Wednesday July 8, 2020
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Linkedin Linkedin Linkedin

How to get rid of the clutter

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


First, full disclosure. My desk isn’t as tidy as it could be. But in our line of work it can be so hard to keep the clutter to a minimum. Business cards … client files … the brochures you refer to all the time.

But I’m a firm believer that September signals a new start. I figure this is as good a month as any to make new resolutions about having a neater, more professional workspace. Less clutter means less stress – and, I think, a more professional attitude to your career.

Last week I did a major clear-out of my office. I felt so much lighter, everything was refreshed, I could prioritize things better. What a great feeling!


For some insider tips I contacted Kathleen O’Brien, principal of How It Stacks Up, a Canadian professional organizer who has worked with clients as varied as travel advisors and contractors (she once organized a guy’s truck).

“The biggest challenge is having people let go of things that no longer serve them,” she says. “The absolute goal is to have on your desk only what you need now.”

She makes some great suggestions about travel industry-specific challenges …


Keep the current ones to hand in magazine file folders which you can label. Don’t forget to discard the out-of-date ones!


Check out step sorters – like this one from Staples (O’Brien’s fave office supply store because “You can shop at home and they have great sales!”). Labelled with the client’s name (and perhaps departure date and/or destination), current client files will be accessible at a glance.


They do come in handy, but today there are better ways to organize them. O’Brien recommends the Camcard app. Not only will it scan business cards into your phone, but you can add details and store them by your own categories, e.g. Hoteliers; Weekend Getaways; Limo Services, etc.


Whether they’re your own, or from suppliers, store them in a clear, lidded, plastic box for easy reference and access. And use them! Pass them onto your clients, who may just appreciate such novel little gifts.

“Getting rid of clutter doesn’t only make you more efficient, it actually removes stress and anxiety,” says O’Brien. “I’ve had clients with tears of gratitude in their eyes when they have seen what I have done with their workspace.”

Ready for some de-clutterization? You can reach Kathleen O’Brien, who is in Toronto, through If you are outside Toronto, she is a member of a national professional organizers’ society and is happy to provide referrals across the country.

Lynda Sinclair_G3732_pp

Lynda Sinclair, CTM, is the Senior Vice-President – Leisure at Vision Travel Solutions, which has an ever-expanding and vibrant program for independent agents. With over 30 years in the Canadian retail travel industry, Lynda says she “lives and breathes what goes on at the front line.” She can be reached at


IATA’s latest poll shows clearest picture yet of traveller concerns
New public opinion research released this week by IATA provides the clearest picture yet of traveller concerns when it...
Canadians among the list of permitted visitors to Curaçao
Canadians have made it onto Curaçao’s list of permitted visitors but they’ll need to vie for a limited number of spots.
Costa pushes back resumption date, cancels all 2020 northern Europe cruises
Costa Cruises has once again extended its pause in cruise operations, from July 31 to Aug. 15, and has also cancelled...
UIA to resume Toronto service on July 19
UIA to resume Toronto service on July 19
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has announced that it will be resuming direct service between Toronto and Kyiv on...
View all News

Get travel news right to your inbox!