Scientific research shows you gather things around you and decorate your work and home spaces for purely psychological reasons – because it makes you feel good.
But sometimes all the stuff you have in your office can get out of control. A messy office not only looks bad, it can make you feel bad and leave a question mark about your competency when others see it. In fact, walking into a messy office can make you feel overwhelmed and out of control. It can be so depressing you look for another place to work — your dining room table, an empty conference room, a coffee shop — to escape it!
Clutter traps, blocks and stagnates your energy. It creates barriers to your success. It blocks the flow of positive energy in your office and in your life. Sitting in an environment of stuck energy every day can sap your motivation, productivity, focus and ability to succeed. It also keeps you blocked and stuck, right where you are.
The autumn season, with crisp leaves falling and daylight fading, calls us to participate in nature’s letting go cycle. It’s time to let go of what no longer serves you, keeps you stuck, stagnates your energy, dis-empowers you, keeps you from performing at your peak, or no longer fits who you are now or who you want to be in the future.
Clearing your clutter not only helps you regain control over your workday, it can clear out negative emotions and rejuvenate and circulate your energy. When you clear things out you create an opening for clear thinking, greater creativity, and opportunities to come your way.
To detox your office this season start with packing away old files. Put away projects that are complete or didn’t quite work out. Clean out your filing cabinets and bookshelves. Donate books that you’ve already read so someone who will enjoy them. Toss out dying or unhealthy looking plants. Repair what’s broken or chipped. Get rid of things that are beyond repair. Recycle outdated electronics. Go through your closet and donate clothes that no longer fit you, fit who you are now or more importantly, fit who you want to be in the future.
By giving things away you’re not only getting a jump on identifying write-offs for tax season, you’re creating a positive cycle of giving and receiving. What goes around comes around, you know, so by giving you’ll soon be receiving somewhere in your life.
Here are tips to help you identify what to keep and what to let go of and to help you sail through an office detox.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I want to create space for in my work/life?
- Do I love it? Does it make me feel good?
- Is this information somewhere else (like the internet or in a digital format)?
- How much/how many do I really need?
If you’ve got a lot to sort through and it seems overwhelming, break it down. Target areas of your office – your desk, your drawers, your filing cabinet, etc. Tackle one area at a time. Set a limit for how much time you’ll spend organizing each area. For example on Monday I’ll take an hour after work, or at lunch and begin clearing my file cabinet. The next day, pick another area you’ll work on for an hour and your whole office will be de-cluttered before you know it.
As you sort through your belongings sort them into piles, boxes or bags labeled for keeping, donating, and throwing away. Once you’ve sorted what you’ll get rid of move it out of your space right away.
Once you’ve detoxified your office it will have you feeling good again. The sparkle and lightness you’ve created in your space means will have your energy circulating and attracting new opportunities to you before you know it!
What do you notice when you get rid of clutter from your work or home space? Does it make you feel better, lighter, more in control? I’d love your comments.