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Get Rid Of Your Junk For A Fresh Start To 2016 Bear in mind that decluttering is an ongoing process, and that it takes time.

By Shelina Jokhiya

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


So you left your office at the end of December, and for some reason the New Year's Eve fairy didn't arrive and clear the clutter for you? You're stressed and already sighing deeply before you even start reading the 100+ emails waiting for you (all marked urgent!), and simultaneously working on budgets and setting 2016 goals for the business.

The only way for the clutter to disappear off your desk and out of your life is take some time to learn new habits to keep your office organized. It took time for your office to become that cluttered so it will take some time to declutter it, but with these handy tips you can get there sooner. Start now by reading over these questions and making note of your answers:

  1. How does my office make me feel?
  2. Clutter is OK when _________ ?
  3. My office would be clean if I only had more time/money/space/_______?
  4. How do I feel when I throw stuff away?

Was your answer to question 1 something like, "I feel like I'm being crushed by the piles surrounding me?" My answer is, "I feel happy and more productive." The important thing is for you to see what the underlying cause of the clutter is in your life right now, and what you can do to make your office feel like a more positive experience.

Now that you have established the root cause, it's time to work on decluttering. Bear in mind that decluttering is an ongoing process, and that it takes time:

  1. Pick a location. Start with one location such as the top desk drawer, your desk area, or a cupboard. Focus on that region and only move onto the next one once you have fully completed decluttering and organizing that area.
  2. Keep supplies at the ready. Get ready with supplies such as a dustbin, recycle bin, shredder, folders, labels, markers, and a box for donation or maybe for selling.
  3. Deal with the paper using FAT. This stands for FILE, ACT OR TOSS. Whilst decluttering the paper decide whether you want to File it away, Act on it by passing it to someone else or dealing with the matter then and there or Toss it (or Recycle). Use this acronym for your emails as well.
  4. Have a home. As with every declutter and organizing project, every item in your life must have a home. Before you make a home for the item, consider whether it is useful, valuable or important. If it isn't… then you know what to do.
  5. Give back the excess stationery. No one needs two staplers and four yellow highlighters. Put back the excess stationery into the cupboard or to the administrator. Only keep what you really need and use in your office.
  6. Schedule time to declutter. Book time in your calendar to declutter your office every week. Choose half an hour in the middle of the week. Never do the last day of the week in the afternoon as that is always when people remember deadlines suddenly!

Start decluttering as soon as possible this month so that you're facing 2016 clutter-free, and geared up for productivity by the time everyone returns from the holidays.

Shelina Jokhiya

Managing Director, Decluttr Me

Shelina Jokhiya is the founder of UAE-based startup Decluttr Me. DeCluttr Me has recently become the first international accredited member of the Association of Professional Declutters and Organizers U.K. (APDO). 



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