When I did some research into my blog analytics at the end of last year (in order to uncover the 10 most popular organizing posts of 2016), I was a little surprised to see that my post on “no Brainer things to toss during your kitchen declutter session” was at the very top of the list. OK. So you clearly liked this list!
In keeping with my promise to deliver more concrete help with decluttering this year, I decided to go ahead and create a monthly “No Brainer Things to Toss Series”. I’m all about giving you more of what you love! My plan is to create a monthly post centered around the specific area of the home that we’re zeroing in on as part of the Organize & Refine Your Home Challenge.
Since February is home office in The Challenge, I’ve compiled a list of 10 “No Brainers” that you can immediately place into the “toss” pile during your home office declutter sessions. All I had to do was take a peek around the two home offices in my own home to get a boatload of ideas 🙂
THE HOME OFFICE DECLUTTER TOSS LIST
After clearing out the obvious trash, the first order of business I like to tackle in any home office decluttering project is the paper (you CAN’T be surprised to hear this, from ME, right?). Gather up all of the random pieces of paper strewn around the office and toss into a laundry basket to deal with AFTER you declutter and organize the rest of the office.
Paper decluttering is a project in and of itself. Check out my paper decluttering series to learn how to set up a paper management system, as well as organize various types of paper clutter.
2. OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY/SOFTWARE
Yeah, you read that right. We’re stockpiling software in my husband’s home office that’s nearly 2 decades old. Because, well, you never know WHEN you’ll need to reinstall MSOffice 2000.
3. MYSTERY CORDS/CABLES
Fess up. I know you have this same box lurking around your home (ours happens to be in the home office closet). You know the one. It’s full of those mystery cords and cables you’ve collected over the past decade. Chances are many of these cords represent outdated technology and aren’t even usable anymore.
Go ahead and pitch ’em. You’ll be o.k. I promise.
4. BROKEN EQUIPMENT
If you take a peek inside our home office closet, you’ll spot the sad remains of my 7-year old laptop PC. It no longer works and I’ve transferred all of the data from the hard drive to my current computer. Why is breaking up so hard to do?
I’m mustering up the courage to take this relic to its final resting place this week. Look around your home office for old computers, printers, fax machines (gasp), etc. It’s time to let go of them, my Friend.
5. BROKEN PENS
We have about 40 bajillion pens in our house, many of these are vestiges of my husband’s past pharmaceutical jobs. Problem is, about half of these pens cause major frustration when I attempt to use them.
If you’re like me, you favor a certain style of writing instrument and get easily annoyed when your pen doesn’t feel good in your hand (or requires a ton of effort to write effectively). Do yourself a favor and do a “pen purge” this week. Get rid of any pen that’s broken, chewed on, or doesn’t function at an optimal level.
Life’s too short to use crappy pens.
6. EXCESS OFFICE SUPPLIES
Speaking of pharmaceutical sales promo freebies, can you say POST IT NOTES?
This is one of approximately four bins of branded Post-It notes that we’ve been hoarding away over the years. If I live to be 200 and write 1,000 notes a day, I wouldn’t come close to using all of these.
If you have a similar over-abundance of a particular type of office supply, parse down your collection and donate it to someone who could benefit!
7. EMPTY INK CARTRIDGES
Got a collection of used toner/ink cartridges? Don’t throw them in the trash. DO take them to your local office supply store and recycle them (you may end up making some cash in the process).
Put them all in a bag right now and take them to your car (o.k., after you’re done reading this post).
8. OLD BOOKS
Oh, Cohen & Cohen, how you made my life a living Hell back in the early 1990s during my grad school years. Why oh why do I still have grad school textbooks from 25 years ago? Gah!
I can GUARANTEE you I won’t be wanting to brush up on multivariate statistics or multiple regression any time soon. Bye Bye.
9. EXCESSIVE KNICK KNACKS
So for this one, I’m throwing my daughter under the bus. She is the Queen of Knick Knacks, which is fine– EXCEPT when your corner desk has very little space to work and you INSIST on covering every square inch with art projects, Eiffel Tower figurines and Post Its (did you see the Post Its? we have a problem indeed).
I’m all for infusing some personality into your home office space, but not at the expense of having adequate space to accomplish your work.
10. ITEMS THAT DON’T BELONG HERE
When scanning the room to determine what can be decluttered, look for items that don’t belong in that space (i.e., they have an assigned home that’s elsewhere in your house). As I scanned my husband’s office this morning, I wondered how this plastic table cloth made its way into the home office.
Hmmm…time to relocate that!
There you have it! What items will you be tossing from the list? What else would you add? Share with the rest of us one of the items in your home office declutter toss pile!
Need a little more help with decluttering & organizing your home office?
Download the Declutter Tool Kit, a free resource for helping you declutter your home from top to bottom. Click on the image below to learn more about it and to download a copy for yourself:
Check out my step-by-step guides for decluttering & organizing your home office:
- Home Office Decluttering
- Home Office Organization & Maintenance
- Reference File Organization
- Going Paperless in the Home Office
Ready to get epically organized?
Get access to 100+ printable pages to help you organize your home and life!