Mission Declutter: 5 Ways to Organize Your Workspace


declutter your workspace


If you find yourself surrounded by clutter, it may be sapping more productivity than you realize.

The good news is we are focusing our tips and advice on helping you find secrets to increasing productivity by reducing the clutter in your life.

Follow these 5 simple steps for decluttering your workspace:


1) Choose Your Workspace

Start by identifying your most frequently used workspaces. Think for a second about the 2 or 3 primary areas where you spend the most time trying to get things done. It might be your office desk, your car, or even your kitchen sink – these are places you should focus the most energy on decluttering.

2) Take the First Step

The first step is one you can take right now. Flip open your personal planner or planning software like Outlook and schedule yourself a 30 minute appointment. Then, depending on the size of your workspace, schedule a similar appointment for the next few days.

What’s important here to remember: chopping your declutter time into smaller chunks keeps you from becoming overwhelmed – the likely reason your clutter has grown in the first place.

3) Attack the Source

When your declutter appointment arrives, start at clutter source. What’s causing your clutter?

  • Is your inbox overflowing?
  • Are incomplete projects and loose ends sitting around?
  • Bills and invoices taking up space?
  • Odds and ends scattered everywhere?

When you find the cause of your clutter, you’re finding your pain point.

Once you’ve established the reason for your mess, you’re that much closer to finding a solution.

4) Decide and Conquer

Now take action. This is a vital step: you must make confident decisions where your decluttered objects will now go.

  • Paper piles: choose file, trash, or recycle
  • Mail: choose read, pay bill, file, trash, or recycle
  • Tools: sort by importance and establish a permanent “home” for each
  • Random items: store together less commonly used items

Expand out from the focal point of clutter and organize immediate surrounding areas. Remember: the actions you take now are the rules for where things are kept in the future.

That way, you can prevent clutter from forming again.

5) Use Fingertip Management

When decluttering, Fingertip Management is a great rule to live by. The idea here is to keep only your most important items within an arm’s reach of your workspace.

Here are some examples:

  • Desktop surface: keep only 3 pens, planner or notebook, inbox tray, keyboard and mouse – the rest can go in nearby drawers and storage cabinets
  • Bathroom vanity: prioritize storage by amount of use – only frequently used items stay on the counter top (the average person uses a toothbrush less than 5 minutes per day… does it need to sit out?)
  • Workshop: keep your main tools and supplies at hand, keep others in bins sorted by project type

Start Decluttering Today

Having a decluttered workspace will dramatically increase your ability to get things done two ways: 1) Increases your ability to find files, tools, and information that are important right now. 2) Maximizes your available workspaces, thus making it easier to spread out and be productive – not boxed-in by clutter.

Take a stand on your clutter this week. Start by scheduling some time-saving, clutter-killing appointments today.

12 thoughts on “Mission Declutter: 5 Ways to Organize Your Workspace

  1. Now that my vitamin D is up to snuff, I can get clutter under control.. lack of energy is a part of my problem.

  2. I use my Daytimer planner as my ongoing “ToDo” list, so I did schedule time for decluttering. After just three “appointments” I really see how much of the clutter is gone! Terrific idea! Building a “routine” that includes decluttering in the office is what I am doing now. Thanks, again!

  3. I think you have a winning item with sugestions on organizating ones’ surrounding. Young people as well as us old timers need to be organized to maintain our goals in work and our lives.

    1. Thanks for the comment Henry, organization benefits so many walks of life, and as they say… a little bit goes a long way.

  4. Have you been reading my Flylady mail? Seriously, her mail for the past few weeks has focused on decluttering. While your primary focus is on workspace (i.e. office) she has her followers working on various places within our home. With the exception of two rooms, my worst “hot spot” is the home office. It never occurred to me to make an appointment with myself. How clever! I have made appointments for me for the next three days in the office. I think I will do that for more spaces in my home, too. Thank you so much!

    1. FlyLady is awsome! So, helpful! This article was great as well. It’s funny how we are continually looking for ways to declutter. LOL

      1. You’re right Kim. Life offers us so much opportunities to clutter ourselves, it’s just a matter of keeping aware of it.

    2. Thank you for commenting Dianne. I hope it helps put you on the right track. (My home office is my hot spot too…)

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