I've been downsizing for the last year and a half and it is liberating! Too much stuff just requires too much work.
I was looking around my office last week and realized I could use some downsizing in my office. My office is small, but efficient.
I started by taking down the 100 photos that were on the walls and on my desk. Sure my son was adorable in his Winnie the Pooh pajanas on his first birthday but he's 21 now! I got a box and started taking the photos down. I kept just my very favorite ones. And of course I kept the photo of me and President Obama. Now there are three photos on my desk, which were taken in this decade and two on the wall, one of me and my two sisters taken when I was nine years old and one of a beach chair on the beach in Punta Cana. The office instantly felt larger. I have a small cork board, I left it, but pared down the crap that was pinned to it. I left my wall hanging of Desiderata too. Oh and my National Geographic map of the world. I really need that. I listen to the news and they start talking about places I never heard of before. I am a very visual person I need to see where the next war or hurricane is going to hit. Get a small plant. I couldn't keep a catcus alive for more than a day so I have origami flowers that a co-workers son made for me.
I then went to the bookshelves above my desk I went from about 8 feet of books to about 2 feet of books. All the software manuals, legal directories, etc. - gone. The manuals are all online and so is Martindale Hubble. I kept only the rule books for this year - 2011. I got rid of the 1918 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and many other books that were outdated just sitting around just collecting dust. Any piece of paper that was scanned and in the computer was tossed. I tried to use the rule I used at home - if I haven't used it in 6 months - toss it.
I then went to organizing office supplies -labels, folders, etc. I placed them all neatly in a filing cabinet where I can find anything in a jiffy! I did keep the one filing cabinet drawer that is the "junk drawer". You know, like the one you have at home? I have a passion for bags. I grouped them according to size and rubberbanded them together. Canned soups and snacks all neatly organized. Oh and my contractor masks that I keep in my drawers, they stayed. I read the government's guide to preparedness and well, you just never know when you may need a mask. Do you?
The next day it was a pleasure to see my office so neat and tidy and I save so much time not having to root through a hundred things to get to one. I truly believe that decluttering my office has made me significantly more efficient. You should try it. Oh and this is a fact - if you look neat and organized you are viewed as more professional than someone who is untidy and messy. Unless of course you're Albert Einstein... which you're not.