Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Decluttering Guest Article

Stop Letting a Cluttered Home Workspace Tank Your Productivity

Can't seem to focus while working from your home office? It could be your cluttered workspace that's giving you trouble. According to Small Business Trends, clutter makes you less effective at work and increases your stress levels and penchant for procrastination.

If you're a business owner or entrepreneur, you can't afford to waste time searching for paperwork or getting distracted by social media. You need to stay focused if you're going to produce your best work, especially if you work from home. As people are becoming more mindful of their waste, throwing away old stuff can trigger serious environmental guilt. But it is possible to declutter your workspace without sending everything to the dump.

Donate Office Furniture

Start with the big stuff. If there are empty filing cabinets or a bulky old desk you no longer use since switching to a sit-stand desk, don't just set them on the curb for the trash collector to pick up. Instead, donate unwanted office furniture to a local Habitat ReStore, The Furniture Trust, or a bootstrap business owner who could benefit from free office gear.

Donate or Recycle Electronics

Computers, printers, copiers, and other electronics are also candidates for donation as long as they're still working. Wipe hard drives to protect your business data, then donate electronics to Computers for Causes, World Computer Exchange, or another organization. Some groups will accept broken electronics and refurbish them before donating to a worthy cause, but always check with the organization before sending them in. Electronics that can't be donated should be recycled through approved e-waste recyclers to keep them out of landfills. Keep in mind you may need to remove batteries and recycle them separately.

Schedule Time for Cleaning

At the end of a busy day, the last thing you want is to spend more time in your home office doing chores. However, unless you hire someone to do the job, you should. Beginning the day inside a clean workspace gives you the motivation to conquer the day.

Cleaning up doesn't have to take very long. Buy a lightweight cordless vacuum for the floors (models are available for around $70), microfiber cloths for dusting your desk and electronics, and a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner to freshen the space up without adding any heavy scents. With these basic tools, you can clean your workspace in under five minutes and get on with your day.

An alternative to regular cleanings is hiring a professional maid service to come in every couple weeks. In Lawndale, a cleaning service usually charges $116 - $227

Stop Storing Paperwork

Physical file storage is bulky and inefficient, so why are you still doing it? Migrate to digital file management to clear up space and make your documents easier to access. Cloud storage is a popular option for small businesses, especially for owners who work from home; you can learn about the leading cloud storage providers at TechRadar. Just be sure to make backups of your documents and update them regularly so a tech issue doesn't cause you to lose important data.

Skip the Disposables

Is your desk drawer stuffed with pens that don't work, your wall covered in outdated sticky notes, or your trash can spilling over with to-go cups? Disposable products seem convenient at first, but they're ultimately just another source of mess and stress in your life. Simplify your home workspace by swapping disposable products for things you can reuse. A whiteboard (which can be purchased online for $18) offers space to visualize without the paper, a note-taking app renders pens and Post-Its obsolete, and a good thermos keeps your coffee hot and your trash can less full.

Donating and recycling are awesome ways to give your old home office gear a second life. However, keeping a clean workspace is as much about what you bring into the office as what you send out. Now that your office is looking its best, stay mindful of your habits so that you live your eco-conscious values at work and beyond.

Image via Unsplash

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