Jump Start January: Week 2 Day 4

Time for another quick declutter to make everyday life easier. Today we’re organising the ‘top drawer’ of your home office. This doesn’t have to be an actual drawer, and you don’t need a designated home office either – it’s more about creating something functional that fulfils this purpose.

declutter week day 4 Jump Start January

This is definitely a declutter where you’ll want to keep a shopping list to hand, even if the drawer or storage area is full to overflowing in the first place. You’ve very likely to find that one or two functional items are missing when you think about the practical side of things.

For example, I have part of a room that functions as a designated home office, because I work from home for part of the week. I also have a small set of office drawers as part of that, and the top drawer is given over to small, practical items that I need for everyday working life and for home administration.

Your personal setup might be very different, but everyone needs a designated area – however small – for the bits and bobs needed for home admin. It could be half of the kitchen junk drawer, the shelf under a telephone or lamp table, or a small box on a shelf or in a display unit of some sort.

It might typically contain some pens, pencils, sticky tape, rubber bands, flash drives, string, sticky notes, scissors, stamps, safety pins and so on. You might also want to keep vouchers or tokens here too. Things you might need to find in a hurry. They need a home to keep them in one place for use during those moments.

Let’s get started!

  • Think about purpose first: Have a really good think about the functions this needs to fulfil, and the best place for it to live. Change its location if necessary.
  • Empty the items: Empty all the items onto a table or into a box as quickly as possible.
  • Clean up: Wipe or dust drawers or shelves, shake out boxes etc.
  • Sort out the clutter into defined categories: Working as fast as you can – setting a timer if necessary – sort into piles to A) Keep in the area, B) Keep but put away somewhere else, C) Keep but mend first,  D) Give to charity or sell, E) Put in recycling, F) Throw away in the bin. Try to only pick each item up once, and remember to make quick decisions or you may find yourself becoming sidetracked. In particular, be ruthless about getting rid of pens that have run out of ink, glue that doesn’t stick any more, empty packets of anything, and so on.
  • Add organisation: You might like to add a pot or tray for pens and pencils to keep them together, or a small box for push pins, magnets, paperclips and so on. If you’re a very visual person, it helps to make these items attractive – you’ll want to use them.
  • Put important chosen items back: Make sure the items you use most often are the most easily accessible.
  • Make a shopping list (optional): Buy what you need sooner rather than later, if you can afford it. Do you need a new storage box or basket for the whole lot? Perhaps you’d like some wall-mounted storage to save space and make access easier. Or maybe you need a drawer divider or some new stationery?
  • Get rid of recycling, items to sell, charity donations and rubbish: Get the rubbish and recycling out of your house right now – don’t put it off for another minute. Take charity donations to the collection point today or at the latest by the end of this coming weekend. Get the remaining items mended or listed for sale by the end of the weekend too.

Do you have any clever ideas for this functional part of your home? It’s always nice to not have to scrabble around to find a working pen or a pair of scissors…

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