Declutter Your Office In 3 Simple Steps {& Maintain It Too}

Have you ever found yourself struggling to focus in a cluttered and disorganized workspace? Whether it is your home or work office, a cluttered office can hinder your productivity, increase your stress levels, and make it difficult to get work done efficiently. 

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pile of messy papers

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the mess in your office, it's time to take action and declutter your space. In this blog post, we'll explore some simple yet effective tips for decluttering your office, from purging unnecessary items to creating a storage system that works for you. 

While the easiest way to tackle a messy office would be to hire a professional organizer, you don’t have to. 

With a few easy steps, keep reading this step-by-step guide and you can transform your work area into an organized and productive environment.  One that will help you stay motivated and achieve your goals.  And allow you to have money left over for the coffee you will need to get your work done!

Reasons You May Need To Declutter Your Office

Let’s be real, even Marie Kondo is over her tidying up.  But a clean space is a productive space.  And while there are many reasons why someone might need to declutter their office, no matter what yours is, you are here because it needs to happen. 

Here are a few common reasons its time to declutter:
  1. Increased productivity: Clutter in the workspace can be distracting and make it difficult to focus on tasks. By decluttering, you can create a more organized and productive environment.
  2. Reduced stress: A cluttered workspace can also be stressful and overwhelming. By decluttering and creating a more organized space, you can reduce stress and feel calmer and in control.
  3. Improved creativity: This is a big one for me as a creative.  Clutter can be a source of mental clutter, which makes it difficult to think clearly and creatively. By creating a more streamlined and organized workspace, you can promote a more creative and open-minded mindset.
  4. Better time management: Clutter can also make it difficult to find important items, leading to wasted time and frustration. By decluttering and creating an organized system, you can save time and increase efficiency.
  5. More professional appearance: A cluttered workspace can give the impression of disorganization and lack of professionalism. By decluttering, you can create a more polished and professional appearance that reflects well on you and your work whether you are meeting clients virtually via Zoom calls or have people that come visit you in person.
  6. Balance:  This one is particularly important if you work from home and are trying to maintain home and work life balance.  Keeping things in order and minimizing messy workspace potential helps you not get overwhelmed.

How To Declutter The Office In 3 Simple Steps

desk work space

If you're feeling overwhelmed with clutter in your office, it can be difficult to stay focused and productive. Fortunately, decluttering your workspace is a simple and effective way to boost your efficiency and creativity. 

Here are three steps to help you declutter your office and improve your work environment:

Assess and categorize your items

Start by setting a goal

The first step in decluttering your office is to set a goal. Do you want to reduce the clutter on your desk, or do you need to tackle a full office overhaul? Setting a clear goal will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the decluttering process.


First thing, start by purging.

The easiest thing to do is to start by getting rid of the obvious trash in the cluttered space.  Then create piles of loose things that can be categorized as keep, donate, and trash.  

This can be an overall concept but mostly applies to the office space.  So are you keeping it in the office? Do you need to donate it to a place or a new space?  Should you throw it away altogether?

And for everything you need to trash, grab some oversized trash bags and get it out of there!

Once you have narrowed things down you can begin creating piles of items based on their purpose. For example, you might have a pile for office supplies, a pile for paperwork, and a pile for personal items.

Once you have your piles, go through each of them and think about where those things will live.  So we can begin to organize

Create an organizational system

One of the things that was important to me when we were building my DIY Home Office Built Ins was how well they would allow me to keep my space organized.  My design ideas were all about functionality and also the beauty of it.

white home office built in cabinets

After you've assessed and categorized your items, it's time to create an organizational system. This will help you keep your workspace clutter-free in the future.  So you know, maybe ou won’t need to do this regularly…

Consider investing in storage solutions like filing cabinets, shelves, and desk organizers.

When creating your organizational system, think about how you use your workspace and what types of items you need to access frequently. Keep frequently used small items within arm's reach, like in desk drawers.  And store less frequently used miscellaneous items further away, in cabinets, on shelves, etc.

Organize your paperwork

Paper clutter is often a major source of clutter in an office. Whether it is loose paper, index cards, or sticky notes, these things all lead to a messy desk and workspace.

To declutter your office, you need to establish an efficient system for organizing your paperwork. This may involve creating a filing system or using digital tools to store and manage your documents.

Clear your desk space

A cluttered desk can be a major source of distraction and can hinder your productivity. Start by removing everything from your desk and only returning items that are essential for your work. Make use of storage solutions such as drawers, shelves, and organizers to keep your desk clear and organized.

Whether you have piles of papers that are taking over things, or loose extra items like paper clips, usb ports, or decorative items, there has to be some order to it all.

Create a storage system

Creating a storage system is essential to keep your office organized in the long term. This may involve investing in a filing cabinet, shelves, and other storage solutions. Make sure to label your storage containers clearly to make it easy to find items when you need them.

Maintain your decluttered workspace

Finally, the key and most important thing to having a clutter-free workspace is to maintain it. 

At the end of the day, remove any quick grab items you can put away or throw away to keep the clutter from accumulating.

Set aside time each week to tidy up and put away any items that have accumulated. Make it a habit to file paperwork immediately instead of letting it pile up on your desk.

Also, be mindful of the items you bring into your workspace. Consider whether each item is necessary before adding it to your workspace. By being intentional about what you keep in your workspace, you can avoid accumulating clutter in the future.

Tips for maintaining your clean office by office type

No matter where your designated work area is, these tips will help you to maintain it.

Kitchen Table

  • Designate a specific area for your work materials and avoid spreading them out over the entire table.
  • Clean up after each work session and put everything away in a designated drawer or basket.
  • Use a tray to corral loose things like pens, paper clips, sticky notes, and similar items.
  • Avoid using the kitchen table for other purposes, such as eating or crafting, to prevent unnecessary clutter.

Work Office

  • Use organizers, such as file folders, desk trays, and drawer dividers, to keep your paperwork and supplies in order while keeping easy access to them.
  • Make use of wall space with shelves, bulletin boards, and hooks to keep items off your desk and floor.
  • Schedule a regular cleaning session once a week to keep your office space tidy and organized.
  • Avoid keeping personal items that are not work-related, such as photographs or mementos, on your desk to prevent clutter buildup.

Home Office

  • Make sure everything has a designated place, whether it be a drawer, shelf, or container.
  • Avoid multitasking and keep your work materials separate from personal items.
  • Use a shredder to get rid of unnecessary paperwork and avoid letting documents pile up.
  • Consider investing in furniture with built-in storage for your home office space, such as a desk with drawers or a bookshelf with baskets.
MacBook on wooden center table in living area

Living Room / Family Room

  • Use a designated storage area, such as a basket or drawer, to keep your work materials together and out of sight when not in use.
  • Make use of vertical space with floating shelves or a bookshelf to store books and paperwork.
  • Avoid spreading out your work materials over the coffee table or other surfaces in the living room.
  • Designate a specific time and place for work sessions to prevent clutter buildup in the living room.

By implementing these tips, you can keep your office space clutter-free, no matter the location. Remember to regularly tidy up your space to maintain an organized and productive environment.

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