efficiency systems and processes May 02, 2023

When it comes to decluttering, it's not just about getting rid of things, it's also about creating space for the things that really matter. Decluttering our physical and digital spaces frees up mental and emotional headspace which allows us to focus on those things that bring us joy and fulfilment.

Here in New Zealand, we're noticing cooler days and as I write this, it's miserable weather outside.

On days like this, I'm grateful for my home office where I don't have to venture out into the weather, where the coffee machine is a short walk away, and where it's cosy and warm.

One thing that I need to do soon though is declutter my office.

We've been on a bit of a mission recently, throughout the house, to declutter.

We moved in here over 6 years ago and at that time my partner and I were merging 2 households so we had a lot of stuff, a lot of which we didn't need.

My intention at the time was to declutter as we moved in, to find a home for the things that we needed and wanted to keep, and to sell, donate or discard everything else.

But I must have forgotten to communicate that to my partner because I came home one day to find that he'd "tidied" everything away, tightly packed into cupboards and into our storage shed that's attached to the garage.

Never to be seen again for years!!

Seriously, I'm an outta-mind-outta-sight kind of person.

It looked like he'd been playing Tetris. Everything was "neatly" stored for sure but I had no idea where anything was and much of it was in difficult-to-reach spaces.

Fast forward to 2023 - 6 years later!! - and we decided to embark on a decluttering exercise. It's a massive job to be fair and I feel like there's so much more to do, but we've made a start and it's such a great feeling.

Decluttering is not just about getting rid of things, it's also about creating space for the things that really matter. It frees up our mental and emotional headspace which then allows us to focus on those things that bring us joy and fulfilment.

It also has a positive impact on our productivity and creativity. If your office is cluttered it can be overwhelming and distracting and it's hard to focus and prioritise what needs to be done amongst all that.

I can't work like that and I will always take the time to tidy up if things start to get out of hand.

I'm finding what works best for me at the moment is to declutter in small steps.

For example, I bought a new item of clothing last week and decided to declutter my closet and a couple of drawers while I was putting it away (now I just have to declutter the declutter as those items are currently sitting on the spare bed waiting to go into the clothing recycle bin).

When it comes to our offices, clutter tends to fall into 5 categories:

πŸ‘‰ Paper - I'm largely paper-based but I do like to print out my clients' monthly focus (goals) forms so I have them in front of me and can write all over them, and I make notes using pen and paper. I could probably solve this with tech, something I'm looking into at the moment. I have files of those client notes and other business documents that could probably be scanned and filed digitally (more on digital clutter below)

πŸ‘‰ Books - I have a tall bookshelf in my office that is full of business books and personal development books. I have read most of them but not all of them. Some of them I like to keep to re-read or to reference from time to time, but some I don't care to keep. The bookshelf is overflowing, so I'd like to declutter some books.

πŸ‘‰ Stationery - I have a lot of stuff in my office drawers that I will never need again, from software company's promotional materials to Paid and Entered stamps, pens, flash drives, rubber bands and even paper clips. The way we work as bookkeepers has changed and with it the need for many tools and stationery items that used to be a staple in any office. (πŸ˜€ staple - see what I did there?)

πŸ‘‰ Tech - software installation disks from 15-20 years ago - unlikely to ever need those again, but I've held on to them because you never know - old phones, laptops and chargers, battery packs for that old phone where the battery was stuffed so I had to keep it plugged in at all times, old keyboards and mouses/mice.

πŸ‘‰ Digital Files - as well as physical clutter, there's digital clutter. Our computer filing systems become the equivalent of my partner's Tetris tidying. How many unnecessary files, photos and videos do we have in our OneDrives, Dropboxes, Google Drives, Outlook and GMail and on our phones... we file things nice and neatly to never ever look at them again.

How about we all take a few minutes today to start simplifying, organising and decluttering our office spaces?

We can start small. This doesn't have to be a mammoth exercise that we have to set aside a whole day or a week to do - we can start with just one drawer or one shelf or one digital file, and see how it feels.

Categorise things as keep, sell, donate or discard, and then follow through to get them out of our offices and homes and out of our headspace.

Let's all create environments where creativity and productivity thrive and where we enjoy the benefits of a clearer, more peaceful space.

I think you'll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make.


PS: Interested in working with me as your bookkeeping business coach? Send me an email to start the conversation. 

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