Secrets to a Clutter-Free Workspace

Secrets to a clutter-free workspace

Organise your workspace

If your workspace is more cluttered than you’d like, you’re definitely not alone! You spend so much time there trying to do actual work that it can be hard to keep things organised as you stay productive. However, if things are too messy, the environment can actually stifle your productivity. So, read on for a couple of useful tips on how to make positive changes that’ll help keep clutter at bay and make your workspace a place where you love to spend time!

Keep loose papers organised

How to create a clutter-free workspace

From forms to pages of jotted-down notes, loose papers can quickly cover your desk. Prevent that by investing in a paper tray and keeping all loose sheets of paper there instead of wherever they happen to end up. Think about getting a chic filing cabinet or a multi-level tray to separate papers that still require action taken and those that are completed.

Create a labeling system

Clutter builds up quickly when there are no specific places for the things you use most often. In this common situation, you’ll likely just put things anywhere you can find free space at the time. This haphazard way of doing things not only makes your office messy, but it can also make it nearly impossible to find things when you need them.

Solve these issues with a labeling system. It may be as straightforward as shelf labels, or you may decide to get a filing cabinet and make different sections for folders and papers.

Secrets to a clutter-free workspace

No matter which route you decide to take, create the labeling system based on the way you work best. This may mean keeping the most frequently used items within an arm’s reach of your office chair, alphabetising things, or grouping items into handy categories.

Take non-essential items home

Many of us feel we spend more time at work than at home. This often means our offices end up looking like second homes, with all sorts of random items added to the mix of items that are solely for work. Do a weekly assessment of everything in your work area. If you find things that don’t need to be at the office, take them home where they belong.

People often have good intentions of keeping non-essential items out of their offices, but end up getting sidetracked so they forget to bring things home. When you get into the routine of doing a weekly check and clearing things out of your office that don’t really need to be there, it becomes easier to keep the space clean.

Take advantage of vertical space

It’s often easy to forget how you can make a space look much more open and inviting by relying on vertical space. If your office is on the small side, you may especially feel like trying to keep it tidy is a losing battle. However, a little creativity is usually all it takes to make a big difference. One simple way to use vertical space is to mount hooks to the walls and use them to hold things. Hanging vibrant scarves or ribbon from them is a simple way to add some cheerful color to your space, too. 

How to create a clutter-free workspace

Build in time for cleaning up

You may have found yourself thinking how hard it is to stay on top of keeping your workspace neat. While that’s sometimes true, it’s usually a lot easier to handle if you simply set aside a certain amount of time each day. Designate that time for reorganising anything that’s gotten messy during the workday. Even a 15-minute block of time every day can make a huge difference in helping you stay on top of things so clutter doesn’t become a problem again.

Eliminate clutter gradually

Depending on how messy your office is, tidying it up can be quite a process. The thought of organising it might feel so overwhelming that you give up before you’ve even started. Make the task more manageable by designating one section of your workspace as a clutter-free zone. Then, gradually make that area larger and larger until your whole space is well-organised, with a place for every item.

Keep things in perspective

If you start to feel discouraged when taking proactive steps to clean up your workspace, remember this: maintaining the area is usually a lot easier once you’ve cleaned it thoroughly once. That’s especially true if you get motivated by seeing first-hand how much you prefer to work in a space that’s clean, rather than one where everything is out of order.

Hopefully these tips will help you see that keeping your office clutter-free isn’t as hard as you may have imagined, and that having a plan in place for keeping things tidy is very effective.

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she's a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. You can find her tweeting on her coffee breaks @SarahLandrum