Five uncluttering things you can do in your office right now

  1. Grab all of those post-it notes off your screen, phone, keyboard, and bulletin board and permanently capture that information. Enter phone numbers into your address book, put to-do items on your calendar, and hide your passwords in a place where snoopers can’t find them.
  2. Gather up all of your writing implements, and test your pens and markers. Get rid of those that don’t work, and sharpen all of your pencils. Finally, put all of these items in an organized container that is near where you use them.
  3. Process an inch of paperwork from your desk’s inbox. File, sign, scan, read or return the papers as necessary. Don’t put anything back into your inbox.
  4. Get everything out of your office that doesn’t belong there. Walk that dead printer to the IT department for recycling, and give your co-worker back the scissors you snagged off her desk when you couldn’t find yours.
  5. Check your bulletin board for any out-dated office phone lists, take-out menus, or memos, and drop them into the recycling bin or shredder. Rearrange what is left so that the information you reference most often is in the spot that is easiest to see.

34 Comments for “Five uncluttering things you can do in your office right now”

  1. posted by Rue on

    Ahh, the kind of uncluttering advice I can really use, the kind that gives me specific things to do and says GO! 😀

    The sad thing is that I’ve already done all these things, lol.

  2. posted by Rue on

    Oh I also meant to post, one thing you could add to this list is to take home things that belong to you but don’t belong in your office! Like I had a keyboard and mouse that I purchased myself to use at work…I decided a couple of weeks ago I didn’t want to use them anymore so I got the keyboard and mouse that actually go to my machine and stuffed the old ones in a desk drawer. I need to take them home. ;D

  3. posted by Stagetecture on

    Great ideas! Another good one for the office is to clean it regularly! Not just move papers around, but take out some Clorox wipes, spray cleaner, what have you, and clean it! Keyboard, coffee stains, etc.. This will make you move papers, clutter, post-its.. not to mention it may keep you healthier!

  4. posted by Barbara Tako|ClutterClearingChoices on

    Great ideas for home office, office at home, or office at the office. When you mentioned the nonworking writing implements, I immediately thought of my teenagers’ desktops! LOL

    One of my favorite paper clutter organizing books, since we all have different organizing styles, is “How to Be Organized in Spite of Yourself: Time and Space Management That Works With Your Personal Style” by Sunny Schlenger and Roberta Roesch (Paperback – Jan 1, 1999).

    When you figure out what “type” you are in her book, then that is the only section you need to read. The types of suggestions are tailored to the organizing preferences of the type.

  5. posted by denise on

    i am very organized and i am always trying to simplify things but i feel like i spend so much time doing these things, i was wondering what techniques readers have used to make their life more simple.

  6. posted by Sue on

    I like the “quick & simple” do it lists or suggestions.

    It’s as if you have a quick game of musical chairs. Something fun, fast & productive.

    I know I’ve seen the “if you have 5 minutes, you can do this” lists, whether here or elsewhere. I want to make a job jar of those things!! I will only need to be able to find the job jar!!

  7. posted by Shalin on

    Ready Set Go! 🙂

    I like this list a lot – I think I’ll make it a 1-2x monthly thing I do.


  8. posted by Dawn F. on

    Lots of great pro-active things to do! Great for home offices, too.

    I second Stagetecture’s comments to actually clean the surfaces with Clorox wipes!

  9. posted by Bec on

    I came back from lunch, saw this and did it straight away. My desk is now lovely and tidy and I’ve got all those stupid little things I had been avoiding doing (for no reason) out of the way. Unfortunately there is always more work to do…!

  10. posted by schmei on

    Keeping this on my screen today – will be doing this between other tasks.


  11. posted by heather t on

    Love this idea – specific job, the required steps and GO!

    More like this! Maybe one per day?

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  13. posted by Pippi on

    The second point on gather up pens & pencils.

    I was in an office yesterday, on the counter they kept their pens standing upright in vases with stones. It looked nice.

  14. posted by Handy Man, Crafty Woman on

    I’ve been pretty good about filing and keeping my in-box cleared out; but I need to work on my desk drawers a bit. Plus, I need to get rid of that mess of post-its everywhere. I’m too post-it dependent!

  15. posted by knitwych on

    Great list. I’ve cut and pasted it into a weekly appointment in my Outlook calendar.

  16. posted by Karli on

    Another way to cut down on office supply clutter is to use only retractable pens and markers or mechanical pencils. You don’t need a pencil sharpener and you wont have a lot of dried out pens and markers because they are missing caps.

  17. posted by Meredith on

    Love this! My trick is to do all of this regularly, but give myself just 15 minutes every two days to keep up with it. Helps immensely.

    This post is perfectly up my alley!

  18. posted by Ross on

    This was a great post. Took a minute to read, and another minute to finish everything. Now I feel like I can accomplish something today.

  19. posted by Anna on

    Lists like this are SO helpful! 5 things I can be proactive about RIGHT NOW… thanks for the “jump-start” on my organization today.

  20. posted by MsDasha on

    This is a great post. I would love to see more posts like this, even if they get a bit repetitive.

  21. posted by ynaffit on

    Awesome! I like these mini challenge-type posts! I’m getting ready to move in 5 months, er, put the house in 2 months, I NEED it!

  22. posted by Jennifer on

    All great comments on a great post. When I was a classroom teacher, I used to set aside these tasks for Friday afternoon when my brain could not handle much more. It also made my Monday start on the right foot.
    PS Testing markers and pens is a great job for students serving detention or kids who need a small chore. My 2.5 year old son does this for me – but he is not in detention (=

  23. posted by Jack on

    Great post, and I like how straightforward it is.

    Quick question for post-it notes- I use post-its on my monitor to remind myself of systems that I keep forgetting – for example, they recently changed a simple one step data entry recording to requiring that I record the same thing in four different ways. I’d love to unclutter the process, but it’s not my call. 😉 So I rely on the post-its to remind me until it sinks in. Is there a better way to do this?

  24. posted by Richard | on

    number one is a definite if you’re on of those post it note people. External clutter leads to an un sound state of mind. Great short article. Loved it.

  25. posted by Paul on

    I went for it today… and here are the results.


    Thanks for the post.

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  27. posted by Magchunk on

    My hold-up is the stack of papers that need files made for them before they can be filed. I really need to just move my butt and get them filed but it always seems to be last on my list. Moving it to first!

  28. posted by Malcolm on

    @Jack – post it notes can be done in a paperless mode, so perhaps that is less cluttered. The on-screen notes I use are called stickies – and they work really well. No need to have a sticky pad nearby, it all happens on the computer even in the middle of running something else, it is really easy. Windows, don’t know if it is available for Mac or not.

  29. posted by Malcolm on

    And another thing, I forgot to add that I agree with all the others quoted above – these 5 easy specific things to do are a great motivator! A regular spot like this would be great. Sort of reminds me of gardening columns in the newspapers – “this week bulbs should be stored for next spring. Clean up fallen leaves. Prune the roses now. Next week, we look at a simple project for rainy winter days”….

  30. posted by Mardi on

    @Malcolm – Macs come with a sticky note program already installed so your advice applies to Mac users too!

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