stuck with me ever since. Rearranging a room helps with this! Last week, my office itself started to feel like it was getting closer to me, and I felt the familiar feelings of panic start to take over. So what better piece to rearrange and strip? Yes, my office!
Let’s face it, everyone is busy at work, and I’m no different. With back-to-back phone calls and projects to complete, there was little time to make it happen. But oh, how this had to happen! About an hour later, my desk was rearranged and the whole big trash bag was overflowing. Rather than feelings of helplessness, I had a clear head and was able to get through the day without having a nervous breakdown.
All that cleaning, clearing, and rearranging made me realize one thing: that spare room in the office where I spent my days working was also the drop-off space for mail, homework, extra cords, books, pencils and games. And all the rest. While the clutter was harmless, just having him stare at me from random nooks and crannies was taking its toll.
The best place to start is to divide and conquer all the paperwork. My tote basket was full to the brim and needed some serious organization. What did I do with most of it? It landed in the “circular folder” where it should have been in the first place. Sometimes we just cling to things that seem important at the time, but a month or two later it turns out to be just the opposite.
Once the papers are sorted, a filing system should ensue. One that you will actually use beyond a day or two. Order the files yourself that make you happy, and believe me, there are all colors and designs, top-loading, side-loading, or dual-pocket…the options are endless. .
Next, take a look at your desktop. You’ve cleaned up the piles of documents and filed them away, so what’s left? Just the essentials! If all you’re using is your calendar, a notebook, and a pen, that’s all you should have in mind. A clutter-free desk is one of the best feelings in the world! Seriously, how many staplers do you need?
Unfortunately, under my desk was a great example of having more than one of the same items that were definitely not needed. One of my printers was using another printer as a table. It was time to admit that the second printer served no function and took up space.
Finally, before you put things you need back in their place, including your desktop or laptop, give them a good clean. Wipe away dust, get rid of oily fingerprints or where your donut was sitting and make it shine again!
Having a clean, uncluttered workspace – no matter where you work – leads to better productivity, fewer distractions and increased motivation. Work is stressful enough, so let’s cut through the cluttered chaos! When will you do your “spring cleaning” in your workspace? I promise you it will be worth it when you do!
Kristen Asleson is the owner of Midwest Virtual Assistants. Send your comments and ideas to