Clear the Clutter of 2017 and Begin 2018 With a Fresh Start!

You walk in to your office with your favorite cup of coffee ready to start the day. The only problem is yesterday’s favorite cup of coffee + all the mail and paperwork you didn’t file away is still waiting for you. Let’s clear the clutter of 2017 and get a fresh start for 2018.

First things first - It’s time to purge..

Take a walk around your office, look under desks, in drawers, and in cabinets & closets. Let’s be honest, how many broken electronic items have you found? We have the best intentions to recycle that old printer and monitor, but it’s time to take action. Gather all non-paper items that need to be recycled, donated, or sent to the landfill. Before you move on to the next step, pack everything up and drop it off.

Visit for inspiration on what your office could look like and what items you want to purge .

Now for some fun…

Before we send you off to the filing cabinet, it’s time to head to your favorite stationery or office supply store for a little retail therapy. Remember to shop local. Pick out file & hanging folders, a file organizer, and a letter tray. Giving your filing cabinet and desk an updated look will make it easier to put things away. On your way back to the office stop and grab a cup of coffee, you’re going to need it for the next step.

Brighten up your desk with these chic letter trays from Ivy & Anchor available at The Papery.


Organizing the filing cabinet…

Start with the top drawer of your filing cabinet, look through each file and piece of paper and ask yourself the following things:  

  • Do you legally need this?

  • Is it relevant to your business?

  • Is it in the correct folder?

  • Is it out of date?

Documents that are out of date such as expired licenses/permits or papers that you aren’t sure if you should keep are an easy fix. Scan a copy and save to your external hard drive. Ensure everything you need is in the correct folder, and everything you don’t need is shredded. Finish this task completely before moving on to the next step. Aren’t you glad we recommended coffee before this project?

Want more information about what to shred and what to shed? Visit Smartly Organized for more details.

Let’s tackle the desk…

Once my desk is out of control, my productivity plummets. I tend to keep a lot of items on my desk, beverages, box for mail separated into incoming and outgoing before being filed away, picture of my family, decorative cup with too many highlighters, non decorative cup with too many pens (there are too many highlighters in the other cup to fit any pens), legal yellow notepads for every project, file organizer that is over stuffed, and then there is THE DREADED PILE. The pile is that stack of papers that need to be filed or discarded, normally covered in post-its and to-do lists that are partially completed.


Start with the pile, discard everything you don’t need, file away anything you do need, and create one to- do list with all of your tasks listed. Next open ALL mail, shred what you don’t need, file away everything you do need. Try to do this at least once per week to avoid mail stacking up. Now, purge the file organizer of everything except items that are completely necessary. Store notebooks in a drawer nearby and condense the amount of writing utensils on the desktop.

Feel like this is more than you have time to handle? Consider hiring a professional organizer! Visit for more information.

Swivel Works is a woman-owned business with a community of professionals working to help small business compete in a big business world.

Carolyn DeLavalle