Stacks of papers, magazines dating back to 1999, stray socks, old bank statements and floppy disk drives. If your home office has become the final resting place for various odds and ends, it’s time to grab the wastepaper basket! “Cluttered surfaces, cluttered mind,” quips Laura Wittmann author of Clutter Rehab: 101 Tips & Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It! who says it can be overwhelming to reorganize an office.
Her advice? “Break it down into steps,” says Wittmann, a professional organizer and founder of the popular blogger at I’m an Organizing Junkie and the mother of three. “It’s hard to do everything all at once.” She suggests you devote 30 minutes every few days to organize sections of your office.
Since most offices have a lot of paper, Wittmann encourages wannabe organizers to develop a system for filing. Have the paper shredder at the ready, too. If you’ve been holding on to every bank statement and receipt, it’s time to shred. You might even consider moving your financial statements online to cut down on paper (if you haven’t done so already).
“Usually what happens is that after 30 minutes you look at your work and think, ‘That looks good,’ which helps to motivate you to keep going,” Wittmann says.
Ready to start your home office spring cleaning? This checklist can help you get going:
- Take everything off your desk surfaces and clean the desktop and toss any items you no longer need; decide on places for the remaining items.
- Work in sections of your office – taking out all items and tossing what you don’t need and deciding on a place for those items you’re keeping.
- Create a filing system for your papers to use to keep your office clean all year long.
- Take down light fixtures and wash (you may be able to do this in the dishwasher).
- Wash the baseboards, door ceilings, windowsills, doors and walls.
- Wipe down any cupboard surfaces.
- Vacuum and wash vents.
- Wash windows on the inside and out.
- Dust any additional light fixtures and lampshades.
- Launder any window treatments you may have.
- Reorganize closets – toss out any items you haven’t used in the past year.
- Wipe down any picture frames and mirrors using glass cleaner.
- Dust any decorative items you may have in your office.
- Vacuum the entire room.
- Take a picture of your newly cleaned office to post on your Facebook page to show off your hard work!