- 41 DIYs for a Beautiful & Organized Office
- 21 Awesome DIY Desk Organizers That Make The Most Of Your Office Space
- 1. Framed Chicken Wire Organizers
- 2. DIY Magnetic Color Block Desk Accessories
- 3. Repurposed Wine Cork Tissue Box Cover
- 4. Neat Gold Desk Organizer
- 5. Upcycled Bed Spring Letter Holder
- 6. DIY Decorated Magazine Holders
- 7. Simple DIY Clip On Desk Organizers
- 8. Wooden DIY Modern Monitor Stand
- 9. Upcycled Branch Colored Pencil Holder
- 10. Magnetic Clothespins
- 11. Easy DIY Paper Sorter And Organizer
- 12. Lovely DIY Golden Desk Dishes
- 13. DIY Kate Spade Inspired Acrylic Desk Accessories
- 14. DIY Office Lazy Susan
- 15. Simple DIY Painted Storage Boxes
- 16. Repurposed Dresser Drawer Desk Organizer
- 17. Repurposed Cereal Box Organizer
- 18. DIY Coiled Rope Desk Accessories
- 19. Upcycled Tin Can Organizers
- 20. DIY Triangle Wall Organizer
- 21. Simple Wire Wall Grid
- Related Content
- 21 Clever DIY Office Organization Ideas To Maximize Productivity
- Here are 21 Clever DIY Office Organization Ideas To Maximize Productivity
- 40 Funny Letter Board Quotes – Hilarious Letter Board Sayings
- 20 Awesome DIY Office Organization Ideas That Boost Efficiency
- 1. Focus on Building Energy and Reducing Stress
- 2. Attack Your Emails Ruthlessly
- 3. Learn to Let Go
- 4. Find What Works For You
- 5. Keep It Simple
- Final Thoughts
- More Tips on Spring Cleaning
41 DIYs for a Beautiful & Organized Office
- Caylin HarrisPersonalize your plain old notebook with an interesting fabric to give this traditional office supply a unique makeover. You'll be more tempted to keep up with your notes and to-dos when your notebook looks so pretty!
- Lovely IndeedThis easy DIY calendar can be reused every year! Just paint the blocks in a fun color, pop on some stickers and turn the blocks over each day.
- Make And TellLimited on drawer space? Give yourself somewhere to store all of your desk essentials. This handmade wood desk organizer is perfect for holding files, your phone and pens.
- The MerrythoughtKeep your stack of business cards neat and organized. This DIY makes it easy for you to quickly grab a business card to hand out the next time you need it.Continue to 5 of 41 below.
- Rita ShehanRecycle empty food cans and transform them into pretty office supply containers with this easy DIY project.
- Lovely IndeedCustomize your desk with this clever IKEA hack. Using 3 different IKEA products, you can create this minimalistic desk to fit your space.
- A Beautiful MessGo glam with a luxurious faux fur chair that is as soft to sit on as it is easy to make. The addition of the plush fur will make your old chair much more comfortable, not to mention it will cover up any damage on the old cushion.
- A Kailo Chic LifePlay up your mundane paperwork with these fun file folders. Simply follow the project instructions and peel and stick the gold foil text onto brightly colored file folders.Continue to 9 of 41 below.
- Passion ShakeRan room on your desk? Take advantage of vertical space with a DIY hanging organizer. These hanging cups are perfect to keep your office supplies within easy reach.
- Studio DIYThis DIY is inspired by garbage cans found in fast food restaurants. Give your filing cabinet this hilarious makeover to play up your space.
- Studio DIYGive your office chair some extra flair by decorating it with patches. Another way to decorate your fabric chair is with an assortment of pins.
- BurkatronHang your to-do lists, notes and photos on this modern DIY memo board. You can make one for your office using garden mesh and black spray paint.Continue to 13 of 41 below.
- Lovely IndeedThese chic and trendy notebooks are perfect for the office and are as nice as any notebooks you might find in stores.
- The MerrythoughtGive your electronic pencil sharpener a modern makeover. Change its look by covering the exterior with thin pieces of wood.
- A Joyful RiotJot down meetings and reminders on this giant calendar. It'll be difficult to ever forget a project, meeting or deadline again with this in your vicinity.
