A tidy workspace promotes higher productivity. That’s why you should declutter it.

Everyone has junk lying around the house. If you work from home, some of your personal junk might even get caught up with your work junk. Regardless of how much stuff you own, you can benefit from decluttering, primarily when you work from home.

When more belongings surround people than they can manage, they tend to feel like life is out of control. This causes stress, which, in turn, lowers productivity.

If you’re not taking care of the clutter in your home office, chances are you’re not getting your work done as efficiently as you can. More efficient work means work completed more quickly. Work completed quickly means more free time for you.

Today, you’re going to learn how to declutter every aspect of your home office thoroughly. Sure, you’ll need to make some long-term behavioral changes moving forward. However, it will all be worth it. Check out our guide below.

What Is Clutter?

Clutter refers to anything you’re keeping around in your home office that doesn’t add value to your work. Your work laptop is not considered clutter. Your old PC that doesn’t even boot up, on the other hand, is clutter.

When Is Clutter a Problem?

Clutter becomes a problem when it gets in the way of your work. A cluttered workspace may cause you to spend countless hours looking for relevant documents. People may suffer from depression or obesity when faced with extreme cases of clutter.

In terms of safety, a more cluttered space is a hazardous space. Cluttered areas allow mold and dust to thrive, causing allergic reactions in many people.

Identify How You’ll Use Your Home Office

We all know that a home office is a workspace inside your home. However, home offices can serve different purposes. It’s essential to decide how you want to use your home office, as this will guide your decluttering decisions.

If you haven’t decided how you want to use your home office, you won’t know which items should and shouldn’t be present—not having a clear idea of how you’ll use your home office makes decluttering extremely difficult. As much as possible, be clear regarding what kind of work you’ll be doing in your home office.

Start by grabbing a pen and a piece of paper. Take time to write down what day-to-day tasks you currently perform in your home office. To guide you through the exercise, ask yourself whether you use your home office for the following:

  • Use your printer and computer
  • Store office supplies, work materials, and physical files
  • Store magazines, books, and journals
  • Prepare and collate materials
  • Process paperwork and administrative items
  • Meet with clients
  • Hold virtual meetings, webinars, or telephone calls
  • Review materials
  • Think quietly
  • Brainstorm ideas

There are several ways you can use your home office, as you may have noticed. Once you’re clear on how you want to use your space, you can begin the decluttering process.

Make a Plan of Attack

Now that you know what purpose your home office will serve, you can make a plan of attack. If you have a large home office or if your home office is particularly messy, allocate long periods to declutter throughout the week.

If your space is small or relatively neat, you may be able to complete all your decluttering tasks in a single weekend.

Remember, there’s no need to do everything in one day. You can break down the tasks into smaller chunks and spread them out over time.

Tame Your Cords

Although wrangling in your cords is not essential for maintaining an organized home office, it will help you achieve a clean and crisp look in the room. After all, nobody wants to look at a bunch of tangled cords.

A simple Google search will present you with a variety of cord management products specially made for taming and tying up cords and cables. Additionally, you can implement the following cord management hacks:

  • Washi Tape. Label your cables with washi tape. Labeling your cables makes it easier to know which wire goes with which device.
  • Binder Clips. Consider frequently holding unplugged cords up on your desk with binder clips.
  • Rubber Bands. You can use rubber bands to tie up excess cables. It’s not fancy, but it works.

Read further on the next page.

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