With so many tasks piling up on our to-do list, we tend to forget about organizing our workspace after a busy week and only end up with regret. While it’s understandable, it’s important to know that a clean desk goes beyond a pleasing aesthetic. That’s what Christine Dychiao—the first certified KonMari expert in the Philippines—revealed to us in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN Lifestyle.
“It does wonders inside us, too. Studies have shown that clutter is actually linked to depression and anxiety. The higher the number of items in our space, the higher our cortisol levels,” she shared, adding that it can save us time and money, boost our productivity, improve our physical and mental health, and even lead to happiness and contentment. “There’s really no reason not to do it.”
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Looking to straighten up your area but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips she shared with us!
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Commit some time for tidying
Dychiao suggested these numbers: An hour to clean your desk and three hours to give your entire office a makeover. “While it sounds like a lot of time, consider this: Most people spend an hour of their day looking for lost things. Tidying eliminates about 40% of cleaning up work that you have to do,” she explained.
Best to do it early in the morning
But it's only before taking on actual work should you do all the cleaning—preferably on a weekend, stressed the professional organizer. “You'll be too tired to tidy and will never have the energy to do it if you schedule it after work hours.”
Avoid distractions in the process
Make sure to concentrate on the decluttering task alone as it’s the time to mindfully look through your stuff in order to avoid throwing important documents or items by accident. “I once had a client who found the missing documents of a fully paid car loan that was sitting under a drawer full of unopened phone bills,” she recalled. “He was finally able to transfer ownership to his name, one year later.”
Tidy up by category
“Breaking it down this way keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and provides you with a manageable number of items to focus on,” explained Dychiao. “Seeing the shock of how much you own one thing can also create a shift in your mind that propels you to not want to waste time and money on things that do not serve you.”
When sorting paper, she added, classify them in three piles: Immediate, files needed for a limited period of time, and the ones that should be kept indefinitely. “You can use a filing box on your desk for immediates, a drawer for limited period documents, and a safe or filing cabinet for indefinites.”
Assign a place for each item
Doing so can greatly help you with maintaining order in your space. “You would know where to find everything you need,” she concluded. “It can even allow you to think clearly because you have an uncluttered area.”
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