A desk is a great place to get your work done, but just like everything else, it’s hard keeping it neat and tidy. And when your desk is a disorganized mess, it can be hard to stay focused and get things accomplished. You can’t find what you need, you get distracted and you can get a little stressed out. But there are a lot of ways to de-clutter your space and keep it that way. Here are a few things to help you out.
Remove everything that doesn’t belong there
This sounds pretty obvious, but it’s an important part of keeping clutter away – and it’s easy not to do it. And I’m not just talking about the car keys you threw there, the shirt you decided not to wear, or the empty mug from the coffee you drank last week. You already know you need to get rid of that stuff. No, I mean the stuff that finds its way into your workspace that may even be organized, but just doesn’t belong.
It’s a good idea to watch movies, play video games, or put together jigsaw puzzles in a different place than where you work. Otherwise, it makes it that much easier to be distracted when work time comes around. And it’s also a good idea to keep all distractions off the desk entirely. Your collection of Gameboy games, your makeup kit, your stash of snacks, etc. Even if they are tidied up, they shouldn’t be there! Put them someplace else and clear away some clutter and distraction.
Remove any excess of things that do belong there
Again, this sounds simple enough, but it’s important. Do you really need 7 empty notebooks, 5 packs of yellow highlighters or the last 3 editions of Oxford’s English Dictionary at arm’s length? Probably not. I’m not saying you need to get rid of all your stuff, but if your pencil holder is overflowing or you’ve got books you haven’t looked at in years crammed onto the desk, you won’t be able to keep things organized. Clear out anything you’re not using and keep it elsewhere.
Keep it Contained
Have folders or binders or even a file cabinet to sort your papers into. Keep your books tidy with some bookends. Put your writing utensils in a cup or a drawer. Boxes, cupboards, or even hollow books – there are lots of options. Just make sure everything is contained. Don’t leave your things free to move about the cabin. Buckle them in and only let them out when you’re using them.
A place for everything and everything in it’s place
Try not to have a designated place for “miscellaneous” items and don’t just throw things wherever they’ll fit. Figure out where everything belongs and then make it a point to put it there when it’s not being used. Bust out the label-maker if it’ll help keep things straight. Just make sure everything has a home.
Do it Daily
Take a little time each day to straighten up your desk. Even just a few minutes after you’re done with your work for the day will help keep things looking clean and clutter-free so you don’t end up having to do a complete overhaul every month or so to organize your space. Once you’ve got it looking nice, make it a habit to keep it that way.
Getting organized can take some time, but a clutter-free desk can help keep you focused and less overwhelmed when it comes time to get some work done. If your space is crazy with clutter, start from scratch, and use these tips to keep things in order. You’ll feel a lot better, and hopefully work a lot better, too!