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7 ways decluttering your home will make you a better entrepreneur

Working from home, for yourself, requires discipline and a unique mix of go-getter attitude and humbleness to get down and dirty with the hard work. While you are working on building your business the last thing you need is distraction and negative energy from an untidy, cluttered home and life.

These are the eight areas of your home or life you can change today that will afford you more time to effortlessly work on building your business.

Read this before you start your work-from-home business

#1 Your office, obviously

It goes without saying that you need a dedicated space to run your business from, but with daily life and the demands of running a start-up from home it is all too easy for clutter from your home to spill over into your work space.

The easiest way to fix this is to take the time each day to clear your desk; put everything that does not belong in your home office into the correct space and use the time to clearly set out the tasks or documents that require your attention first the next time you’re at your desk.

Top tip: It’s often hard for people who work from home to switch off, they don’t get the commute home to unwind from work and get into home-mode, so consider the desk tidying a part of your daily routine and use it to get out of work mode and ready for family time.

#2 Your mailbox, side table or vase

Clear neat entry room

Every home has that one spot – the spot where things get put as soon as you enter the home and left until you need them. Don’t fall into this trap. Community newspaper you won’t read? Recycle bin. Important mail needing your attention? Take it to your office. Business or calling cards you need to hold onto? File them straight away. It’s frustrating to be flailing around looking for paperwork you need in a hurry only to find it under last week’s community paper.

#3 The kitchen sink

When working from home it is easy to get into the habit of using a new cup every time you want tea or just leaving your lunch plate next to the sink. Take the time to rinse the dishes you used for your lunch and treat yourself with one special, beautiful cup you can use while you’re working to minimise your daily dishes.

Top tip: Take  a regular breather and enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee away from your desk. This will up your concentration and energy levels and also help with your decluttering mission – you won’t be leaving empty cups on your desk!

#4 Your clothes pile

Neat clothes rack

Let’s be straight, a great perk of working from home is that you can answer emails in your comfiest pants. Unfortunately, though, those pants don’t work for meetings so chances are you are changing clothes more than twice a day – nobody stays in their stuffy deal-maker outfit once they are back home and answering emails, right?

Get into the habit of dealing with clothes as you take them off. Want to wear it again later? Fold it and put it into your closet, or if it needs a wash put it into the laundry basket. The same goes for shoes – when not on your feet they should be in the closet.

THE ingredient these entrepreneurs say will help you succeed

#5 Your bag

Whether it’s a laptop, shoulder or hand bag, chances are you’ve accumulated more in there than what you even realise. The programme or lanyard for last year’s industry conference should be your first, and only, clue. It’s time for some serious bag decluttering. Take 20 minutes to pack everything out of your bag, keep (and find a place) for the documents or items you need and chuck the rest.

Top tip: Keep it looking this good by taking a few minutes at the end of each day to clear out your bag and ensure it has everything you might need for the next day.

#6 Your wallet

Manicured hand holding wallet

Your wallet, or better known as the ultimate accumulator of slips and other miscellaneous teeny pieces of paper, definitely is a clutter hotspot. As a self-employed person you definitely need to keep certain slips and proof of payments for tax purposes. No your monthly groceries shop does not qualify. Keep only what is needed and get rid of the rest, or better yet ask for it to not be printed and emailed to you instead where and when possible. This makes record-keeping for tax purposes so much easier and you’re doing your bit to help Earth.

#7 Your car

Your car is not your storage unit on wheels. Make it a rule that you take everything out of it after each journey. Whether it’s your morning coffee’s takeaway cup which you had on the way to an early breakfast or the files and notes from the meeting with your new prospective client, these items do not belong in your car. Throw away or recycle the things you do not need and correctly file any important documents notes or information from meetings during the day.

While working on building a business it is easy to get carried away with your day-to-day tasks but you deserve a home, and life, that you can relax and recharge in. Living an uncluttered life is a huge part of that.


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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