01/30/2015 10:44 am ET Updated Apr 01, 2015

5 Steps to a Zen Home Office

It's a new year, you have new goals to achieve. What a better way to stay productive than to clear off your desk? After all, a clear desk = a clear mind. Here are five simple decluttering tips:

1. Define how you use your space.
Is this primarily for work, home business, bill paying, personal finances, art crafts, writing, etc.? What will you use this particular space for? Briefly write down your goal for the space to keep you focused.

2. Declutter using the Pareto Principle's 80/20 Rule.
Did you know that we typically use 20% of what we have 80% of the time? Or that 80% of the results are from 20% causes? Clear off everything on top of your desk and drawers and only keep what you use 80% of the time. Be ruthless about getting rid of things you no longer use. Clutter is a form of stuck energy so clearing this will give you space to achieve your goals. However, if it's a questionable legal or tax document, either save in a file folder, or electronically scan and save to your computer or an app like Evernote.

3. Use systems.
In order to maintain this sense of calm it's best to have certain systems in place where everything has a home. Organize whatever you decide to keep. File loose papers in labeled folders. Use organizers for office supplies. Reuse or repurpose items you already have. An attractive mug could make a great pen holder. A basket could hold your latest magazines or be a holding place for incoming mail. When there's a place for everything, it will be way easier to find things too! Knowing where everything is will help you to commit to keeping your space clear and organized.

4. Make it your own.
Style and accessorize with framed pictures, inspiring quotes, potted plants, flowers in a vase or anything else to get you feeling zen and productive.

5. Maintain it.
Make sure you give yourself 5-10 minutes a day to review your space, keep it ordered and decluttered a few minutes a day. This is probably the biggest challenge, but it makes a difference.

With these seven steps, you're bound to keep a zen desk for a productive year! Want more? Sign up for my Zen Space Instagram Challenge on