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De-cluttering Your Workspace: Why de-clutter your work space now (and how to get started)

  • Evan Tan 

Whether you are a business owner, freelancer or a  professional, we all spend a significant amount of time at work and sometimes even more than we spend at home.

With all the stress and challenges that comes with our work life, wouldn’t you want a work space where you can be comfortable and feel emotionally and mentally healthy? A space that boosts clarity, creativity, and productivity? A place that encourages collaboration and trusting relationship with your colleagues and clients?

Unfortunately,  our busy schedules, tight deadlines, and overwhelming to-do lists would make it easy for tidiness to take a back seat.

As our home being a reflection of our heart, a reflection of what’s on our mind would be our work space. A work space free from physical clutter could mean a mind free of mental clutter.  As a result, when you are surrounded with a bunch of stuff, your brain slows down because it’s distracting. Therefore, it inhibits creativity and productivity.  According to studies, clutter presents a cognitive challenge for your brain. Not only does it complete with your attention, it wastes your time too.

So, no matter how busy you are and how pushed you are to meet deadlines, or how behind you are at work – take the time to de-clutter your work space once and for all and be surprised of the outcome! Here are the steps on how you can apply the Konmari method of tidying in your work space!

Visualize your ideal work space and workflow

First of all, you need to know where you want to start to go. Start with a mental creation of your ideal work space. Do you want a desk that has a clear space? A filing cabinet that doesn’t feel like a “death trap”? Drawers where you can easily locate your supplies? How do you want your work routines and ideas to flow?

Then you can list down qualities of your ideal work space, visualize the look and feel, create a pinterest or vision board. Whatever it is, be clear and specific of what you want to achieve.

Tidy by category

In true Konmari fashion, tidy your work space by category and not just by location. Therefore, this will ensure that you don’t just shuffle your stuff around from one space to another.

Take an inventory of all the items you have and use for your work and categorize them into books, paper and digital files, miscellaneous and sentimental items.

You can download the work space de-cluttering checklist here to guide you in this process.

Purge items you don’t need

Per category, take out all items in your desk, drawers, cabinets, shelves and even your laptops and computers. Sort them and then go through each and every single item. Decide which ones you really need and use, and discard the rest.

This way, you’ll have an idea of how much stuff you really need to keep, and the type of storage space that you need in your work space.

Address the biggest clutter culprits

Paper and email. These are the biggest clutter culprits of any workspace nowadays. The only way to deal with these clutter is by identifying where they come from. Once you’ve identified their sources, deal with them immediately and stop them from accumulating.

Most of all, go paperless and avail of any possible options to go paperless on your bills, bank statements, and even tax records! Yes, tax records! Taxumo for instance, offers digital filing and online payment of taxes here in the Philippines.

For emails, unsubscribe to newsletters you don’t read. Taking a couple of minutes to do this will drastically reduce the amount of unnecessary clutter at work.

Create an effective filing system for both your long-term and short-term files. Deal with short-term files regularly so that they don’t pile up. Either discard them or file them properly as they come.

Assign a home for everything

So, Now that you have made a conscious decision of what items to keep, you need to decide where to store them. When there’s a designated spot for each of your item, it’s a lot easier for you to return them back to where they belong. Your desk doesn’t become a home for everything too!

In addition, think carefully where you want to place each item to optimize your space. Keep your desk as minimal as possible, and use the C.O.P.E method in storing your items. Organize items by Category that makes sense to you and put items in Order within their group. For important and frequently used items, place them by Proximity and Ease of use.


Therefore, your work space is a place where you accomplish important milestones and collaborate with people. Make the commitment to evaluate your work space and stop clutter from controlling your mind and work space. Remember, your personal productivity is within your control.

About the Author

Evelyn Sy-Tay or “Bebs” is a de-cluttering and organizing enthusiast, an IT consultant by profession, a wife and a home maker. After taking her own de-cluttering journey inspired by the Konmari Method, she decided to start her passion project, My Joyful Space – a blog dedicated in enabling others to start anew life by eliminating clutter.

Website link: 


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