While the rest of the world spent Thanksgiving weekend eating turkey and wrestling Christmas decorations down from the attic, I cleaned my office.
It was beyond overdue. When I get busy, I put off office-related housekeeping until I have a couple free hours. Only those hours never seem to materialize. But having four days off gave me more than enough time to relax and still get around to cleaning.
Here’s why it’s a good idea to declutter your office on a regular basis:
1. You find things. I found a couple gift cards stuffed into a drawer full of business cards – perfect timing for the Christmas shopping I’m about to start.
2. You toss things. There’s nothing like the march of time to help you decide which papers need saving and which can be safely thrown away. Inevitably I save less than anticipated because the information is dated or not as important as I originally thought.
3. You file papers. Every pay stub or expense receipt filed now brings you that much closer to being ready to file your income tax return next year.
4. You shred papers. Nothing beats the satisfaction of watching years-old checking account or SEP_IRA statements eaten up by the shredder (I don’t save these anymore because I can get access to everything I need online).
5. You get ideas. Ever picked up a business card or brochure and thought, ‘That’d make a great story?’ only to come back to the office, toss it in a pile and forget it in the course of daily business? Sifting through piles brings those story ideas back to the surface.
6. You feel good. I don’t know about you, but when my office is organized, I feel better about myself, and work. Same applies to my closet and kitchen cupboards.
7. Your office looks great. My office is right off the house’s front entry. If it’s clean, I won’t have to be embarrassed when people visit during the holidays.
8. You give things away. There’s still a month left to donate items you no longer use. Thanks to my decluttering, I’ve got a pile of old electronics – scanner, cell phones, tape recorders – ready to take to Free Geek, and a bag of books that I’ll try to sell to Powell’s and if they don’t take them, give away.
9. You make room for new stuff. One of my 2011 New Year’s resolutions was replacing my ancient desktop PC with a new one. But I vowed not to bring anything new into my office until I’d gotten rid of old junk. Now that I’m clutter free, I can shop with a clear conscience.
10. You rid yourself of nagging guilt. The knowledge that I needed to clean my office but wasn’t doing it was mental baggage – i.e. guilt – weighing me down. Now that it’s done and off my physical and mental to-do lists I feel better about myself.
Had your own office cleaning revelations? Please share by leaving a comment.