10 Tips for Decluttering Your Office Before Moving
Having a cluttered working space can significantly impact productivity and stress levels. When everything is scattered in piles, nothing is prioritized, and you feel pressured to get everything done at once, it can be hard to get anything done.
Add moving into the mixture and things get much more complicated. Finding a moving company, packing, coordinating with employees, and notifying contacts of the address change are only a few steps in the moving process. BUT there are some ways to make this process a little less stressful and a big part of that is decluttering. While it can take some time to sift through everything in your working space, doing this will not only save a lot of time and money during the moving process, but help you to be more efficient and productive in the long run.
Check out these 10 tips for decluttering your office before moving:
1. Start with Nothing
One of the most common ways people declutter is starting with their cluttered space and removing things. But this doesn’t often work because you still end up with a lot of stuff.
Instead, try clearing everything from your space and then adding items you need a little at a time. This means clearing out the top of your desk and drawers, putting them in a box, and start working. When you need something, grab it from the box, and give it a home on your desk. After a few days, you will find what you really need vs. what is “nice to have,” making it easy to get rid of the unnecessary items.
2. Consider What You Really Need
If you feel a little uncomfortable about starting from scratch, you can also think about what you really need at your desk and what can be donated or thrown away. Did you know that we clutter because we think everything is important. When going through your belongings, think “Do I really need this item? Is it still usable? Am I keeping because I really need it or I might need it?”
One way to think about it is if you don’t remember that it was there, you probably don’t need it. But after answering the questions above, you should have a good idea of what to do with the items – even if you don’t like the real answer.
3. Organize by Priority
After figuring out which items to keep and get rid of, next is deciding where to put the items you do want. This is important since you will want quick and easy access for the items you use the most. If your desk has drawers, organize them in the order of importance, starting with the closest drawer and working your way down.
If you use a lot of paper, use the left-to-right method. When work comes in, keep it on the left, moving it toward the middle as you work on it, and shift it to the right once it’s completed. This way, you and others will easily know what is done and what you have to do for the day. It will also be clear for the tasks to be completed next.
It’s normal for clutter to start building again after decluttering, but just remember to keep up with the flow of paperwork and not to let that or other items pile up in your working space again.
4. Attack the Hoard of Cables
Especially if you have a complex server, multiple computers, not to mention charging cables, this can quickly turn into a chaotic mess. But there are some simple tricks to tame the hoard. It may sound strange, but attach rain gutters to the bottom of the desk to keep them off the surface. You can also look into cable boxes for an efficient way to hide everything.
5. Identify the Most Cluttered Spots
If you look at your working space at a distance, you may not find the cluttered spots. But you might be surprised that if you took a picture, you might find them easily. Take a few pictures with your phone and try it out.
6. Expand Your Working Space
If you really have a lot of important stuff, you may want to consider enlarging your work space (or invest in extra storage space). But in terms of enlarging the space, there are a few cost-effective ways to do it rather than buying a brand new desk.
If you have a small office space, think vertically instead of horizontally. Some ways include raising your monitor and mounting shelves to the wall, making use of every inch at your desk. As long as everything stays organized, this is a good solution for items that just cannot be thrown out.
7. Use Hidden Areas
If you don’t care to use traditional shelving, you may want to use pegboards for hiding cables, routers, and other equipment behind your desk.
You can also hide things on the back of your monitor or use clips and magnets to mount papers and supplies to the wall. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish.
8. Designate a Spot for Everything
Everything you need on your desk should have a home in which it fits neatly next to everything else. If they don’t, then the whole desk becomes a home for everything.
If you’re having a difficult time organizing, you can use the breadbox test to make things easier: if it’s smaller than a breadbox, put it away in a canister or drawer.
9. Clean Off Your Desk Every Evening
Regardless of how clean you keep your workspace, it’s normal for it to get messy throughout the day. This is okay because you’re working and being productive. But when things are not cleaned up regularly, the working space will become messy over time.
To prevent this from happening, clean off the desk at the end of the day everyday. Taking 5 – 10 minutes each day to straighten things up is a lot easier than tackling large messes every few months. You will even feel more motivated to come into work every day knowing you have a clean desk.
10. Don’t Overdo It
While everyone needs a clean, organized working space, you can overdo it. Becoming obsessive with maintaining a clean working space can result in wasted time that could have been spent working. A good rule of thumb is to think that if something wasn’t wasting your time in the first place, there’s no need to organize.
Recognize when it looks “good enough” and when it’s time to stop worrying about decluttering and get back to work. Keeping your working space spotless can, in fact, make an impact on your productivity. You may even forget why you started organizing in the first place: to be more productive and efficient at work.
Decluttering Before Moving
Moving is a great time to declutter since there will be less items to move after you’re done. While it does take extra time to go through and organize your belongings, it will be well worth the investment instead of spending extra time to move junk you don’t really need.
Need Extra Help?
If you’re running particularly short on time before moving, Chicago Office Movers offer professional decluttering services as an add on service to the move. As a full service moving company, we can also handle a number of other tasks to help you save time, including decommissioning, shredding, furniture assembly, move management, and more.
Moving everything from warehouses to libraries, you can count on us to move your business safely and efficiently. Our professionals are trained, insured, background-checked, and experienced to pack, move, assemble furniture, and provide any other service for which you might need.
For more information, or to request a free estimate, contact Chicago Office Movers at 312-244-2246.