Books on Decluttering the Office

Clutter in the home office and small business office can be a challenge for many people. It seems like there just isn’t enough time to get the important things done, and tidy up as well. However a disorganised office can lead to a lot of time wasted looking for things, and important things can be missed or thrown out altogether.

Recently I have read two books tackling the issue of clutter in the office, but from very different perspectives. Which book suits you best will depend on your personal style and preferences.

The Office Clutter Cure: Get Organised, Get Results is by Don Aslett. Don has run a successful office cleaning company for decades, and he writes about office clutter from a cleaners perspective. Its amusing, and a bit embarassing, to hear a “Cleaner’s-Eye-View” on the kinds of messes that crop up in an office situation. He describes how the more stuff is piled around a desk, the harder it is to keep it clean, and therefore, the more it costs in cleaning time and bills.

Don takes us on a comical tour of such gems as non-functioning office accessories, broken chairs, tacky souveniers, out of season holiday decorations, ugly plants and chewing gum. He provides practical tips on preventing future clutter, and keeping your desk organised. Many people will relate to “Fear of Filing” and get some inspiration from his practical suggestions. This is a great book for people who want to shift their thinking on office clutter and need practical tips and a motivation boost.

Clutter-Proof Your Business: Turn Your Mess into Success is by Mike Nelson founder of Clutterless Recovery Groups Inc. Mike is a self confessed former clutterer, and has written a number of books on beating clutter in different environments. The difference about this book is that it is written specifically for people who struggling with cluttering behaviour and can’t work out how to get organised. He believes that clutterers have a different way of viewing the world to people who are naturally organised, and that strategies to manage clutter need to take this perspective into account.

Mike provides examples of common attributes of clutterers. One is a different sense of time, which tends to be more expansive, so that it is difficult to be on time, or work to deadlines. He believes clutterers have selective memories, which lead them to remember things based on their emotional value, rather than their objective content. This can lead to wanting to keep things in sight for fear of forgetting them. Constant internal chatter, being easily bored with mundane tasks, and and excess of creativity are also attributes of clutterers that Mike attempts to work with.

He has useful chapters on paper clutter and filing systems, setting boundaries in a home office, and how to manage belongings on business trips.

The strength of Mike’s writing is that it is geared to a specific audience with cluttering tendencies, and the organising techniques proposed are tailored to that group. He proposes working with your personal style, rather than against it.

I must admit, that as a person who tends to be fairly organised, I found some of the suggestions a bit difficult to get my head around. But I think that is the beauty of this book. He is teaching us all to be open to different thinking and organising styles. If traditional organising leaves you cold, this might be the book for you.

The links to Don Asletts book are affiliate links with Australian online store Booktopia.  A small percentage of the purchase price is paid to Live Light if you buy the book through this link. Mike Nelsons book is available on Amazon.

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