1. Broken office supplies. Those broken pencils and empty ink pens are a nuisance. Throw them out, all of them and invest in a brand new package of matching pens or pencils.
2. Loose change. If only dollars multiplied as quickly as pennies. Not sure why, but loose change piles up in my office, on the desktop and in the drawers. I got a really cool piggy bank and started throwing it in there.
3. Business cards. Why are you keeping that stack of business cards you’ve collected over the last 5 years? Unless the cards are organized, or you have some sort of business card art project planned, toss them. It is highly unlikely that in 20 years, when you actually need a new roof, you will be able to locate that card for the hot roofing contractor you met. (It is also unlikely he will still be hot in 20 years.) Let it go.
4. Excess office supplies. How long will it take you to use that tub of clips or case of sticky notes? Donate excess supplies to a non-profit or school, keep just what you can use in a year.
5. Notepads, calendars and other tchotchkes covered in someone else’s logo. You may love your realtor, stockbroker and lots of other people, but if you don’t plan to use their logo paperweight, calendar or magnet anytime soon, get rid of it.
6. Filing cabinet. If you have a good back-up system and an organized hard drive, don’t save copies of paperwork (with the exception of legal or tax related paperwork.) A smaller file box might be all you need.
7. Dead flowers, plants and other things that should be alive, but are not. You can’t bring it back to life. The local nursery may be able to, but not if it is sitting in on your desk.
8. Shoes. I’ve seen a lot of messy offices and believe it or not, shoes have a way of collecting. Take those uncomfortable shoes home, you know the ones you wore for just two hours. Better yet, take them to a consignment store!
9. Food containers. I love that you are bringing your lunch to work, but after the $200 investment in containers, now stacked under your desk, you may not be saving as much money as you think.
10. Excess photos, notes and other keepsakes. It’s an office, make sure it looks like one. A photo of your nephew is good, 20 photos of your nephew and his drawings, collected over the last 5 years, is excessive. Clean it up.
When you're feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty getting started, it helps to make a list. Get all that stuff in your mind down on paper. Limit yourself to one line per item, if you have a due date include that next to the item. Don't worry about priority or additional detail at this time, just get it on paper. Once you've finished, group items into categories by priority, then type, for example errands, calls, urgent, etc. Relief will come as you work through the list and cross things off. To read past Quick Tips click here