For the next two or three posts, I’m going to be doing a mini-series of quick-fire posts in response to questions I’ve had from readers and friends.
This week’s post is all about getting started.
The home office
Over Sunday morning coffee at The Almanack, my friend admitted that she needed a serious sort-out in her home office but really didn’t know where to start. Her daughter was using the space to do her morning make-up routine, plus the room was rammed full, but not necessarily with items that belonged there.
So, here are some handy tips if you’re keen to declutter a space like this; I’d be keen to know what works for you, too!
First, sweep the room
I don’t mean getting the sweeping brush out for this one! Simply, swoop in and remove anything from the room that shouldn’t be in there.
Take out the rubbish, the empty cups and the non-office items that have settled there. Immediately throw away, shred or donate things you don’t need. Do this as quickly as you can. Where possible, don’t relocate the items to another space unless you really have to. Let them go!
Second, re-home the misfits
Relocate things whose rightful home is elsewhere, including your daughter’s mirror, brushes, foundation, eyeshadow and so on. If they are going to share a corner of the office, make sure there’s somewhere for them to go when not being used.
If you’re finding it hard to be decisive about whether or not keep specific items, box them up. If you don’t retrieve them from the box within 21 days, let them go.
The key here is that you don’t want to be organising your belongings until you’ve done these first two stages.
Once you have let go of the items that don’t live in the room, you can arrange your belongings. Try my solution for paperwork if you’re not sure what approach to take.
By all means, make use of fabulous storage systems that are readily available from places like IKEA. If the room is small, make sure you’re using the height in the space in the form of shelving.
Finally, make room for things that you’d enjoy having in the space. In my office at work, I have a bit of greenery (not all real!) and some artwork on the walls that makes the space a little more inviting. I have also softened my empty shelving with some bunting, attached to the front with drawing pins.
And if the view isn’t quite as dramatic as the one in the above picture, make sure your screensaver is the loveliest it can be.
Up next: How to get rid of things I don’t want to sell.
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