- A Beautiful MessMaking a hairpin desk is easy and it's a great way to maximize your space and make the room appear larger. From a long desk that gives you plenty of room to spread out your work, to a tiny work surface that fits your small space, you can make a custom hairpin desk to suit your needs. Get started making your desk by adding pre-made desk legs to a plywood board.Continue to 17 of 41 below.
- A Kailo Chic LifeGo ahead and add some fun to your office decor by covering a basic wall clock with confetti!
- Homey Oh MyReplace your flimsy paper file folders with a sturdy leather folder. Un paper folders, this handmade leather one will better protect your documents.
- BurkatronKeep paper clutter to a minimum with a DIY paper holder. This wooden holder will keep important mail or documents front and center, standing upright on your desk.
- Tell Love And PartyTake ordinary office supply storage boxes and spruce them up with paint so they both double as decor and are easier to distinguish from one another.Continue to 21 of 41 below.
- A Kailo Chic LifeDon't let the work day get you down in the summer months with this quirky DIY flamingo pool float pencil holder.
- Drawn to DIYCan you tell that these desk organizers are actually made cardboard? The use of wood contact paper gives them a chic and modern look. Make matching sets for your documents, pens and succulents.
- Homemade By CarmonaThis beautiful DIY flip calendar will help add some color to your desk and serve as an immediate visual cue for times when you need to record the date.
- Make And TellGive a modern makeover to your old literature organizer. This stylish DIY is perfect to help you sort your paperwork or craft and office supplies.Continue to 25 of 41 below.
- Homey Oh MyHead into your next meeting with a stylish but professional gold striped file folder. This quick project is perfect for storing your reports in a professional manner.
- Dream a Little BiggerMakeover your old office chair with paint. Changing up the color of the seat and legs will give the chair a brand new look.
- The MerrythoughtThis sturdy DIY concrete desk is the perfect replacement for that old flimsy desk you've kept around since your college days.Continue to 29 of 41 below.
- Homey Oh MyPrint this free grid cover template to wrap around your notebooks. This is a great way to dress up generic notebooks or cover the graphic cartoon notebook you weren't really into, but the stores were all sold the plain ones.
- A Joyful RiotA pretty color blocked chair adds a great amount of interest to any home office space. Mix up your neutral decor with pastels or bold and bright colors.
- A Beautiful MessShowcase your personality by adding patches to your laptop case. This quick DIY is an easy way to transform a boring laptop case into something you adore.
- Fish and BullSort all your supplies with this DIY wood wall organizer inspired by Anthropologie. If you want more than one idea for some wall organizers you can check out these awesome DIYs.Continue to 33 of 41 below.
- Damask LoveLet everyone know who's in charge with this boss desk accessory. It adds some sparkle and authority to any office space.
- BurkatronUse a roll of marble contact paper to give a glamorous makeover to your office clipboard.
- The Lovely DrawerThis chic pocketed wall organizer is perfect for small office spaces. Save room on your desk and keep all your pens, pencils, scissors and tape all in one place within easy reach.
- A Beautiful MessHolographic home accents are very of-the-moment. One way to incorporate this trend into your decor is by crafting a holographic desk calendar. This DIY is perfect to keep track of your appointments and help you stay organized. Continue to 37 of 41 below.
- Sugar and ClothInstead of wasting countless sheets of paper or stacks of sticky notes, make a dry erase board for your desk to track all of your to-do lists and memos.
- BurkatronExpand your storage space by building a ladder shelf. The extra shelving is perfect for books, binders, art and anything else you keep in your office.
- Love MaeganRefresh your old or damaged desk by giving it a faux marble desktop makeover. Using contact paper, you can make your desk look a brand new luxurious tabletop without much work.
- Earnest Home Co.Keep your paper clicks, thumb tacks, pins and more together with this DIY magnetic holder. It will keep you from losing them and within easy reach when you need them.Continue to 41 of 41 below.
- Lovely IndeedThis cute DIY doubles as decor and it's the perfect way to sort your office supplies so you can find them quickly.
21 Awesome DIY Desk Organizers That Make The Most Of Your Office Space
Recently, I went into my home office and just started organizing. It’s something that I have needed to do for such a long time and I just kept putting it off.
