Want to clear office clutter but don’t know how to get started organizing a messy office? Today, I’m walking you through a few simple steps that will help you get started with organizing your home office and creating a more productive workspace!
How to Get Started Organizing a Messy Office
When you work from home, organizing your workspace can be a challenge. Offices are often doing double or triple duty and clutter mounts quickly.
Getting started is often the hardest part. Just looking at a messy and disorganized home office causes overwhelm and suddenly, your motivation has left you.
But don’t lose hope and give up on the idea of an organized and productive workspace!
Whether you’re struggling with paperwork, a small desk, lack of storage, disorganized files, or all the above and more, the steps in today’s post will show you how to start organizing a messy office!
Let’s jump in!
The Office Decluttering Disco
To kick off this organizing party, let’s have a little fun with what I like to call the “office decluttering disco!”
Start by gathering a few supplies:
- a trash can or bag
- 2-3 empty bins or baskets
- a high energy playlist
- a timer
Now, cue up that high energy playlist and set a timer for 15 minutes.
Start the timer and get moving!
Start decluttering your office by:
- throwing away any trash you find
- building a pile of items that need recycled
- creating a pile for items that need to be shredded
- filling one of the empty bins with items that belong in other rooms or spaces
- quickly putting away any items you can
- filling an empty bin with items that don’t have homes
Start in one corner of your office or on one side of your workspace and move quickly, tossing trash, adding items to appropriate piles or bins, and putting items away.
When the timer goes off, catch your breath and get ready for round 2!
Take Out the Trash, Recycling, and Shred
Set your timer for 15 minutes and take out the trash and recycling.
Then, if you have a shredder, go ahead and shred the pile you created during your office decluttering disco. If you don’t have a shredder, put those items in a bin with a lid and make a note to take them to be shredded the next time you run errands.
And onto round 3!
Put Away Items That Belong Elsewhere
Keep that high energy playlist pumping, because you’ve got more work to do, and this is a perfect opportunity to add a little cardio to your day! 😉
Start your timer for 15 minutes again and grab the bin you filled with items that belong in other rooms. Move quickly through your home returning those items to the places they belong!
If you finish before the timer goes off, bravo!
Any idea what’s next?
Yep, you guessed it!
Assign Homes to Homeless Items
This round is a little slower paced, so it’s a great time to catch your breath (especially if you’re out of shape and breathing hard like me)!
One of the reasons we struggle to get and stay organized is because we don’t assign homes to every item in our office. In order to pick up after yourself, you have to know where items belong, right?!
In this step, you’re going to take the items in your “Assign Homes” bin and give them homes. These are any items that had you pausing and/or scratching your head during your office decluttering disco.
Before you jump in, here are a few organizing guidelines that will help you with this step.
KEEP SIMILAR ITEMS TOGETHER
It’s important to keep similar or same items together.
For example, all of your writing utensils, markers, pens, and highlighters stay together. As do your hanging folders or your magazines.
This helps you to stay more organized, because these similar items are all located in one place.
It also helps you to know if you have multiples of certain items, or if your collection of specific items is getting out of hand.
STORE ITEMS WHERE THEY’RE USED
Another way to make assigning homes super simple is to store items where they’re used.
You wouldn’t keep your computer in your bedroom if you primarily used it in your home office, would you?
And you wouldn’t keep the TV remotes in the kitchen when the TV is in the basement.
Makes sense, right?
CONSIDER FREQUENCY OF USE
When assigning homes to items consider how frequently they’re used. This suggestion takes the “store items where they’re used” principle a step further.
If you use an item daily or multiple times a day, give it a home that’s easily accessible from your desk. Within arm’s reach is ideal. This might include items like writing utensils, client files, and sticky notes.
For items that you use less frequently, assign them homes further away from your immediate workspace.
If you’re getting up from your desk multiple times a day to retrieve an item, you might want to consider relocating it closer to where it’s used. And on the flip side, if items at or in your desk are gathering dust, relocate them to less accessible spots and open up that space for more frequently used items.
Okay, now that you have a few guiding principles in your toolbox, it’s time to start assigning homes to those items in your bin.
Here are a few examples to get your started:
- Keep your writing utensils in a bin with compartments; you can organize them by type (if that’s your style) but they’re also together in one place.
- Keep small office supplies in one drawer or bin: paper clips, binder clips, push pins, etc.
- Assign a drawer or bin to office tools like staplers, stapler removers, hole punches, scissors, etc.
- Save valuable desk space by storing extra office supplies elsewhere: in a bin in a closet or on a bookshelf.
Stuff Still on the Floor
Okay, you’ve taken some major steps in the how to get started organizing a messy office process. Go, you!
Ideally, you’ve already dealt with any items on your floor. But if there’s stuff still strewn around the floor, deal with them now.
Clear Your Desk
Your final step in the how to get started organizing a messy office process, is to clear the top of your desk.
Follow the same process as above:
- Throw away any trash you missed in the first round
- Recycle or shred items
- Return items on your desk to other rooms if they don’t belong in your office
- And assign homes to any homeless items hanging out on your desktop
This is also a great time to commit to clearing your desk every day at the end of your work time. This will go far in helping you to maintain the office organization you established today!
Join the 7-Day Office Organization Challenge
Want even more simple, actionable steps for organizing your office along with extra support and tips?
Check out the FREE 7-Day Office Organization Challenge!
Each day for 7 days, we’ll tackle one office trouble spot, get it decluttered and organized, and create processes (habits & routines) to KEEP it that way.
Sign up by clicking the image below!
How to Get Started Organizing a Messy Office
Today we covered a few simple steps to help you beat overwhelm and get started organizing a messy office.
By gathering trash, recycling, shredding, items that belong elsewhere, and homeless items, then processing each group, you can restore order to your home office without experiencing overwhelm or burnout!
Take that a step further by committing to clearing your desk at the end of every workday, and you’ll maintain the hard work you put in today!
If you enjoyed today’s post, you might find these related posts helpful:
- The #1 Habit You Need to Make Office Organization Successful
- 5-Minute Organization Hacks for Your Office
- 3 Super Simple Ways to Organize Your Office Today
- What No One Tells You About Getting Organized
I hope these steps to get started organizing a messy office help you improve your organization so that you can make the most of your business building time!
Don’t forget to pin it, so you can refer to these steps later!
Good luck with your office organization! Let me know if you have any questions and if you found these steps helpful!
Join the Office Organization Challenge!
Each day for 7 days, we'll tackle one office trouble spot, get it decluttered and organized, and create processes to KEEP it that way!
Take back your work space, beat overwhelm, and make the most of your business building time!