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How do I Deal with Office Clutter?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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Office clutter can be a real hindrance to productivity if it adds to your stress or makes it difficult for you to find things. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to deal with office clutter, and one of the best is to eliminate unnecessary materials and then work to create an organizational system. This is a two step process because many people simply try to organize their things without getting rid of unnecessary items, but this will usually only lead to more clutter in the future.

The first step to dealing with office clutter is identifying where the clutter comes from. Do other people constantly put things on your desk for you to handle, for instance? Is it unclear what items are incoming or outgoing? Or do you simply let things pile up before filing them or throwing them away? These are just a few of the reasons that some people may experience clutter in the office, and identifying your reasons can help you to discover a place to start.

Next, determine how you would like your office to be organized. Something as simple as placing an inbox and an outbox on your desk can make it easier for you to find things, as well as prevent other people from placing things all over your desk and causing office clutter. If you don't have an efficient filing system, create one based on your needs. If you find that you constantly lose things, make it a rule that you will not leave things sitting on your desk, but will immediately place them in the proper location when they come in. Many people bring items from home for lunch every day, but be sure to bring them home at the end of the day too.

Then, go through your office and see if there is anything you can get rid of. It is likely that some things contributing to office clutter can be shredded or thrown away; it may be necessary to just do some simple cleaning in the office as well. Then, go through the remaining items and find a place for them in the new filing system. To keep clutter from reappearing, try to make it a rule that the desk should be clean at the end of every day, for instance. Not only will this make arriving at work in the morning a more positive experience, but it will ensure that you have not forgotten to do anything important before you go home for the day.

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