I really can’t stand an unorganized desk but once you start piling things up, they just seem to take over. So, I spend a few hours organizing and cleaning and am happy to say that my office is now one of my favorite rooms in the house.
Little did I know then that there are so many wonderful DIY organizers that would have made my job so much easier.
I wanted to share these 21 DIY desk organizers with you to maybe help you when you are organizing your office. Whether you have an office space at work or you work from a home office, organization is key to getting anything done.
And, these DIY organizers are perfect for helping you to keep things in their place. These are all super simple DIY projects and many of them use upcycled or repurposed materials, which means that they are also super cheap.
I do love a good DIY organizer, these 50 genius command center ideas that will really help you to get your home organized.
I have to stay organized. Without organization, my life would literally fall apart. There are always so many appointments, sports activities, dinners and other things to keep track of.
If I get the least bit organized the entire system nearly shuts down! If you are the same way, these 21 DIY desk organizers are going to help you to keep track of everything and ensure that everything stays in its place.
And, if you need help keeping your lifestyle organized, take a look at these 25 DIY calendars and planners for a more organized life.
1. Framed Chicken Wire Organizers
These little desk organizers would be so simple to make yourself. You just add chicken wire to some wooden frames and that’s about it. These are great for helping to keep your desk organized.
You can use them to pin so many things and you could even clip smaller containers to them for holding pushpins, paper clips and so many other small office supplies.
These are on Etsy and you get five for $150, or you could make them yourself from hardware supplies.
2. DIY Magnetic Color Block Desk Accessories
These little DIY color block accessories are perfect for any number of desk supplies your pushpins and paper clips. You make these from DIY paper mache circular contains so they are super cheap and then you just paint and add your magnetic feature so that those tiny office supplies will stay in place.
3. Repurposed Wine Cork Tissue Box Cover
So this may not seem a desk organization project, but it is. This DIY repurposed wine cork tissue box cover doubles as a neat little cover for your tissues and a place to hold your notes.
You can stick notes to this with a pushpin since it’s made of cork and it helps to keep those post-it type notes off of your desk and computer screen.
Plus, this is a super easy tissue box cover to make and it does have a certain appeal, don’t you think?
4. Neat $3 Gold Desk Organizer
You can get this neat desk organizer from Anthropologie for around $50. Or, you can DIY it and make it for around $3. It’s a no brainer, really.
This one is made from all sorts of thrift store finds vases and tins that you just paint over and attach to a board.
You may already have everything on hand at home that you need to make this one, which would make it free! That’s much better than $50, don’t you think? Anthropologie knockoffs are some of my favorite DIY projects!
5. Upcycled Bed Spring Letter Holder
A small board and an old bed spring give you the means of making this wonderful desk organization letter holder.
You just use glue or screws to attach the spring to the wood and then you can decorate the wood however you want to make it match your office décor.
Or, you could simply take a look at this one that I found on Etsy. It’s just $12 and it’s made from a vintage spring from the 1950’s.
6. DIY Decorated Magazine Holders
Clean up the magazines and manuals on your desk with these DIY decorated magazine holders. You make these from a standard wooden magazine holder and some scrapbook paper. If you really want to save money and do a little upcycling while you are at it, you could also just cut out your magazine holders from upcycled cereal boxes and then cover them in the same way with scrapbook paper.
7. Simple DIY Clip On Desk Organizers
These little DIY clip on organizers are perfect if you don’t really have a lot of space in your office.
These clip right onto the side of your desk and can hold anything from pencils and pens to paper clips, rubber bands, metal binder clips or anything else that fits.
You could even add a small plant or two to spruce up your office space. Just make the clip on organizers as big or as small as you need them.
8. Wooden DIY Modern Monitor Stand
I love this modern monitor stand that you can DIY from a few pieces of wood. It gets your monitor up off the desk which makes it easier to see and gives you a bit more room on the desk. This one is so easy to make and won’t take you long at all to do. You need a few supplies for this one an oak board, small wooden bun feet and top plates to put it all together.
9. Upcycled Branch Colored Pencil Holder
This little upcycled branch pencil holder would be perfect for keeping your colored pencils organized.
You make this with a piece of wood that you can probably find in your yard, which makes it a free project.
