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  • The C-Suite Minimalists

10 office items to get rid of right now

better mood and productivity through decluttering

Overwhelming amount of time, money, and nerves are wasted in the corporate world clutter. According to a research, reported in the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for paper, which increases stress and reduces concentration and creative thinking. Forbes quotes a survey of Adecco which concludes that many people judge coworkers by how clean or dirty they keep their work-spaces are. Moreover, people with dirty work spaces are labeled as “lazy”. Office clutter piles every day – paper, pens, business cards, documents, books, mugs, etc. A conscious effort is needed to keep it clean and classy. Applying a minimalist’s lifestyle could help resolve this problem, existing ever since the creation of work itself.

Inspired by minimalists like Madeleine Olivia, Jenny Mustard or Muchelle B, here are 10 things to get rid of in your office right now:

Business cards

Ever since 2014 Forbes pronounced business cards dead. I am not fully subscribed to the idea. But I bet many of your offices has a hidden stash of useless business cards that just have to go away. Back in the days a person’s majority could be judged by the amount of business cards piled on their desk as a symbol of rich network and connectivity. This time has gone. Today we exchange phone numbers and social media accounts on spot, or write immediately an e-mail with our contacts when we meet someone new. Another problem with piling up on business cards is that we most often forget where have we met a person and what was the reason for the exchange of cards.

Pens and pencils

Unless you sell pens and pencils, there is absolutely no need to keep a mug on your desk with old, new, broken, pens and pencils. This is such a last century look of a clerk. Better invest in a good pen for signing and a comfy pen for writing. A teacher would need a red pen for correcting hand-written mistakes. A student might use a highlighter. That is all one needs.

Newspapers and Magazines

If you don’t own a collectible edition of a paper or magazine, throw away and recycle all the rest. Chances are you will never pick it up again to read an old article. I do admit a stack of Harvard Business Reviews or Economists on a manager’s desk could still create an impression of credibility and knowledge. But at least make sure you took the foil away.

Used notebooks

The Salvador Dalis of today could skip that step if they believe selling the notebook pages with brilliant drawings would make them millionaires in the near future. For all the rest of us a quick look at the pages, digitizing any contact info or important note, will be sufficient before getting rid of those. If they contain sensitive information, use the shredder.

New notebooks and unused branded materials

When I was little my heart jumped with joy every time my father would come home with a company branded notebook or pen. His work took him to many offices and he often received those as a small sign of his visit. He did not use those. Neither did I. I just piled them up and looked how beautiful they were with the white clean pages and all. Nothing has changed ever since. And there is a high probability also for you. If you have not used those notebooks in the last year, you will not use them ever. Give them to someone who will appreciate, or recycle.

Old CDs, USBs, DVDs

Get this clutter-creators digitalized into a cloud or other e-space, applying the relevant security measures and just recycle those dust-gatherers.

Gifts and holidays company cards

Even in the digital age, the ritual of exchanging paper cards is still alive and I have nothing against it. But the only cards worth keeping and displaying up to two weeks after Christmas, are the ones with a personal and handwritten note in them. Anything else was an obligation to the sender, and most likely even not her, but her assistant’s.

Junk desk drawer

Having a junk desk drawer is a self-invitation for clutter. You are tempted to stack there post-its, pens, papers, invoices, you-name-it, just because you have where to put them. Getting rid of such a drawer will free space not only for your legs, but also for your mind.


Unless you work in space, where resources are limited, you probably have every single manual possible with a click of a button. All those manuals for phones, computers, office gadgets, etc. coming in neat boxes and bright shiny colors are a complete waste of space to keep. Recycle instead.

Personal bin

It is mind-boggling why it is still a practice in many companies to give to every new office employee the following upon arrival – a desk, a computer, a phone and… a personal bin. I have always wondered why anyone should wish to welcome new colleagues by providing them a bin. Are we trying to imply something, like, that everyone is dispensable? Enough. If you have a personal big or your are just handed one, give it back. There is a 99.9% chance the next bin in the office is 2 steps away.

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