Over the last few weeks, I’ve begun to feel a bit overwhelmed by my space and having to stay home has undoubtedly affected my productivity. In my efforts to make some changes, I decided it was time to start doing a bit of decluttering so I could feel a bit more at ease when I sit down to get work done during the day. At first glance, my bedroom and closet were a complete mess, and my bathroom was in desperate need of organization. When you’re spending every minute of every day in a single space, it can cause stress, especially if all you see are messes.
Decluttering always intrigued me, but I never gave it much time or thought seeing as most of my day is spent behind a screen, working on completing freelance deadlines or publishing fresh content to my blog. Now, I’m starting to see just how important it is to keep my space tidy, so I can get back to accomplishing my essential tasks for the day.
I’ve taken ten crucial steps to declutter my space so I could finally focus on getting back to work.
Start somewhere. It all has to be done eventually
The hardest part is not knowing where to begin. I’ve been getting in the habit of not spending too much time debating where to tackle first, and instead just starting with the first thing that catches my eye. There’s no need to prioritize the decluttering process if it’s only going to keep you from doing it in the first place.
Get the daunting tasks out of the way first. I’m looking at you, laundry
Anything that stresses you out the moment you think about it has to go. If laundry is the bane of your existence, then take care of it in the very beginning, or while you’re taking care of other tasks. I can’t even fathom sitting down to write when all I can see is a stuffed laundry basket out of the corner of my eye.
Organize your workspace in a way that makes you want to be productive
Reorganizing my desk space did wonders for my productivity because I was constantly drawn to it to start writing again, even after I switched off for the evening. It’s a place I want to sip tea and catch up on creating content, as well as a place that makes me want to finish my freelance deadlines. Sometimes, all it takes is moving things around to get you in the mood to start working again.
Use what you have on hand. There’s no need to purchase an entirely new cleaning artillery
I’ve been guilty of making far too many Amazon prime purchases whenever I want to start doing a deep clean of my space. Lately, I’ve just been trying to use up whatever I have on hand and reorganizing it to make it a little more accessible whenever I’m looking for my cleaning cloths or disinfectant sprays.
Don’t allow everything to pile up for one “cleaning day.”
Breaking down your cleaning schedule can really free up time throughout your week to get more things done. I used to leave all of my cleaning for Sunday, taking up the entire day to get it all done, but I always felt the urge to want to do something leisurely instead, whether that was reading or writing. Now that I break down my cleaning tasks throughout the week, dedicating a little time to them every day, I have that extra time to work on whatever I want on my time off.
Tackle the areas you didn’t even realize were disorganized
It’s easy to leave your computer out of the picture whenever you’re trying to declutter your space. I never really used to pay attention to how many useless documents or screenshots I’d saved for later that I never ended up using. I set aside fifteen minutes at the start of every week to go through some of my files, back up what I may need later, and free up space on the machine that I need to get work done during the day.
Address the mental clutter
Our spaces aren’t the only things that can be cluttered. I find that when I’m overwhelmed, I tend to blame it on my environment, trying to use cleaning as an escape when I may be dealing with other issues. I’ve been trying to take more time out of my day to encourage mental clarity as I journal or meditate, allowing myself to be alone with my thoughts. That used to be something that scared me because it always left me feeling more anxious. However, as time progresses, I’ve noticed that it’s become a part of my day that I simply cannot live without.
Create a daily plan that keeps the stresses away
There are some days where I want to chuck the idea of planning altogether and just start work, convincing myself that I have far too many things to do to sacrifice even a few minutes. Though, I’ve been making it my mission to start every day with a plan, even if I come up with that plan in two minutes because it keeps me from getting overwhelmed as I try to make it through all of my to-dos for the day.
Acknowledge the simple things that make you feel accomplished
When we spend time trying to declutter our lives, we sometimes forget to acknowledge and reflect on everything we did. At the end of every daily journal entry, I like to take a moment to have a quick recap of what I did that day. This is because there will always be those times where you get through mounds of work and feel like you did nothing.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done
Have an unwind routine, and give yourself the downtime you certainly deserve. I had a bad habit of working well into the night when all I wanted to do was shut off my laptop and go to bed. Now, I’ve been switching my sleep schedule around, trying to wake up a bit earlier so I could finish work around eight o’clock, leaving just enough time to relax before I get some rest.
Decluttering and simplifying life looks different for everyone, but I hope that these tips help you to create the workspace you need to stay creative and keep working towards achieving your goals.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.