You just need a drill to make the holes and then maybe a clear coat to keep it shiny and protected. There are so many great, not to mention cheap, DIY projects using sticks and twigs!
10. Magnetic Clothespins
You can use these cute little magnetic clothespins to keep important papers organized or to hold your notes to keep your schedule organized.
They are super easy to make with just a few cheap wooden clothespins, some washi tape or paint and some small magnets. You just have to glue on the magnets once you have your clothespins decorated.
I found a really cute set on Etsy and it’s just $5 for six, and they’re already decorated for you.
11. Easy DIY Paper Sorter And Organizer
You can head out to your local office supply store and pick up a paper sorter but it’s probably not going to be made of wood. Wooden ones are so much sturdier and you can make your own for less than it would cost you to buy a cheap plastic one. This DIY paper sorter and organizer is so easy to make and since you’re DIYing it, you can decorate it however you want.
12. Lovely DIY Golden Desk Dishes
You can actually do these DIY golden desk dishes in any color that you need to match your office décor. They are super easy to make and give your desk such a decorative look.
Use them to keep smaller items rubber bands, paper clips and those binder clips organized and right there where you can always find them.
You can even use this method to turn your other desk organizers into decorative pieces.
13. DIY Kate Spade Inspired Acrylic Desk Accessories
Add these lovely acrylic desk accessories to your office and you will always be organized.
These are inspired by similar items from Kate Spade, but they are much less expensive to make than they are to buy. Similar items from Kate Spade will cost you about $35 for just one piece.
You can make an entire set of accessories for much less than that and have enough organizers to keep your entire desk clutter free.
14. DIY Office Lazy Susan
Have you ever had a lazy Susan? I love these things in the kitchen and I love them even more in the office. They are so great for keeping things put neatly away and keeping them within reach at the same time.
This DIY office lazy Susan has a space for all of your pens, pencils, paper clips and anything else that you want to put in it and they stay neatly in place thanks to the acrylic walls.
This one is inspired by Pottery Barn, although you will spend around $50 for theirs and you can build this one yourself for less than $20.
15. Simple DIY Painted Storage Boxes
The worst thing about my desk is that it is cluttered with papers. I need so many of these papers to be within reach and so I just leave them stacked up in a corner.
This DIY painted storage box idea would certainly solve that issue. You can paint plain wooden boxes to give them a great decorative look and then use them to organize and sort those important papers.
You could even paint labels on them so you know which box holds which papers.
16. Repurposed Dresser Drawer Desk Organizer
I love repurposing projects… this old drawer that is turned into a desk organizer. This has such a nice vintage look and it’s a super easy one to make.
You just take an old drawer and maybe repaint or stain it and add some contact or scrapbook paper to the inside. See? Super easy! Or, if you want something even easier, just check out this repurposed drawer desk organizer that I found on Etsy.
You can get this one for around $15. This is a good one to add to your list of repurposing ideas for old drawers.
17. Repurposed Cereal Box Organizer
Do you repurpose your food containers? Did you know that there are tons of repurposing ideas for empty cereal boxes? There are! And this repurposed box desk organizer is just one of them; although this is a really great one. You can make this as big or as small as you want. You just need an empty cereal box for each section that you want to make – or you could use any cardboard box that you may have on hand for this one.
18. DIY Coiled Rope Desk Accessories
If you have never created coiled rope items, you are in for a great surprise. These are so simple to make and they look so gorgeous when they are finished. These DIY coiled rope desk accessories are great for pencil and pen holders and any number of other things. You can make them any size that you need. I love DIY rope décor projects – they’re so coastal looking and so versatile!
19. Upcycled Tin Can Organizers
Those empty food or even paint cans can be turned into gorgeous desk décor and organizers and it won’t take you long at all to make these.
You could use smaller cans for paper clips and rubber bands and larger cans for pencils and pens and any number of other desk necessities.
You assemble them all together on a reclaimed board so it’s actually one piece with multiple organizers. What a wonderful way to upcycle empty tin cans!
20. DIY Triangle Wall Organizer
You can attach this DIY triangle organizer to the wall or just lay it on your desk. It holds so many things! And, it’s super easy to make.
And even better? It is completely made with recycled cardboard so you are getting a great desk organizer to help you to declutter and you are doing your part to help the environment, as well.
