“AHHHHHHH,” as I screamed at the top of my lungs and hopped a foot backward. There was a cockroach hiding underneath my paperwork on my desk!  Not a small one either, this guy was about an inch long.  My boss came over, knocked it on the ground and smashed it with his shoe.  Then he stated to me, “Julie, you really need to get your desk cleaned up”.

As much as I wish this was a make-believe story, it’s not.  It is actually embarrassing on so many levels, so embarrassing I don’t think I’ve ever repeated it to anyone.  Well, there you go internet friends!


For the record, we did have a roach infestation from cleaning the place up (everything but my desk) after I had arrived.  The roaches didn’t know where else to go and we had control of the problem within a week or so.


It was an awful time for me, but it also made it very clear that I would need to begin to find a way to start getting my mess cleaned up!  This wasn’t the first conversation my boss and I had about my messy work area…



Stuff can sometimes threaten to take over our lives.  My organization of how I worked at work was only a small part of how massively cluttered of the life I lived.  This was years ago and I’ve learned so much since then that I would love to share with you!

If stuff is stressing you out or you have been wasting time digging from pile to pile, your stuff is running your life!  The steps you have taken to be productive aren’t going to work if you can’t find anything to begin with.





Learning to declutter and organize your life is your first step to productivity!
  You cannot become efficient if you don’t get your life in order.

Here are a few ways clutter is effecting your life:
  • Clutter can stress you out!  There is stress from being late because you can’t find your wallet.  You can also become stressed from working in a messy area.  Your brain has a clearer mind when you aren’t sitting among piles of papers and undone tasks.  Not to mention all of the health problems that come along with being stressed out!
  • Losing important items can waste you sooooooo much time that you use to search and search beneath the piles!  Can you imagine your life without having to look for something every day?  You would probably have tons of extra time to get things done!  Losing things can also cause you to waste money by repurchasing things you already own!

  • Your boss and coworkers frown upon how messy your work area is and your teammates are upset that you can’t get or find anything at the right time. They feel let down that you aren’t able to pull your piece of the puzzle.  If you have clients, they don’t think highly of someone who keeps their work area a mess, which makes them less likely to work with you.  Don’t let it turn into my horror story, roaches included, that I shared with you earlier!


Now that we’ve discovered that clutter is holding us back from in many ways: extra stress, losing time searching for stuff, spending money buying things we already own, and your boss frowning upon your mess. 


We are going to have to dust ourselves off and realize that there are a few things we can start doing today to change this clutter life into a productive one!  

 Don’t let it hold you back from accomplishing great things!

1. Admit that it is time to take action and write down a goal.  Did you know, only 3% of people write down goals?  How are you supposed to accomplish anything if you never write it down?

Here's a few things to remember while documenting your goal:
  • Make it obtainable – Don’t promise yourself that you will overhaul your whole life and live an organized life… right away.  That’s a great end goal, but we need a few obtainable goals to get to the end goal!  Start with a small area, for example, work.  You’re going to get organized at work.  From there break it down.  I’m going to work on keeping my desk clean for this time.  Then move onto I’m going to work on keeping my paperwork neat, my email box up to date and start a work day routine. 
  • Put a time limit on it.  Put a time limit on each of the small goals you have created.  For example, you would like to work on keeping your desktop clean.  Well, how long do you have to get it done?  Also, consider that decluttering and organizing needs regular upkeep.  Try creating a goal that says I will clear my desk off on Monday and I will take 5 minutes each day to maintain it for TWO WEEKS
  • Learn How To Complete Your Goal. The learning how can be a struggle sometimes. Brainstorm some ideas of how to do your cleaning and ways that you can maintain the area.  Give it a try!  If you aren’t successful at accomplishing your cleaning, you may need to go back to the drawing board and try a different way.  Giving up is not an option.Start Tackling Each Area.  Once you have created a goal in one area, move to the next.  The only way you will ever get good at anything is by practice!  Work on a little each day.  You do not have to have to commit your whole life to this, but do plan some time each day to work towards a clutter free lifestyle!
  •   If you feel like you still need more direction on how to get stated on your organizing journey, download my quick start organizing guide and worksheet.  Just click the button below and it will be on its way to your inbox.



Clutter has the ability to stop us in our tracks from moving forward with our lives.  It has the ability to stress us out, eat our time, and put us behind.  Good thing you can decide to tackle your clutter today! Set a goal, get the guide and don't wait to start!


Now is the best time to take a look around you and really take some time to write your goal and take action!
  If you want to live a productive life, organizing and decluttering have to come first.  Once you learn to tackle your clutter, you can really start to dig into learning to be productive


Do yourself a favor and avoid becoming the girl with roaches on her desk!  Or even worse, your boss having a conversation with you about why they may be hiding there...


Action Plan Items:

- Recognize why you want to start to tackle your clutter.  What’s your biggest reason?
- Take some time to write down a clear, accomplish-able goal
-  Practice, practice, practice… you don’t get good at cleaning and sorting until you’ve done it a few times
- Download my quick start guide to organizing



What's the biggest problem you are facing when it come to your clutter? Where are you going to start?

Main Blog Photo: (c) Hans Braxmeier

 


Comments

03/04/2017 6:20pm

I'm actually surprise to know that there are people who can bear to live a life with so much clutter in it. My friend who seems to be a very busy person forgot the idea of "cleaning"her house. I understand that she has a very hard time balancing life and career, but a little time for cleaning wouldn't affect her at all. At the same time, our home represents our personalities. Would you want to be judged as unproductive person just because you don't know how to fix things inside your house?

Reply
03/05/2017 2:08pm

I used to be just like your friend. It is very hard for those of us who push it aside to understand how it affects our lives and what really matters to us.

I can absolutely agree with not wanting to be judged as under productive because of what my house looks like! The truth is that clutter does hold us back and you know I love productivity. I had to learn to live clutter free before I could reach my full potential.

I hope very much so that I can help people like your friend get their life together and reach their true potential!

Reply
07/17/2017 4:40am

I agree with you very much on the third effect of how clutter affects your life. Speaking from the point of view of a coworker, I have one coworker before that was very messy. I was often distracted by her mess. We were seated on opposite sides of the office cubicle and her mess would often spill over to my end and I just find it really annoying and disgusting. Decluttering your things is really the first step to a productive day. There is just something about a clean desk that makes you really excited to do some work.

Reply
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