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I have blogged for a year and a half. All of them have been about relationships with people. This one is going to be about our/my relationship with stuff. You need functional stuff, computers, printer/fax, phone, pens, and a notepad. Depending on your position, you could have a business cardholder. You might have a few personal items such as family pictures and the like. These are all good things. When it comes to stuff, it is possible to have too much. That is when the excess becomes clutter that could impede productivity.

 I have worked in cubicles and offices. Every time I walked into a new workspace it was pristine and stark. I had what was needed to get the work done. Fast forward a few years and those workspaces were filled with stuff I felt I needed. I had an administrative assistant; she was very organized. She filed papers neatly in file cabinets, but I had file folders on my desk. I didn’t want to wait a minute, literally, for her to get them. As a result, I had file folders on the desk and even sometimes on the floor, looking around my home office, I think to myself, not much has changed.

 Computers were supposed to usher organizations into paperless work processes. Whether working in an organization setting or as an entrepreneur the flow of paper has increased for me. Paraphrasing Oliver Hazard Perry, I have found the enemy of my clutter problem it is me.

 Although I have digital files, I hate to throw the paper copies away. Oh, those magazines by the window, they’ve got good articles. I’ll get around to reading them. That day rarely comes.

 I read a couple of articles while preparing for this week’s post. The one by Wanda Thibodeaux, “How to Declutter Your Office and Create the Ultimate Creative Space,” resonated with me. She suggests the following eight activities: 1. Find out exactly what you use, 2. Put cleaning on your agenda, 3. Sort, move, and/or [purge], 4, Analyze options for rearranging, 5. Buy the supplies [that support efficiency, 6. Actually clean, 7. Put items away, 8. Complete [and review clutter management system every 3 months]

 “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign?” is attributed to Albert Einstein. All I know is it is harder for me to find the documents I need when I need them on a cluttered desk. Organization and systems are the keys. I am starting my 8-step clutter-reduction plan today which will help me become even more productive because I’ll spend less time looking for the right stuff.

 Feel free to share your thoughts about the clutter in your workspaceTo learn more about my coaching practice visit