‘Tis the season to purge, tackle those cluttered closets, and deep clean *everything* in sight. Follow my Spring into Clean series with Brit + Co through March and April for tips, hacks, and tricks. Happy (spring) cleaning, all!
Your home office is the space you’re supposed to be the most productive in, but sometimes it can get cluttered with *all* the things. Getting rid of this extra stuff (read: distactions) will help you become more productive, quicker. Believe me; I know! Below are seven things you can easily purge from your office space. With a small chunk of time, a few storage boxes, and a great playlist, your home office will be decluttered and functional in no time!
1. Old cables, Cords, and Electronic Items: Most offices have wires, cables, and peripheral devices that just sit around and collect dust. Unless they’re associated with an item you regularly use, keep them tucked away in a cute storage box. And if you have a spare thumb drive, clunky keyboard, or the charger from your old iPhone, toss ’em. Be sure to find a safe disposal site, like Best Buy, to drop them off.
2. Old Computer Equipment: You have a swanky new laptop — very sleek, very now. It’s probably rose gold and beautiful. So why keep your old one? Transfer data onto a cloud storage site or onto an external hard drive and then take the computer to get wiped. Once clean, donate it to a family member or friend who needs it or recycle it.
3. Doubles of Anything (Scissors, Boxes of Staples, etc.): Look around and see what you have two of. You don’t need dueling staplers clogging up your desk space. Group like items together and fish out the inferior ones. Donate them, take them to work, or ask your local school if they’re in need.
4. Old Paperwork: One of my most favorite things to do in the office is to get rid of old papers. It’s sooo cathartic and productive at the same time. Depending on the paperwork, you may need to keep it for up to seven years in the USA, so make sure you have a good filing cabinet. Once that time has come and gone, flip through those files and get ready to shred it, shred it real good.
5. Extra Office Supplies: I was recently decluttering my office and found a container of about 50,234 paper clips. There’s no way I’d ever need that many in a lifetime. To pare down, I decided to retain anything that will be used over the course of one year, nothing more. So think about how many staples, sticky notes, and flags you use over a year and store that. Anything else you should donate, and be sure to remember this moment when you buy supplies in bulk. Consider splitting office supplies with a friend to save money and space.
6. Swag You Got from Conferences: Who doesn’t love a free water bottle or screen cleaner? But honestly, how many do you really need? Have a look at your current swag setup and see what you’ve got going on. Give away anything you aren’t going to use, no matter how cute it is. Perhaps a colleague or student you know could actually benefit from this stuff. I’ve gotten so ruthless with it that I’ll simply leave swag at an event or turn it down if I know I can’t use it or don’t need it. Unless you love it, don’t let it clutter up your space.
7. Books You Don’t Read or Reference Regularly: Books I’ve read have generally already taught me what I need to know. Unless it’s been designed to be a reference guide, assuming I still need to reference that subject matter, I’ll move on from the book and give it to a friend or donate it to the library. Sort through your bookcase and anything you don’t use on the regular, and toss the extras.