If you have clutter in your office…there’s an app for that! Kidding…there isn’t. BUT there IS a super handy “10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering the Office” quiz you can take!!
Spring cleaning, sming cleaning! It’s winter, and your about to shut up your homes and offices until it’s safe to come out again…so why not start off on the right foot? Let’s move into 2016 with a fresh slate and a clean work area shall we?
[Tweet “I love purging. (That came out wrong.) I love the feeling of being lighter, organized in my brain because I’m organized in my office. Most of all…I.Hate.Stuff.”]
I have a few different methods depending on what room of the house I’m in, but the constant is my ginormous Rubbermaid (in turquoise blue…cuz why not) bin. It’s huge! It’s become my donation bin. Whether it’s clothes, kitchen utensils, weird candle key rack thingies or shoes, it ALL goes in the bin.
The Rules Of the Donation Bin :
- You do not talk about the Donation Bin. 0_0 (Kidding…you can. But not talking about it gives your spectacularly clean home a sense of magic and wonder of the unkown.)
- If you put something in the bin, it ONLY comes out of the bin if you are going to use it within five minutes. None of this “I may need it in the future” shite.
- You are NOT NOT NOT NOT allowed to go through the bin before you take it to the Salvation Army!!!! DO YOU HEAR ME HOARDERS!!!????? If you haven’t needed it for the last three weeks that it’s been in there…you don’t need it now. If you don’t even remember that you owned it?? You. Don’t. Need. It. Now.
- If you’ll need an itemized receipt, keep a clipboard or notepad taped on top of the bin and write the new items down as you chuck them in.
- When the bin gets full…take the items to be donated!
I know…I make it sound easy. And I get it!! Sometimes it’s just not! Hell, there HAVE been rare occasions when I’ve put something in the bin…only to need it for the first time in months, a week later. (Glory be unto the all giving back bin.)
The minor infraction is to be shrugged at…it’s when your bin is still empty a month later that we’ll have to talk.
If you’re planning on purging this month and KNOW you’ll have a problem committing to the pitching process, I recommend printing out the below pitch quiz. If all of the answers to the questions are answered correctly (don’t worry, the quiz comes with the answers!! **hint** **hint** High school math teachers) then you should put the item in question in the giveaway bin! You don’t need this quiz for every item (if you do…you might want to see a therapist…seriously…we’ve all watched Hoarders), but it’s GREAT to use if you are on the fence!
So without adieu, the Official Pitch Bin Quiz:
- Will I remember owning this next week? - If the answer is no, you’re one step closer to putting it in the bin. If the answer is yes, then you might want to do the time test. Try putting it in the bin…if you remember it next week, take it out! If you forget about it..well, that answers THAT question.
- Can it be digital? - SUCH a legit question!! I can’t tell you how many people collect whole magazines JUST for one article. Scan that bad boy in and donate the magazine to a local doctors office. Same thing goes with newspapers! WHY are keeping a newspaper from 1983 for an article that takes up a tiny corner on page 8? Also…no…it won’t be worth anything in the future. (head/desk). This is also a great way to clean up stray sticky notes, whole spiral notebooks, etc. Use systems like Google Drive or Evernote to organize your digital scans! You can create individual folders for “To Be Read”, “Bills”, “2015 Business Receipts”, “Notes on Blogging”, etc.
- When was the last time I used it? - This SHOULD be an obvious question to ask…but a ton of times our brains have gotten SO used to seeing something (that weird, chipped glass kitty tchochky that Aunt Mirdle gave me for Christmas 8 years ago) in the same spot…we forget that it’s not glued down! Pick up the item. Hold it. When was the last time you used it? CAN you even use it? Does even HAVE a use???? If the answer is no, in the bin it should go.
- Can these piles be consolidated? - Sometimes, your piles of stuff just…need to be straightened! Be honest now, how many piles of bills you REALLY have lying around? Do they need to be separated? Can they be filed and consolidated into one small filing bin? Do you have pieces of paper pinned to the wall which your job requires you to access daily? Perhaps these can be pined on top of each other…or better yet, create a business binder with tabs to get to all of your daily information at a moments notice (AND keep your walls and desktop clear of clutter).
- How much of the top of my desk can I see? - Fast rule of thumb, you should always be able to see around 70% of your desktop. The smaller the desk, the fewer items should go on it. Try to keep anything on your desk either pushed towards the back or organized out of sight. If you’re desk is cluttered with a clunky, out of date computer you built in 1989…perhaps it’s time to upgrade. 0_o
- Is this a duplicate? - We’ve all done it. Bought that pretty floral stapler…just cause. Having a floral stapler is great, but perhaps you don’t need the other two in the top of drawer of your desk? (I don’t judge…every so often Salvation Army gets a nice donation of two hole punchers from me.)
- Would this be too expensive to replace? - I’ll be the first to say, that Americans have little to no concept of value. This question falls RIGHT in line with the “but I may need it later” syndrome or the “it just needs some super glue” fix. This question would also help you get over your “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” mentality. I’m gonna give you an example. Let’s say you are an occasional crafty person. You’re not dedicated…just doing it for funsies. And let’s also say that your crafts have not involved paper for at least 6 months. Perhaps you could donate that incredibly large $20 paper cutter you purchased? Perhaps…should you need another one you can just go out and buy it? Hmmmmm…???? Perhaps??????
- When I see this, how do I feel? - I’m not one to judge. I have a personal attachment to ALL SORTS of useless things. (You should see my metal reindeer statue with the butthole. Picked that bad boy up at the Salvation and LOVE it.) You SHOULD NOT confuse “I love this” with “I might need this later.” The way I see it, in this day and age of unnecessary objects, anything you keep should either A)Serve a purpose or B) Make you feel something.
- Am I keeping this just in case? - Surely, by now, you have realized my hatred for the “I might use it later” mentality. WELL HERE IT IS IN ALL ITS GLORY!!! If “just in case” or “I might use it later” appear anywhere within the vicinity of your thought process regarding this object…put it in the bin. Not even kidding. Throw that sucker in there. It’s draining your life force like a Horcrux. 0_0 Sorry…my nerd is showing.
- Could something else I own do the same thing? - Funny thing about our world. We have 10 different ways of getting the same results. Fifty bajillion types of cars. A broom for every mess (mechanical, plastic, straw, green, white, etc). Take a look at the object you are holding. Do own something else that will do the same job? For instance, remember earlier when we were talking about scanning in our paperwork and receipts and storing them digitally? With that system in place, do you REALLY need to keep the accordion file in the corner?
OMG…I bet you feel SO much better! I bet you are looking down at your desk right now and saying “WHERE DID ALL MY SHIT GO!! I DON’T KNOW BUT I DON’T CARE!!” Go ahead…roll around on the empty surface. Revel in it’s glory.
What do you do next? Where do you go from here? What else is left to organize????
ALL THE THINGS!!!!!
(That is seriously my face when I clean.)
Photos Credit: Hyperbole and a Half
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