Embrace your inner minimalist at the office


Are you drowning in paper at work? Is your space littered with too many empty mugs or hand cream?  Do you feel disconnected, unproductive and disorganized? Do you feel it reflects on you professionally ?  Embrace your inner minimalist! 

Create a vision of who you are and your professional performance with the décor in your space.  Define what clarity looks like in your environment. Think of colors that are a reflection of your style.  Keep minimal personal photos and knick knacks.   Think through the books, the art, and even the awards you have placed in your office.  In creating this vision you can make a list of adjectives you want to embody as you change this space. 

Many companies have an existing record retention policy stating how long to keep paper records.  But sometimes we can create rules for what you will keep and how long you will keep it if it is a rough draft, old budgets, or even a former employees previous paper.   If you do keep the paper, decide if a notebook or file is a better location for you to find the information.   How did this office client eliminate so much paper? By knowing what to keep and where to keep it! 

Take time to maintain your minimalist style.  Start and end the day with routines that reflect this.   Bring your one mug to and from work in your professional looking bag.  End the day with picking up the paper and replacing it in your project slots.   Once her office style and routines were defined, my client was able to share  that “clutter means I am too busy and moving too fast.”    Being definite about your style makes maintenance that much easier!

 What does this office say to you?

8 replies
  1. Janet Barclay
    Janet Barclay says:

    I never realized I was an office minimalist until I had to fill in for an employee who was on a secondment in another department. Her desk was so full of old paystubs and other junk I just couldn’t function! I ended up taking everything out and packing it up in a box. Funny thing, I was only in that job for a few weeks!

  2. Nacho Eguiarte
    Nacho Eguiarte says:

    I always try to keep my office soace both home and work really neat, with few personal items and with my papers in control. Everyday I tackle papers and get rid of the obsolete ones, address and file those that need response or taking away. With less things at sight less chances clutter to build up and more peace of mind. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    What an interesting post, Ellen. As I read it, I thought that for some the minimalist approach would be comfortable and freeing. For others, perhaps too empty. We each experience difference clutter tolerance levels. What I love is that you begin by asking questions and encourage that dreaming or visioning process. It all begins there. Fabulous!

  4. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Thanks Linda! What a wonderful compliment! I am honored! I agree, it really takes having a vision of what you want your space to look and feel like. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    I like that quote about clutter. Sometimes it is avoidance, but sometimes it is just being too busy, which results in being tired or stressed. These aren’t always easy situations to change, but taking time to think about what would be desirable is the first step!

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