How to Digitally and Physically Declutter Your Office

When we experience a lack of productivity on a daily basis, one of the first things to blame is clutter. From a professional standpoint, clutter can come in multiple shapes and forms – including both physical disarray and digital disorganization. You need to tackle both in order to reclaim your productivity.

Five Decluttering Tips and Tricks

It’s not always easy to organize, but it always feels good in the end. Carve out a few minutes at the end of each day – and perhaps a couple of hours on the weekend – to declutter your office one step at a time. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Clear Off Your Desk

The first step to cleaning up your office is clearing off your desk – the place where you spend most of your time. If it doesn’t have a purpose, it shouldn’t be on your desk. Really, you shouldn’t need much more than your computer/keyboard/mouse/etc., a weekly planner, your phone, some writing utensils, and whatever else you’re working on at the moment. Old coffee cups, food, stacks of paper, and trinkets need to go. You’ll find it much easier to focus with the clutter gone.

2. Throw Away or File

As you’re removing stacks of paper from your desk (and gathering them from other areas of the office), you should create two classifications: file and throw away. Anything that lands in the “file” category needs to put in a specific folder in your filing cabinet. Anything that lands in the “throw away” category should be shredded and/or recycled.

3. Remove Desktop Icons

Few things are as frustrating as a slow computer. And while many different factors contribute to slow processing speeds, one of the more noticeable is file clutter. Files weigh your computer down and also leave your desktop in disarray with random icons strewn across the screen.

“A cluttered desktop means a slower computer,” says Katherine Chen of Dialpad. “Start by removing the shortcuts you rarely use and organizing the rest into relevant folders, it’ll save you the headache of staring at a packed interface.”

4. Unsubscribe from Emails

Digitally speaking, one of the best things you can do is clean up your email inbox. This obviously starts with deleting messages that you no longer need and organizing saved messages into labeled folders, but it doesn’t end there. You also need to unsubscribe from emails that you no longer want to receive.

You can do this manually, or you can streamline the process with a tool like The latter automatically identifies subscription emails, let’s you select the ones you want to unsubscribe from, and then organizes the remaining emails into a concise, daily digest called the Rollup. If you get dozens and dozens of emails per day, this can make a big difference.

5. Keep a Password Organizer

Tired of losing passwords to various online accounts and then having to reset those passwords just to log in? Well, you need a password organizer. You can use an online tool like LastPass or you can go old school and keep a notebook on your desk. Whatever works best for you!

Feel Better About Your Life

Clutter has a way of physically and mentally weighing us down. We feel constricted, messy, and unhealthy. By contrast, when our homes, cars, digital devices, and calendars are organized, we feel like we’re in control of our lives. If you want to reclaim your office productivity, then you need to pay careful attention to clutter and organization.