This is a great organizer for teens’ desks, too – it has such a great geometric look and shape.
21. Simple Wire Wall Grid
A wire wall grid is the perfect way to declutter and organize your desk.
You just attach the grid to the wall behind your desk and then use clips, clothespins or any number of other things to keep your desk necessities organized.
I found this great wall grid on Etsy for under $20, but you could easily recreate this look with some old chicken wire or even a small bedspring from a baby crib.
21 Clever DIY Office Organization Ideas To Maximize Productivity
Organizing your office can be very challenging. You need at least some organization to be at your most effective and efficient as possible. The following genius DIY organization tips and projects will help you transform your office into an productive workspace.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to have an organized office. It’s DIY office organization projects to the rescue! You can now make sure that all the documents, pens, files, and all the other goodies are in the right place with the office and desk inspiration below.
Here are 21 Clever DIY Office Organization Ideas To Maximize Productivity
Corner Shelving System | A Beautiful Mess
Make the most of your space with DIY corner shelving
Desk Organization Command Center | Tater Tos and Jello
Clipboards on the wall? Genius!
Closet Desk | The Crazy Craft Lady
You can think outside of the box as Aimee did and use crates and hanging baskets to organize supplies.
Craft Drawer Organization | Thinking Closet
Lauren used contact paper to help clean up and organize the inside of her office drawers.
Dry Erase Calendar | One Crazy House
You can make a super cheap and stylish dry erase board with these supplies!
DIY Desk Organizer | Mod Podge Rocks Blog
It only takes some leftover boxes and cute adornments to make these stylish organizers.
Adjustable Desk Organizer | The Handyman’s Daughter
You can easily customize your storage with these great and adjustable desk organizers.
Glitter Whiteboard | Sugar, Spice, and Glitter
If you a little sparkle to your life, this whiteboard is for you! After all, it’s anything but white!
Messy Desktop Organization | Moritz Fine Designs
This easy desktop background is the solution to a messy computer! Plus, it’s super cute!
Pegboard Organization | Creative Connection for Kids
Want to keep your supplies organized in a super cool way? Try this tip!
Hidden Home Office | Must Have Mom
Keep work and home separate with these simple tips!
DIY Desk Organization | Suburbia Unwrapped
Glue, paper, and cans! What could be easy than that?
DIY Mirrored Cabinet | Unexpected Elegance
This is such a simple solution for making your home office seem bigger!
Extra Large Chalkboard | Unexpected Elegance
Add some flair to your office space and keep everything on your list organized!
Repurposed Coffee Can | Organized Island
Caffeinate and repurpose! You’ll love this little craft!
DIY Ribbon Board | DIY Inspired
Your pictures need a home, and I have the perfect solution for you! Isn’t this so pretty?
Business Card/Reminder Holder | DIY Inspired
If you’re a shabby chic lover, here are some tips to make your office reflect your personality!
DIY Cork Board | Inner Child Fun
Create your favorite shapes while decorating your office! This two in one craft is so easy to achieve!
Small Space Command Center | Mom Endeavors
Everything will stay in its place in your little bitty space.
DIY Rolling Storage Bin | I Can Teach My Child
A simple DIY makeover can do wonders for your storage needs.
Pegboard Organization | A Beautiful Mess
For the items that simply can’t fit in a box or drawer, build your own pegboard system to keep thing organized.
40 Funny Letter Board Quotes – Hilarious Letter Board Sayings
Before you decide on what you want your letter board to say, you have to decide on the type of letter board you want. And let me be the first to say that finding the right one can be complicated.
I mean, there are so many to choose from! You could go for a square, or rectangle or even hexagon board. And after the shape, you've got to decide on the color. The possibilities are endless.
But the hardest part comes after you've found the perfect one—what do you write on it?
Letter board quotes are the perfect way to showcase your personality (and your mood!) in a fun, changeable way. Plus, a letter board is just the thing that your Instagram has been missing. If you're looking for ideas, here are a few hilarious—and sometimes sweet—quotes to get you started.
1 Today I will be as useless as the “g” in lasagne.
2 “Be strong,” I whispered to my WiFi signal.
3 My favorite childhood memory is not paying bills.
4 It's better to be happy in leggings than sad in jeans.
5 “Alexa, water the plants.”
