Decluttering for a Successful Career

Cluttered office desk

A successful career for anyone begins with decluttering. Both the physical office and the digital office need attention at your office and your home when it comes to reducing and removing clutter.

Decluttering for a Successful Career Using Feng Shui Tips

Feng shui practitioner Ellie Marshall has been an active member of the Feng Shui Guild since 2004. She explains why clutter is so harmful. "Any type of clutter creates a block or obstacle to what you really want to accomplish in life. That could be more money, a better job or a whole new career."

Declutter Your Office Space Immediately

The first obvious place to start decluttering for your career success is your physical office space. This includes more than just your desk, although it is the most obvious and vital place to start.

  • Find or create a place for everything and put it there. Always return items to their place after use.
  • Take time to create a new file folder and store papers immediately so they don't accumulate into stacks of clutter.
  • Place paperwork in the correct file folders and/or bins.
  • File paperwork in appropriate folders the moment you receive it.

Home Office Clutter Free Zone

If you work out of a home office, make cleaning your office a weekly practice. Fridays are always a good day for housekeeping, so your office is sparkling ready on Monday mornings for a great start to the week.

Freelancer standing at her desk

Feng Shui Office Good Housekeeping Tips

It isn't enough to just organize your office. You need to incorporate good housekeeping habits. Most people working from home are also responsible for housekeeping. Either they do the cleaning or hire someone to clean their house, including the office. In between cleanings, which should be weekly, you may need to do some tidying up yourself.

  1. Make sure the floors are always clean.
  2. Shelving should be dust free.
  3. Furniture is often moved, especially chairs. Always return these to their proper place when not being used.
  4. Glass door bookcases are the best feng shui option. However, books in open bookcases should be aligned flush with the edge of the shelving to prevent poison arrows. Poison arrows are considered clutter.

Mid-Week Touch Up Tips

If you're not the neatest worker, take a 30-minute break to pickup and cleanup your office. You'll work better in an organized and clean feng shui office space. The chi energy will keep you energized when it can flow easily throughout your office.

  1. Empty the trash can before it overflows.
  2. Clean off your desk at the end of the day as though you have a meeting in it the next morning.
  3. Take empty coffee mugs to the kitchen for washing.
  4. Leave a small light on at night so the chi energy doesn't flee from the room at night.

Digital Decluttering for a Successful Career

Most people don't think of digital clutter, but it can be just as harmful as physical clutter. If your inbox is cluttered or your file folder disorganized, you general workflow is going to be impacted. A few quick decluttering tips can get your digital office in line with feng shui principles.

woman working at home


If your inbox is overflowing, it's time to cull and delete. You need to go through the spam folder. Most email programs require emptying deleted files. Take time each day or at least twice a week to empty deleted files.

Create Email File Folders

If you can't seem to get organized and get rid of the digital clutter, try creating file folders in your email box. This way you can move each piece of email to its rightful folder for later review and response. If your email program allows you to set up rules, have incoming email rerouted to appropriate folders.

Digital Sticky Notes

It's easy to accumulate digital sticky notes, much the same way as physical ones. Once a week go through your Post-it notes to consolidate and delete.

Computer Files and Programs

If you have computer files or programs that you no longer use, save the files on a usb flash drive and cloud for backup. You can then remove these from your computer.

Clean Monitor and Keyboard

Simple housekeeping tasks such as cleaning the monitor and keyboard are often neglected. Take a look at yours from the point-of-view of a stranger. Would they want to use your keyboard? Take a few minutes every few days to clean both. Clutter is dirt and debris and these can easily accumulate on both the monitor and keyboard.

The One Time Rule

The most important office rule to avoid clutter is an old one. It states to only deal with paper one time. If you follow this rule, you'll discover a much better workflow. The same rule can be applied to digital paperwork, emails and business record keeping. This practice will go a long way to ensuring your success since you'll reduce clutter and save valuable time for doing other work-related tasks.

Don't Stop at Office Decluttering, Bring It Home

Whether you work outside the home or a home office, don't stop the decluttering process with your office. Your home space impacts your career just as much if not more in some instances than your actual office space. Your home feng shui impacts every aspect of your life. This is especially true if you work out of a home office.

Home office with wooden desk

Get Rid of House Clutter

Ellie Marshall advises that you focus on decluttering all areas of your life, especially your career sector. The north sector of your home has a direct impact on what happens to your job. Ellie says, "If you want to bring anything new into your space (or life), you need to get rid of the old. The old in this case is the clutter."

Focus on the Money Sectors

You should first focus on the sectors that bring money into your life. Ellie advises, "These areas are directly related to money, your career and the people who can help you get a new (or better) job."

The most obvious sectors include:

  1. Career luck sector (north)
  2. Wealth luck sector (southeast)
  3. Fame and recognition luck sector (south)
  4. Mentor luck sector (northwest)
  5. Education luck sector (northeast)

Declutter Tips for Money Sectors

These five compass directions are related to money, but at first glance the relationship may not be clear. For example, education luck means being educated and wise about your business while mentor luck covers mentors and various networking that are vital to your success and ability to earn more money. Ellie suggests you do the following:

  • Clutter is not clogging up the floor or tabletops of furniture.
  • Declutter all closets, drawers and cabinets.
  • Replace worn or torn upholster, desk, chairs, draperies, blinds or shades.
  • Windows should be thoroughly operative and cleaned.

Front Door and Office Door

The front door and the door to your office are the gateways for auspicious chi to enter. You need a constant flow of fresh and healthy chi energy entering your home and office to ensure an energetic and positive ambience. Ellie explains, "The front door in feng shui is very important. It is the boundary between the outside world and your inside world. Therefore, it is imperative to keep this area as decluttered as possible."

Some things you should do include:

  • Make sure you remove all clutter on the inside and outside of the door.
  • Remove discarded coats/jackets and don't allow this kind of clutter to accumulate near the door.
  • Shoes scattered about the front door entrance or entrance into your office are clutter and should be neatly placed in a clutter free organized closet.
  • All children's toys and athletic equipment should be kept away for both doors and stored properly.

Easy Decluttering for a Successful Career

Decluttering for a successful career is easy when you apply feng shui principles and rules to your home or office decor. Keeping your home and office clutter free will ensure there aren't any obstacles to your career success.

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Decluttering for a Successful Career