Easy Ways to Declutter Your Workspace

Easy Ways to Declutter Your Workspace via And Yes To Joy

I try to make a practice of straightening up my workspace on Sunday mornings each week. But when my weeks get crazy, without fail, my desk becomes a second storage space. There is nothing I hate more than when I’m ready to sit down and get work done, and have no space to dig in.

Normally, underneath the sweater I never folded and the leggings I’ve been missing for days, is a bunch of clutter that shouldn’t even be on my desk to start with. A simple workspace is an effective workspace. Contrary to popular belief, having everything available at arms reach does not always guarantee that you will be at your most productive.

Decluttering your workspace is the first step to decluttering your work load. When your space is clear, your mind is clear and able to get things done. So, let’s clean it up.

How often do you use it?

Do you really need a tape dispenser, two staplers and a basket of paperclips sitting in that corner on your desk? How often do you really need to tape, staple and paperclip something all at once? Rarely, I bet. Evaluate the items that you have sitting in plain view and arms reach in your workspace right now. If you know that you don’t use these items on a consistent basis, consider moving them elsewhere to free up space for things you need.

Decide on the essentials

I always keep my calendar, laptop (unless I’m traveling with it), pens and notebooks on my desk at all time. Those items plus my desk lamp are the essentials. Everything else is secondary, and can be placed elsewhere. I consider my desk “messy” when I see my essentials being taken over by other non-essential items (excess papers, sketches, clothing, ect). Define your few essential items, and then start planning other spots for the excess.

Give assignments and eliminate junk

When we just start shoving things anywhere, not only do we quickly lose track of and misplace things, our space becomes a nightmare of a file cabinet. Give everything a proper place and then make sure to actually place it there. If you have a junk drawer, it’s time to go through it. Junk belongs in the trash, simple as that. So if the items no longer have a purpose, toss or give them away.

Evaluate your workspace as a whole

Clutter can also build up when we keeping adding things into our space, thinking that just one or two more tweaks is all we need to make our space complete. If it seems that no matter what you add or move to this corner or another makes your space whole, you may need to evaluate from the bottom up. Is the space big enough for you? Is it too big? Are you adding items because you’re uncomfortable with excess white space? The need may not be to declutter your workspace, it may be to revamp it!

Like I said, a clean and clutter free workspace is a step in the right direction to enhancing your overall performance. Declutter your workspace as often as you deem necessary.

What tips do you practice to cut down on clutter?

(photo, edited by me)


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  1. Yes to the yes! Organization makes all things better. Honestly, I live in an apartment and don’t have a ‘designated work space’ but if my apartment is a mess my brain is a mess. I like to clean and tidy before I write or read.

    • Organization has truly become my best friend. I always declutter before I write as well. I think the act of getting things in order helps me write better!

  2. My desk doesn’t have any drawers, which has really helped cut down clutter. I store most of my office supplies in a bookshelf on the other side of the room and, like you said, I only keep essentials on my desk. That said, bills and other paper work have a tendency to take over a corner of my desk. Definitely in need of a bulletin board!

    • Thanks for sharing a picture of your workspace with me on Twitter! I have a whiteboard calendar on the wall straight ahead, which works kind of as an impromptu bulletin board as well, and definitely helps keep me organized during the week!

  3. This is a great reminder! I am currently embarking on “the great craftroom cleanout of 2014” and it is really hard to pair down and get the clutter under control. These are great tips!

  4. I def need to work on this! I have such a bad habit of putting things out of place once Im finished using them that eventually it turns my area into a nightmare!

    • The nightmare of clutter is the worst! That’s why I try to declutter and put things in order once a week. It helps keep it under control!

  5. Great tips! I recently got my work space tidied up and it feels SO good!

  6. This is definitely something I need to get on. My desk at home is always so over-cluttered. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  7. I ask myself the “how often do you use it” question all the time. Right now I’m working without a desk… but I’m very much looking forward to setting up my new desk whenever it arrives along with the rest of my furniture (hopefully tomorrow)!