Clutter? Do you have any? You may have an admin or a team of admin helping you to keep you de-cluttered and organized. You may avoid clutter and disorganization by having everything sent to your handheld. Perhaps your ‘IT’ department has set you up with the most sophisticated technology to support keeping all information segregated and at your fingertips. You may even carry the latest lightweight laptop but are you using the technology effectively? No matter the support systems you use, many of us could still be more organized.

Perhaps your state of disorganization is not that severe and you are the kind of person who knows where everything is and can find it easily. But, what about your filing and e-filing system? Could it be more efficient? Are there things filed and located in prime spots that you rarely use? You have been in that corner office for years – when was the last time you took a new look at what is in your own office, garage or home?

Wherever you are on the continuum, there is always room for a better, faster and more efficient way to run your personal or professional life and or business. And why do you want to be more organized in the first place? Because not being fully organized – in the office, on the road, or at home –is draining and a waste of time. Being organized is a self-esteem booster. You can actually feel better about yourself by becoming opti-organized.

So, how do you get started? Use this five-step approach to de-clutter and get yourself on track.

  1. Pick an area and make a date to de-clutter.
  2. Set aside the time but no more than two hours. If possible, find a support person to do this with you. This could be a professional organizer.
  3. Come up with criteria for “releasing” things. One suggestion is to let go of anything you a) don’t use regularly or b) doesn’t bring you joy. You can throw it away, give it away, or recycle it.
  4. After you have de-cluttered the entire area you want to organize, you can begin setting your sight on organizing.
  5. Think about what kinds of systems you may need to create to get organized. You can create categories for different things, different folders, different departments, different products, etc. Think about things you don’t need ready access to or access daily.
  6. Once you have organized your space, be sure to maintain it that way. Schedule a time to go through files, shelves, inbox, etc.

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