As with any spring clean, the amount of junk and clutter you’ve collected over the winter is seriously panic-inducing. One of the biggest culprits of them all? The home office. Even if you managed to keep your workspace somewhat tidy all winter long, there are probably still a few things that you’re hanging on to that should be tossed. We turned to professional organizer Jeffrey Phillip to get the 411 on exactly what needs to be purged come spring. Jeffrey’s top tips — from getting rid of pens that don’t work (gasp!) to ditching the instruction manuals — will guide you to workspace bliss. See all of the must-purge items below, and get ready to tackle this office project in the coming week.
1. Pens and Markers That No Longer Work: Dump out your entire pen collection and get started on finding out which ones don’t work anymore. There’s nothing more annoying than reaching into a pen cup and scratching a note into the paper with a dead nib.
2. Blank CDs: Can you remember the last time you burned a CD? Probably not, because *no one* shares info with CDs anymore. Clear up some space by getting rid of those CD packages and stick to sharing photos via the cloud.
3. Rarely Used Cables and Wires That Come With Tech Gadgets: A person only needs so many USB cables. If you’ve discovered a drawer dedicated to cables, it’s time to start untangling. Decide which cables you actually use and which you can recycle.
4. Holiday Greeting Cards Received in 2015: Some cards hold sentimental meaning, but other cards are just a stock photo of a tree and you can probably ditch ’em guilt-free.
5. Holiday Receipts for Kept Gifts and Things Without Warranties: If you haven’t taken it back by now, you’re keeping it. Clean out your junk drawer of all those crumpled receipts and revel in the new space.
6. Old Phones: Jeffrey jokingly teases that we all have a flip phone in a drawer somewhere, and he’s probably not wrong. Make the world a little bit better and recycle those old phones.
7. Old Computers: Select > Move to Trash > Recycle Trash Bin. Just a little computer humor for you. If you have an old laptop or desktop gathering dust in your office, wipe it clean and recycle it.
8. Promo Items You’ve Collected from Work Functions, Events, Parties, etc.: Yay for free pens, mugs and mouse pads. Now that they’re cluttering up your desk, it’s time to decide if you really want them or if you’d rather have a pretty set of desk organizers that are actually in your color palette.
9. Stacks of Old Magazines: Unless you’re collecting them for some reason, it’s probably okay to throw out all those old magazines piling up by your desk. Jeffrey’s personal recommendation is that if it is over two months old, chances are you won’t get around to reading it.
10. Half-Started and Finished Lists on Various Pads of Paper, Post-Its and Notebooks: You’re a busy lady and you make a lot of lists, but it’s highly likely the majority of those lists aren’t relevant anymore. Toss the finished ones and consolidate the ones that you’re still working on into one notepad.
11. Party Invites on Your Bulletin Board from Last Spring: Yes, the invite to your cousin’s birthday was adorable. Unless you have serious intentions of scrapbooking it, you can probably throw it out and make room on your cork board for more relevant news and notes.
12. VHS Tapes and Music CDs/DVDs: Now that your entire music and movie collection is online (thank you, Netflix), Jeffrey suggests tossing the tapes and using a site like www.decluttr.com to sell the CDs/DVDs.
13. Instruction Manuals You Can Get Online: Almost every single electronic device you own has a manual that is online. If you’re nervous about ditching those pamphlets, you can always bookmark the online PDF so it’s easy to find if you ever forget how to put your coffee maker back together.
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(Photos via Getty)