How to Declutter Your Office: Before & After Pics

Would you like to know how to declutter your office? I can give you a very recent and personal example. Remember yesterday when I said the minimalist perspective isn’t for everyone, maybe even your spouse? Well, that’s still true.

But I had a cool opportunity to put my passion to good use when my husband texted me the other day to say he was feeling cramped in our home office.  I’ve posted pics on Facebook before about how the shelving in our rental home is a frustration to us because they look odd empty and we don’t want to fill them up.  Chris has always been supportive in approaching things with a minimalist mindset, and he’d had enough and invited me to minimize some clutter for a more peaceful work environment.  It was time to have a decluttered office!

Here’s a BEFORE pic:

As you can see, it wasn’t horrible.  I think the fact that much of the rest of our home is more peaceful feeling is what made the office feel even less so. The main issue was that, with unnecessary items hanging around, the environment wasn’t comfortable to work in.

My approach was simple and took about 45 minutes.

1) Clear off all the shelves.

2) Put the unnecessary shelves under our guest bed.

3) Remove the second chair (not shown), the second in/out box tray set, and the smaller framed photos (which felt too small for the scale of the wall unit).

4) Only add back what is needed. In this case it was a printer, monitor, laptop, phone, and a chair.  A few decorative items were left to add color.

Here’s the AFTER pic:

I believe our environments can positively or negatively affect our creativity.  Until this week I’ve avoided doing work in the office, and yet I happen to be typing in this very office right now due largely in part to the fact that the room is now much more peaceful.






What could you remove from your office today to make for a more enjoyable work experience?

Dana Byers and her family are passionate about adoption and online ministry, and they sold all they owned in 2007 to live a mobile lifestyle overseas and expand online ministry practices globally.  She’s the author of “The Art of Online Ministry” and recently moved to Oklahoma to become the Community Pastor for Church Online. All opinions shared here are expressly her own.

4 Responses to “How to Declutter Your Office: Before & After Pics”

  1. Alece September 13, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Your before pic looks like my best after-attempt ever! You don’t wanna see my desk, woman! ;)

    • Deziray September 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

      Great job and thx for sharing! I seriously could put you to work in our home!! You would be in CLUTTER heaven in the School room and in Alessondra’s room!

  2. Eric Bishop September 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    What a great job Dana!

    I think your before pic was clutter free, but your after pic showed a great sense of minimalism as well.

    I don’t see a scanner and I am not sure what you have in your desk drawers, what do you do about paper? I’m trying to get rid of as much paper as I can by scanning it all into Evernote, that way I always have it and papers don’t pile up.

    • Dana Byers September 27, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      Hi, Eric! There is a scanner/printer under the desk on a wall shelf. It’s small but gets the job done. We don’t have desk drawers, but we have a 2-tray set for “in” and “out”. It’s for mail or school papers that come in and has to be processed, otherwise we’re paper-free.

      I’ve tried using Evernote a few times but probably haven’t given it a long enough try to make it useful. Could you @ me on twitter any blog posts you’ve written or read to suggest how to get started?

      Thanks a million!


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