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Organize + Energize: 10 Things You Can Get Rid of in Your Office

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


The thought of this task may overwhelm you, but if you break this process down, you can check this off of your to-do list in a week! Yes, it can be done. Put one of these tasks on your to-do list a day and block off 10-20 minutes. Stop procrastinating and get it done!

Here are 10 things you can get rid of now:

Business cards. Take a look around your office. You’ll find them wrapped in elastics, on your desk, in drawers, on bookshelves, and there may even be some in your pocket. It’s time to create a system for these business cards or get rid of them. How long does it take you to find one when you need it? Do you even go to look for them? Think about how you want to function going forward and put a plan into motion.

Dead plants. How many of you have neglected plants in your office? If you can’t nurse them back to health, get rid of them. Dead plants equal stagnant energy and you don’t want that vibe in your office.

Anything expired. Open your drawers. Do you see expired medication or food? Included in this are the 20 packages of ketchup and duck sauce that exploded and are creating a sticky mess at the bottom of the drawer. Empty these drawers, categorize, throw and purchase drawer organizers and create working systems.

Bulletin boards. I organized an office once and we cleared off the bulletin board and there was calendar under there from the 70’s. Take inventory of what is there and only keep what you need to refer to on a daily, weekly basis on this board. There are so many great organizing products out there that you may find you can get rid of the bulletin board and find a better product to work with going forward.

Junk mail. It’s probably buried under a pile on your desk or stuffed in drawers. You know it’s junk, but for whatever reason, you decided not to open it and just left it on the desk and now it’s taken over your desk. Get in the habit of tossing the junk mail before it even hits your desk.

Anything collecting dust. If it’s collecting dust, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to be using it next week. Maybe you haven’t touched it in years! Take inventory of these items and make a decision to toss.

Office supplies. I’m talking about the dried up, leaky pens and highlighters. Toss those rubber bands that have lost the elasticity and will snap when you pull on them. When you’re emptying your drawers going through expired food and meds, tackle this at the same time.

Old binders/books. Take a moment to look at your bookshelf and take every single thing off it. Make your toss and keep piles and get rid of anything you know you’ll never refer to again. Categorize and re-organize your bookshelf.

Technology that’s broken. This includes that box of cords sitting in the closet and the broken adding machine. It’s time to let this stuff go. Take inventory of the cords and toss anything that doesn’t have a match.

Sticky notes stuck all over. There’s a better way to contain notes than to stick them all over your desk. You can use a notebook, a to-do list, a binder, your electronics, laminated sheets, or clear plastic sheets in a stand up vertical binder. Everybody functions differently so it depends what you’re writing on those stickies and how you’re functioning. Think about why you’re using them and is there a better way to be more efficient and productive with them.

If you’re thinking that you don’t have time to tackle these small projects, it’s time to get organized. If you can’t find 10 minutes in your day, then you need to re-evaluate how you’re functioning on a day-to-day basis. It’s time to create working organized systems to help you become more efficient and productive.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE.


Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.


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