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How to Edit Your Workspace like 'The Home Edit'


Netflix has done it again with a show that is bound to give almost any of us organizational envy! Last year they blew our mind with ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’, where we learned all about thanking our items for their service and figuring out what sparks joy! And boy, did we go on an organizing binge after that. Well this year (while still practicing social distancing and limited outings), Netflix dropped ‘Get Organized with The Home Edit’.

The series stars BFF’s Clea and Joanna as they help everyone from Reese Witherspoon to a Los Angeles family’s garage. It’s a great follow up to ‘Tidying Up’ as there’s certainly overlap in concepts but takes then a step further! So how do we apply those concepts to our workspaces, whether in the office or while WFH? We’ve broken it down into five easy steps to get you started!

Step One: Take Everything Out

And yes, they mean everything! Focus on one space or room, in this case, it would likely be either your desk or your office. This can be such a clarifying step because likely you have items hidden away you didn’t realize. Out of sight, out of mind right?

This step, in particular, is very similar to how Marie Kondo recommended tackling starting your organizing project so definitely don’t skip this step. It’s a great way to give you a completely fresh start!

Step Two: Create Groupings

This is perhaps the most illustrative of steps because you can really begin to see just how much stuff we have. For your office space some of the categories we recommend are writing utensils (then pencils vs. pens), paper goods (notebooks, post-its, writing pads, etc.), electronics (headphones, chargers, hard drives, thumb drives, etc.), and miscellaneous items (paper clips, thumbtacks, etc.).

You’ll know once everything is out how many categories and subcategories you need. As for paper clutter, The Home Edit team suggests pulling all your papers together and sorting into categories: Action, File, Recycle, and Shred. Ideally, the paper items that fall into the “File” category would be scanned into the cloud or on your computer and sorted there. The other option if you like having physical access to them is to use a standing file system or document boxes.

Step Three: Pare Down

When KellyMitchell began our return to the office, we were asked to limit our desktop personal items so they were fewer surfaces for germs to live. In doing that, many of us took the opportunity to clean out our desk drawers and such to make room for some of those necessary but not desktop items.

You wouldn’t believe how many pens I found that no longer write or filled notebooks I don’t need any longer. This step isn’t just about obvious junk (goodbye last year’s Christmas candy) but really how many yellow highlighters does one person need. If in doubt, go back to Marie Kondo’s tip and decide if an item brings you joy or utility, if not, toss/donate!

Step Four: Contain and Store

A huge part of The Home Edit’s success is their storage system which uses small and large inserts and boxes in almost every space to contain items from comingling outside of their categories. A big reason for this system is so you 1) have easy access to the items you use the most and 2) so you can quickly see how much you have of an item.

While The Home Edit has a full line of these types of items at The Container Store, don’t rush over there just yet. Cleo and Joanna recommend using items you have at home first to determine what layout you like before purchasing extra items. Think stacked shoeboxes for large electronics and chargers and old jewelry boxes for pens and pencils.

Step Five: Enjoy!

While it might seem silly to include this, it’s an important reminder of what’s at the end of all this organizing! Whether it’s just your desk or your whole office, this certainly isn’t a small undertaking. By the end, though you will hopefully have found a system that works for you and simplifies the amount of time you are spending pushing around papers or sifting through drawers so you can be more efficient and focused!

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