6 I can't believe I forgot to go to the gym today. That's 7 years in a row now.
7 Emotionally stable as an IKEA table.
8 Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's caffeine.
9 Eat cake. It's somebody's birthday somewhere.
10 I hate it when I gain ten pounds for a role and then realize I'm not even an actress.
11 I love Fridays Kanye loves Kanye.
12 The first five days after the weekend are the hardest…
13 Hold on, I've gotta overthink about it.
14 I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it.
15 If by “clubbing” you mean eating club sandwiches, then yes, I enjoy clubbing.
16 I want to be where the people aren't.
17 If Mondays were shoes, they'd be Crocs.
18 If you fall, I will be there. – Floor
19 The only time I set the bar low is for limbo. – Michael Scott
20 I wandered around Target for an hour and called it a long walk.
21 Don't read the next sentence. You little rebel, I you.
22 I snack so my kitchen doesn't get lonely in between meals.
23 Never let anyone treat you a yellow Starburst. You are a pink Starburst.
24 Me: What could go wrong? Anxiety: I'm glad you asked.
25 If speaking kindly to plants helps them grow… imagine what being kind to humans can do.
26 Dear Monday, my mama don't you, and she s everyone.
27 Wake up. Be kind. Be amazing. Be grateful. Repeat.
28 I'll carpe diem tomorrow.
29 Be a pop of color in a black and white world.
30 If each day is a gift… I'd to know where I can return Mondays.
31 Some days, I amaze myself. Other days I put my phone in the freezer.
32 On a scale of one to Nature Valley Granola Bar, how much is your life falling apart?
33 Love yourself as much as you love coffee.
34 Monday: Ce n'est pas mon day.
35 Next week has been exhausting.
36 Inhale tacos. Exhale negativity.
37 Home is where you take your pants off.
38 Oh look, it's cocktails o'clock.
39 Stop trying to make everyone happy. You're not tequila.
40 Wine does not solve problems, but neither will water.
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20 Awesome DIY Office Organization Ideas That Boost Efficiency
Published on May 19, 2020
Spring has traditionally been the time of year when we clean out the old and prepare our spaces for the coming warmer and brighter weather, when we look for those spring cleaning tips to help us get both our bodies and minds moving in accordance with the freshness of the season.
Spring cleaning dates back many centuries to a time when the spring clean was done to clean out the soot left by oil lamps and fires used to light and warm homes in the winter. Many religions and cultures have used the spring and approaching Easter to clean alters and begin the new religious year.
These days, of course, we don’t rely on oil lamps and fires in every room to keep our homes warm, but we can still use this old tradition to clean up our stuff and prepare ourselves for what awaits in the rest of the year.
Apart from physical items, over the previous year (or years!) you will have collected a lot of files, documents, notes, and other such things that are just gathering digital dust somewhere on your hard drives or cloud storage systems, and spring is a great time to clean these up, archive the old, and delete a lot more.
A spring clean has many more benefits than just leaving you with a clean environment in which to live and work. It can also provide you with a massive boost to your productivity. Here are five spring cleaning tips to help you become a lot more productive.
1. Focus on Building Energy and Reducing Stress
There’s something special about working in a clean, distraction-free environment.
Arriving at your work station and seeing a fresh table with no leftover files, coffee mugs, or papers and a computer with nothing on the desktop except your wallpaper immediately puts you into work mode.
Seeing such cleanliness can give you a motivational boost and prepare your mind for a day of quality, distraction-free work.
Spring allows us to take a look at our work station and remove the clutter. Clear out old pens and pencils that either do not work or have become so small there’s hardly a grip left to hold. Throw away dead plants and ornaments that no longer have any meaning to you.
Go into your desk drawers and empty everything out.
Get yourself a large refuse bag and throw away all those old, half-used notebooks, PostIt notes, refills, paper clips, batteries, and cables you no longer use (or have devices for).
Once all your drawers are empty, wipe them out with a damp cloth and only put back the items you know you will need. Allow yourself only one notebook and one stack of PostIt notes.
Finally, once everything is cleaned out, wipe down all your surfaces with a damp cloth: your desk surface, the front and back of your computer, keyboard and other peripherals. Then sit back and admire your work.
