Clutter at work

Today I started preparing my leave at my current company by discluttering my workplace. Which it needed. Badly.

At my current workplace, we have the really nice philosophy that you can not leave anything on your desk after you finish at 6pm. This includes everything since we work with laptops. My workplace is a gigantic one-room-office, so after everybody leaves, all the desks are empty and shiny and it is a really nice setup, very minimalistic, very organized-looking and neat.

Nevertheless, the stuff that we use for work (laptops and the like) has to go someplace, so for this we got huge wagons where we can put everything.

While I just told you the upside of this setup, the wagons are the downside. They seem to be able to swallow everything and anything (and I am sure you could even hide a dead body in there too), so people stuff it with papers, pens and books and everything you could imagine that is needed for work or for the breaktime, their lunch even.

When I first arrived I was pretty shocked and judgemental, because some of my colleague’s wagons didn’t even close so they had to put their stuff on top of their wagons. I thought to myself “how can you be so messy and keep this much? They must really have some problems here.” Then I got my own wagon and my downfall began.

I kept everything. Just because I could, there was enough space. I never threw anything away because I might need it in the future.

Now, today, I got rid of around 3 kg of paper that had been sitting in my wagon for about 4 months. And I am not even finished. Shreddering it was liberating, even though it took about an hour or so to do that. I felt immediately lighter and better, knowing now that I will leave soon and I won’t need all these things anymore. The funny thing is that I could have done it earlier because looking through the documents, it was full of items that I might need again, but in the end didn’t. But somehow I was only able to start today, after I got my new job and after things from this end started moving. I couldn’t do it before, I was kind of lulled in in this position where I thought that I might continue my career there and so I might need these papers again and better keep them. Kind of weird I think.

While my personal life had barely any clutter at all, my worklife was full of it. While I am not sure I want to think about the implications this has, I am again astonished how things can go out of hand if you don’t keep an eye on them. And I would never have thought that this would happen to me after my decluttering marathon.

What about you? How does your workplace look like? Minimalist? Too much stuff?

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Clutter at work

2 thoughts on “Clutter at work

  1. Great idea to keep the desk clean, but I can totally understand that the wagons would get messy if they have so much space! Keeping work minimalistic is def. a challenge.

  2. Heather says:

    Love your blog. I am a minimalist as well and my desk at work is very organized. I can’t stand chaos. I have what I need but I edit, edit, edit, especially on Fridays. People compliment me on my cute cubicle that has space to work and breathe. : )

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