How to Organize Your Office Space: Ask Shelina Podcast #4

Do you want to declutter your life? “Ask Shelina” is a podcast for anyone who wants to learn how to declutter their house, but doesn’t know where to start. It is hosted by Shelina Jokhiya, Founder of Decluttr Me, the first company in the UAE created to help people organize their lives and Melltoo Marketplace is the official organizer of the podcast series.

Not sure what to do with all your excess stuff after decluttering? Melltoo Marketplace solves this problem by helping you promote your posts promote your posts and connecting you with buyers. We even handle payment and delivery on your behalf! Decluttering in the UAE has never been this easy.

Here is the podcast #4 of “Ask Shelina” podcast series:


Each episode brings you useful tips and tricks that you can implement today to become organized and live stress-free.


Hello again everyone and welcome to our fourth edition of the podcast brought to you by Melltoo and DeclutterMe. Again this week we have Shelina in the house to talk to us about decluttering. Shelina, say hi to us please.

Shelina: Hi everybody, today I am going to talk about decluttering in the office. We are going to go through what I did recently decluttering a filing room and also an office in an industrial zone.

Sean: Ok, So, I’m also going to ask a quick one since a common occurrence because offices are meant to be organized basically, so is it that we find then that it happens often – that we find the situation of cluttering in offices?

Shelina: Yeah, and most offices are very disorganized. Companies have focussed on making sales and bringing in business to making profits and they don’t think about the back end. So they don’t think about filing or how to think about compliance and to regulation within the business. They don’t create systems for the business so people create their own filing systems individually, which can be a problem if they leave or if something happens to them or they’re are on holiday so nobody else can find the article or the document on the computer. Or on the server or on a piece of paper. So I go in to offices and educate on how to synchronize systems for everybody to use, so that anybody and everybody can find a document or an item immediately. So that’s is how I work now.

Sean: Good, good. Because from our first podcast with you, the first week we did talk about you coming in from the corporate world. Having the experience from this aspect anyways from the start. So how has that helped you to do this?

Shelina: Well, as I had said the first time we talked, I had been a lawyer and you have to do with a lot of paper as a lawyer, and have a lot of files. And I created new systems for filing rooms in all the companies I have worked in. Also as a compliance officer, so I understand regulations and how that we need to keep compliant in your office. So I use that knowledge to help decluttter and organize offices now in decluttering.

Sean: That was lovely. So from the pictures we are seeing now, obviously this is one of the many offices you have done so far. Because we’ve been talking about homes and kitchen cabinets and storage spacers. This looks more informal and private. Now, this is, this is an office I would like to think is – people from different aspects, from different places in the world, different cultures. So how do you go about the process of decluttering an office space or an office area? What are the things you do? Just walk us through the process. Because from this picture has gone from flowers everywhere, and papers everywhere to just straight organizing like a book library. So just tell us what have you done?

Shelina: What we had to do I had to work with and administrator and with the department for each area. For this area, we looked at the papers and looked at the files and saw which ones could be shredded, because they were so old. They were from the 1990’s so it could definitely be shredded. We also then looked at what documents could be archived, so that they could then be boxed away and stored in an archive facility. A lot of the boxes that you see there, they just had random pieces of paper. So employees had left the company, and instead of filing the documents properly or giving it to another employee, they’ve just dumped it in a box.

So we had to go through all the paperwork and see whether it was needed or to be filed, shredded or archived. Thereafter, the files that were left were then sorted out into a system to make it easy for everybody to find it. The filing system before was based on the employee. So the employee had their own clients, their own filing system and different filing areas, which was just nonsensical. So everything was then put into a proper logical system for everybody to understand. And that’s how we work, and then I trained all the staff and explained to them how the system would work now. Some people don’t like it, but then they have to get used to it, because they work for they business, they don’t work for their own. So it has to be in a system that’s for the business.

Sean: That’s good. The organization looks wonderful. So how do you do this, how do you go about this? What kind of things you put them through after you have organized the files and all that, I mean you have done your part. How do they carry on after you have left?

Shelina: What I do is, I provide training; a seminar for all the employees, and all the relevant employees -all of them if I can. And we talk about the clean desk policy, which is something that I am a big advocate for. I don’t believe that it’s productive to work in a mess on a messy desk. So I explain to them about how to have a clean desk, what to keep and what not to keep. How to utilize technologies so that they reduce the amount of paper that they waste on their desk, and also how to have a clear work area. So, people keep files on the floor which is a health hazard, so if there’s a fire alarm, they could trip over the files. So I have to teach them, but they have to reduce how they are being non-compliant of health and safety regulations. There are now regulations in the UAE regarding this, which a lot of people are not aware of so I explain this to them and to employees so that it’s clear how they can work productively but in a safe environment as well.

Sean: Ok, That is good. So, I have this question for you, on follow- ups. Does it normally happen that you get called back after a while by a client or say an office or a home, somewhere anyone. Do they normally call you back “Oh, uhm, something’s happened and It’s gone all bad again, help me.” What happens in this situation?

Shelina: It can happen sometimes, some people find it very difficult to stay organized and that’s why they need help. I do provide continuity service for previous clients so that I can come check on them every few months to make sure everything’s fine. And then if they need me to do a whole session again, I will do that. But most of the time, it is just this continuity, I check for two hours or so, just to make sure that everything is organized, and give them tips on how to stay organized again. That’s sufficient for my clients.

Sean: Thank you very much, It has been good really good to hear and very refreshing informative. I know, not just me, but our listeners out there, everyone that’s been listening for the past four weeks would like to know definitely what tips do you have for us?How do we go about leading very organized, no maybe not very but at least somewhat more organized lives. Could you just give us short little bit of tips?

Shelina: My top tips are, if you have – go through once a week and get rid of one thing. So whether it is an old jar of marmalade that has expired, or an item of clothing. Just get rid of something once a week, and you will seeing a reduction in the amount of things that you have that you don’t need. Also, if you haven’t used something for six months, get rid of it. Unless it’s like a very expensive ball gown that you can only wear once a year. Don’t buy things unless you are sure you need it. So make a shopping list before you leave the house, so you do not buy three bags of sugar. So they’re my top tips.

Sean: Thank you very much, I am sure that that has been really helpful for everyone, It’s been helpful for me anyways, I am privileged to hear all of that. I will start putting it into practice because I don’t like going on and on about getting things done, and I don’t get them done.  But, we’ve been very happy to have you here, Shelina.

Shelina: Thank you very much for having me.

Sean: Yes, you are welcome, anytime. Well, we hope to have more sessions with you in the future because I am sure our listeners are happy to hear what you have to say at anytime. This has been really informative. It’s been really helpful what you have been telling us so far about getting organized because you’d be surprised what it does to someone to be organized. Yes, thank you very much. This podcast has been brought to you by DecluttrMe and Melltoo. Hopefully this has been very helpful to everyone as it has been to me. Thank you Shelina for coming and have a nice day everyone.

Shelina: Thank you, bye.