When doing all of this, focus on keeping the things that improve your focus and give you positive energy. Throw out or get rid of anything that causes clutter and the resulting stress. This simple rule will help you know what needs to stay and go.
Also, try not to do your spring cleaning when you’re already a bit stressed. Go into the cleaning with a positive outlook, excited for how the space will look after.
2. Attack Your Emails Ruthlessly
We collect a lot of emails over the years, and we leave them in our archive folders or individual folders we added to manage a project or a heavy email exchange with a colleague or business partner. The trouble is we rarely clean these out and delete them, so they build up over time.
If you find you haven’t looked at a particular email or had a use for it in the last year, it probably isn’t worth keeping. If you find a certain email has an important password or a recipe you really don’t want to delete, find another place to store it.
Cleaning up your email not only makes you feel better; it also speeds up your whole system, which ultimately improves your overall productivity. Be courageous and delete, delete, and delete some more.
If you want to save an email because it has some sentimental value to you, you can export it as a PDF and keep it in a folder on your hard drive or cloud drive called “keepsakes” or “memories.” That way, it’s outside your email, but you still have a copy of it.
A quick tip for these keepsake or memory folders: review them each year when you do your spring cleaning. After another year has passed, you may be surprised by how unimportant some of these emails, photos, and documents have become.
Once you have cleaned up and deleted your old emails, take a little time to review your folder (or categories) structure. Ask yourself if the way you manage your email is the most effective way to do so. With the powerful search abilities of most email applications today, you no longer need complex folder structures.
This mindset you develop for emails can also be applied to your home office. Go through your old papers. Why are you keeping them? Are they really important? If they are genuinely important for whatever reason, consider scanning them into a hard drive. You’ll be amazed by how much physical space this creates in your home.
3. Learn to Let Go
The hardest part of decluttering and cleaning up is letting go. We have this false belief that we will need a file or a document sometime in the future, yet we rarely do.
If you clean up and move stuff off to an external hard drive, you have not lost anything. It’s still there. It’s now on an external hard drive and no longer taking up space on your computer or in your cloud storage. Just let it go.
Once you’ve bought the external hard drive, it does not cost you anything to keep it.
This can be a bit more difficult with physical items. Many people have a particular space, such as a basement, attic, or closet, where they put all those things they might want to have access to in the future.
In the end, that closet door rarely gets opened.
How much would you really miss those items if you opened it one day to find it was all gone? Try to look at your objects with an objective eye and decide if they’re really worth your time and space.
If this is very difficult for you, start with one meaningful item each day. This should be something that you may have some attachment to but that isn’t serving you in any way. Once you’ve let go of several items, you’ll find it hurts less each time.
4. Find What Works For You
There are multiple ways to organize your stuff; the trick is to find a way that works for the way your mind organizes the world. When it comes to files, for some, organizing by year works. For others, organizing by client or project works best. During your spring cleaning process, think carefully about how you would naturally search for something and then develop a structure that fits.
Some people are naturally more strict about the organization of their environment. If this is you, don’t fight it. Buy some baskets or shelves or tubs that will help you put everything exactly where it needs to be. Put labels or use a Sharpie to be able to quickly identify things.
Other people are more open-minded about where things go. You may not need formal organization, so just find a nice place for that chair your great grandma gave you or that little trinket your sister brought you back from Europe. If it feels right and helps you create a positive environment, run with it.
Ultimately, it’s about being able to find stuff when you need to find it. If you copy someone else’s structure, there will be a good chance it will fail because you will think very differently from the person you are copying. Find your own path.
5. Keep It Simple
Always do your best to keep things as simple as possible. When you file today, you need to be filing for your forgetful self tomorrow. It might be fantastic to come up with an elaborate organization system, but in three or five years, you will probably be unable to remember how you were organizing things before.
Don’t worry about extensive computer folders with 20 sub-folders or buying that fancy cabinet that can store 100 different types of yarn. You can organize things with exactly what you have at this moment just by being creative and open to the circumstances.
Having a clean, well-organized working environment makes finding stuff easy; it helps to give your clarity and makes your whole work experience much more enjoyable. When you are in that state, you will find your overall productivity increases, and you become a lot less stressed and overwhelmed. It’s spring, so let’s get started!
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Featured photo credit: Volha Flaxeco via unsplash.com