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When clutter gets too chaotic, even the best of us gets confused. Think of the time you asked yourself, “Now where did I leave my notepad?” or “Why can't I find my trusty old black pen?” When your things get lost and your memory gets challenged, you might want to consider tidying up your workstation.
Revamping your workstation need not be a daunting or expensive task. There is no need to overwhelm yourself by finishing everything in one go. Take it just a single step at a time, one portion of the desk at a time. It is very much okay to not always be keeping on top of things.
What’s vital is that as early as today, you decide to approach things methodically. Having concrete action points is enough. Slow and steady still wins the race - even when it comes to purging your work station.
Moreover, it is important to know that you do not have to hire cleaning services in order to tidy your workstation. Doing it yourself is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience.
It can even be said that tidying up is a manifestation of self-love. Dedicating time to do this act of service is something that you should be proud of. The very decision of choosing to make your environment better than it was before is worthy of praise. Celebrating the small wins applies to cleaning.
We’ve provided a couple of tips that should help you clear out clutter.
Tips for Decluttering your Work Station
Elevate Your Desk
And we do mean this literally. Consider having your computer or laptop placed on a stand. Raising your computer to a standing height will let the areaunderneath seem more spacious.
Standing desks are some of the latest measures for proper and healthy ergonomics. They aid in improving your overall posture which can lead to the reduction of chronic neck and back pain.
Put a Label on It
Categorize your stuff. Decluttering does not always mean discarding. People who tidy up do not end up throwing everything away. Instead, they sort and relocate each item. There are different ways to categorize your belongings. Some people choose to classify them according to urgency. Others have them separated by the nature of the activity they are used for. If you are leaning on the former, it might entail putting the things you use most often in the area nearest to you. On the other hand, items that you may not need to hold every now and then can be placed on your peripheries.
Meanwhile, people who classify items by nature of their function can use multilevel drawers. There are small drawers that are manufactured for use on top of desks. These items are significantly more compact than regular drawers. What to put per level is completely up to you. For illustrative purposes, it can look something like this:
When trying to remember which storage space you designated a particular item, consider sticking labels. Spare no effort in creating labels that look aesthetically pleasing because at the end of the day, what matters is you achieve the visual you love - a kind of look that you don’t mind seeing everyday.
Designate where you can store everything there is on your desk. Do not settle for anything less. Make sure that every item has a place where you can put it back to. Resting in the idea that everything you own can be tucked away helps in the process of maintaining a cleaner work area. Naturally, this means actually taking the time to know the what’s and where’s of the things you’ve designated.
It helps to streamline this process in a way that takes the burden off of your memory.
One of the concepts in Systems Thinking and the Fifth Discipline mentions that the easy way out usually leads back in. It might seem like the intuitive approach is to stack your files vertically to cover less surface area on your workstation, however, that is not optimal.
Overstacking leads to piles, if not mountains, of papers that you are not going to use regularly. Get rid of the clutter by tackling your overflowing stacks. Throw them out or keep them tucked in filing cabinets. Your workstation is not their resting place.
Keep Non-Work Items to a Minimum
Of course, it isn’t the best advice to completely empty your desk of non-work related items. Let’s face it, it is motivating to have a few framed photos, scented candles, and cute succulents. It does have the potential to add to the clutter. Lessen what you leave on your desk. What you use for your skincare such as hand creams and lip balms should be relocated on a nightstand. Remove them from your workstation.
Quit the Habit of Hoarding
As humans, we grow attached to various things. We place value on different materials because of the experiences and emotions we attribute to them. You might not necessarily need it, but you hold on to it because you believe you can use it in the future—maybe. You might already know that the likelihood of you using it is about 10 in 100, but you still take your chances.
To learn more about the psychology behind our habit of hoarding, you can try to browse through some books. In a nutshell, empty your workstation of things that do not serve you everyday or that have no daily purpose.
When you avoid tidying up or leave it for “the next day”, you accumulate more and more clutter. While doing this, it is best to be practical. Cleaning everyday for an extensive period does not seem to be sustainable. Instead, do yourself a five-minute favor. Set aside five minutes of your whole day to discard what needs to be removed and put materials back to their designated drawers.
Say adieu to the clutter that’s been holding you back, but find your balance. An empty desk might be deemed clean, but it can rob you of the feeling of creativity. This is not to say that keeping your desk messy equates to productivity and imaginativity. Striking a balance that reflects your personality is what we are aiming for. After all, your style weighs more than social standards.