Day 5: Workspace

declutter challenge day 5 declutter your desk declutter your workspace

Welcome to Day 5 of our declutter challenge – Decluttering your workspace.

If this is your first time visiting, make sure that you head over to our starter page here.
You can also get your free printable checklists, guides and tips here!

Let’s get going, shall we!

Whether you work from home, or simply have a desk for leisure purposes, it is important to have a clear, minimal workspace/study.

What is included as a workspace?

The term workspace is a bit of a broad one, I’ve done that intentionally because not everyone works from home as I do. In most homes, however, us mums tend to have a dedicated workspace for various activities – home planning, craft, activities, correspondence, etc.

Here is a quick list of everything that is considered to be a workspace for this post

  • Desks
  • Craft stations
  • Activity centres
  • Dining room table (if this is somewhere you regularly relax and enjoy some downtime)
  • Outdoor tables

Every home is different, so whichever is closest to your situation then work on that! Whichever suits you, I will still be referring to it as a “workspace” for an easier reading experience.

Knowing what you need

When you are decluttering your workspace, it is important to know your needs before you start.
Do you need to have certain books and documents easily accessible?
Is it easier to have craft scissors on the counter or can you put them in a drawer?
In our free checklist, you will find a quick worksheet to fill out to help you work this out for yourself

Once you know your intention for this declutter challenge, continue on and start kicking ass with your decluttering!

Start with the drawers

I know that this isn’t exactly how we’ve done things in the past, but we are mixing it up a bit.

By starting with the drawers, you are allowing space for the important things that currently live on top of your work surface. So empty out those drawers and start sorting.

Never forget that the aim of the game is to get rid of as much excess stuff as possible, and unfortunately, this means all those pens we have kept but never use.
For some reason, pens are such a hard thing to get rid of. In fact, I’d even say it is one of the hardest. It is something we always use, never seem to find and have a heap of in our homes.
Think of it this way – once this challenge is over, your home will be significantly more organised and it will be easier to find 1 pen than it was to find 10 pens last week!

Things you don’t need to hang on to

  • Extra pens
  • Broken pens
  • Stationery double-ups (scissors etc)
  • Old paperwork
  • Notes that you no longer need
  • 50 thousand paperclips
  • Full and void notebooks/notepads
  • Last years diary (unless it’s got vital information, then store it)

Once you have cleaned out your drawers, you should have sufficient space to relocate some of the things on top of your work surface

Surface areas

While decluttering is not the same as being a minimalist, when it comes to workspaces, being a minimalist is a pretty good goal.
The cleaner your space, the easier it is to work and the more you will focus.
It’s a pretty great way to start your day or activity, knowing that you don’t have to move a whole bunch of stuff just to put your coffee down!

So clean off those surfaces, wipe them down and start sorting.
Ideally, you only want absolute necessities on your workspace, things that you refer to or use regularly and would be a pain to constantly get out of a drawer.
Things such as a pen, your laptop charger or a diary/calendar.
Everything else can be stored in your new found space that you have created in your drawers!

This shouldn’t take too long unless your desk looks like mine did! But even then, my disaster-desk only took 15 minutes to completely declutter, organise and wipe down.

Other workspace areas

Some workspaces have additional shelves, filing cabinets or storage boxes.
If you are one of these people, *raises hand*, then you will need to sort through these as well.
Follow the same method as before – clear, wipe, declutter, put kept items back (in an organised fashion).
Before you do that, here are some pointers to follow, depending on your workspace area.

Craft areas

I am a huge crafter myself, I love to crochet and cross-stitch. As a result, I have more yarn than I can imagine, unfinished projects and books of patterns. So I totally understand just how hard some of this stuff can be to get rid of, but trust me – you have to do it!

A good way to look at it is this – if you remove unfinished projects and out-of-style supplies, you will create the space and freedom to work on projects that you actually want to do.

Things you can declutter as a crafter

  • Unfinished projects that you know you will never actually finish
  • Extra yarn and/or floss
  • Leftover paper, stickers & embellishments
  • Double ups – scissors, rulers etc
  • Books and guides you no longer need

I know it’s hard, but you can do it!

Filing Cabinets

If you work from home, you probably have a cabinet of some sort to organise your paperwork. Even if you don’t, a lot of homes have them just to keep all of their important information.
I can promise you that there are things in there that you no longer need.

Things you can declutter from your filing cabinet

  • Paperwork & Receipts that are no longer needed (for tax purposes etc)
  • Outdated warranties
  • User manuals for items you no longer own
  • School forms and newsletters
  • Notes, old diaries and calendars
  • Any stationery that may have found its way in there

Bookshelves

If you have a bookshelf in your workspace area, it should be dedicated to the use of the area.
If you work from home, it should have work-related items.
Crafters should have their craft supplies on it.
Activity centres should only be full of activity-related items.
And so on.

So clear off everything you do not need, make sure you follow a solid theme that suits the area and only keep a few pretty trinkets/decorations.

Remember – embrace the white space! It allows your brain to have some down-time and not be constantly over-stimulated.

Things you can declutter from your bookshelf

  • Everything listed on the previous two sections
  • Excess trinkets, decorations and ornaments
  • Books that don’t suit the room or are no longer needed
  • Anything that does not belong in that area – board games, recipe books, toys, your child’s leftover sandwich (it happens to the best of us)

Once you have done this area (if relevant), you should be done!
If you have any other nooks and crannies around the area, follow the same method and make sure you do those too.
Leave no rock unturned.

Day 5 is complete!

Another day, another bit of freedom you have created!
I am so excited for you!
With just 3 days to go, you are bound to be feeling amazing by now.
You are doing amazing.

I will see soon for Day 6, which will be additional rooms homes may have!

Declutter Challenge Days

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