Organizing your desk can sound like a daunting task. For some people, it seems an almost impossible feat. Thankfully, there are practical solutions that you can apply to this area of your office that will help you keep your desk functional and organized.

The Paper Pile

Papers on a desk can be one of the most annoying aspects of organizing. Do you have piles that persist, even when you seem to manage them half the time?

The key is in addressing the information as it comes in, rather than putting it off for another day. Clutter can be defined as “delayed decisions”. These piles usually contain some decisions that need to be resolved and an investment of time to come to a conclusion.

Ideally, you should touch a paper one time, and take care of the matter as soon as you can. If it’s something that is in the future, then of course, you can give yourself more time.

But as for those other, daily concerns, it is better to deal with the situation that this piece of mail or flyer is addressing, and be quick to make a decision  and resolve whatever has graced your desk.

desk clutter

Giving Your Desk Lift

First of all, you need to sort the piles of paper that have accumulated over the days and weeks on your desk. Do this by coming up with categories for yourself: bills, undone tasks, easy decisions that you just haven’t gotten around to, decisions that more weighty or time-consuming and papers that can be thrown in the trash.

Once you have spit up the papers into their respective new piles, it becomes much easier to take inventory of what you actually have and need to do. Which of them requires action? Which can be left to do at a later time?

Take Organizing Action

The next thing to do is to create a filing system for yourself. You can use containers with shelves that are labeled according to what kind of papers each shelf will hold or create labeled files for each category.

Make sure that everything is separated out to avoid any confusion as to where to find what. This gives a you a home for your piles, a place to hold each category of papers that are coming in.

This makes it easier for you to find things as well as saving you time looking for that important document that you just have to have today. Simplifying this task for yourself will cause less stress and free up more time for those things you want to be doing.

The Monster in Your Drawer

Everyone has at least one drawer that is full of all sorts of odds and ends that have no rhyme or reason to them. Things are jumbled about and generally messy.

It’s the drawer you are always digging through to find that one item that’s there one day and who knows where the next. This drawer can cause frustration and confusion just by opening it!

The first thing to do here is to completely empty the drawer of all of its contents to see exactly what you have and what you want to keep in there. You will probably find things that are practical, useful and even comical. When was the last time you used the key to the car you sold last summer?

Separate your items into piles. What do you use at your desk? Do you need that old gum eraser; what about this protractor? This flashlight? These old rubber bands?

If it’s something you need and will use, then keep it handy. Anything else can be placed elsewhere or thrown away. Remember to store it where you use it.

A nice drawer organizer with separate compartments can help keep like things together such as paper clips or thumbtacks. This will help you keep your organizing efforts in place and save you from going right back to where you started!

desk clean

The Desk Top

The amount of items on top of your desk is up to you. Many people like to have some sort of decoration such as a plant or a knickknack that is of sentimental value or just for fun.

Some people have photos of their kids/parents/pets to remind them of their loved ones. Others bring food and drinks to their desk to enjoy a snack while they are working.

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remember to keep it simple and not let these items take over your space and inhibit the true reason why you are at your desk to begin with.

If you have dishes, return them to the sink. If you have photos or knickknacks, make sure to dust and clean them off to keep this area clean. If you have a plant, take care of it so that it enhances your work space and uplifts you. To learn more about the benefits of having an uncluttered space, read my blog, “Organize for your Health and Well-Being”.

Keeping Your Desk Organized

All of these tips and ideas can help you get and keep your desk organized. Your desk is an important part of your life, where you can work, read, learn, take care of business and be inspired. Start working on getting your life in order by organizing your desk!