Do you have:
- a messy desk
- paper piles
- drawers overloaded with stationery items
- an uncanny ability to lose or forget about things
- a disorganized system (no system!) for staying organized?
I’m sure you know that desk clutter can affect your performance and productivity.
But that doesn’t stop you from piling pieces of paper near the computer or shoving things into drawers that are already full.
We’re told to keep our desktop clear and uncluttered. File your paperwork. Label your folders. Keep a list of things that need prioritising.
All great advice, but at Get Organized Wizard we are often asked …
- HOW do I keep my desk top clear?
- HOW do I make sure paper piles don’t get on top of me?
- WHAT is the best way to write a priority list. (Check out our magic to-do list here.)
Here are some useful tips to help you take action.
Six Easy Ways To A Clutter-Free Desk
#1 Organize Daily
If you are prone to paper notes, try to address each piece straight away.
If the paper needs to be kept, file it in a folder. Organize these notes in one place. Once the task is done, and you don’t need the paper any more, then throw it away.
Make it part of your day. Spend 5-10 minutes at the start or end of your day to clear the clutter. Or even better, try to keep it clear throughout the day, dealing with each piece at the time you use it. Then it will become part of your routine and paper piles will be a thing of the past.
#2 Go Paperless
Instead of writing post-it notes to an office mate, use the company messaging system.
Internet and intranets, or whatever communication tool your work place offers.
Unless it’s important and needs signatures, conduct your business using technology.
Often utilizing the tools your company offers may mean some learning time is required. If you don’t feel competent using their technology then ask for help. The small time you take learning the technology can save you lots of unwanted stress in the future.
#3 Categorize Work
If you have different obligations throughout the day, compile and organize each piece of work by their category.
For example, have a three tiered tray with the top one for memos, middle ones for things that needed to be signed and the bottom one for sending out.
Setting up this kind of system is fairly quick. It is maintaining the system that will take some thought. Avoid having a Miscellaneous category. Be disciplined and take an extra minute to file correctly.
#4 Use Divided Trays
Mixing office supplies can lead to a big cluttered mess.
Try using divided trays to categorise all the pencils, all the highlighters, all the clips, tapes and other stationery items.
Find and source the trays that will suit your working style. It might be the trays that fit into drawers or containers that sit on the desk. Once you sort this out your office supplies will be easy to maintain.
Do you keep way too many pencils, pens, rubber bands or paper clips? Simply have what you use, keep one or two for contingency situations and throw away unusable objects.
Do you have unrelated work clutter on your desk? Consider whether you really need all those figurines/photos/post-it notes on display on your table. Keep it to a minimum.
Initially this may take a bit of time to organize, but once you have a system in place it will be easy to maintain.
#5 Tidy Up Regularly
Tidy and clean out your desk top regularly. Flick through folders and files to make sure what’s in there needs to be there.
Simply doing this for 5 minutes each day can stop clutter creep. Here are more secrets to staying clutter free for life.