3 Tips to Organize and Declutter Your Desk

If you haven't seen it, you've probably heard of the popular Netflix show, "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo." The show follows Marie Kondo as she goes to different homes that need organizing and decluttering. Her approach encourages people to get rid of items in their home that do not give them joy.

After learning about Marie Kondo, you may be inspired to declutter your house, but we hope you'll also consider organizing your desk at work - as an organized desk can increase your productivity. So, read the following tips below to get started!

Tip #1: Organize the Papers on your Desk

If you're looking at your desk and don't know where to start, we suggest beginning the process by organizing the papers on your desk. To begin, go through your papers and get rid of any duplicates that you may have. Next, consider if you have any soft copies of these papers on your computer. If you do and you're not using the hard copy for a current project, you should have no trouble recycling these papers.

Once you complete this process, we want you to go through your papers again, but now we want you to keep in mind how old the paper is. If you have a paper on your desk from a project you were working on a year ago, chances are it may no longer be relevant. If you do have older papers on your desk that are important to keep, we suggest using a filing system for these papers. Your filing system should consist of file folders and a place to house these folders, such as a file cabinet or a document sorter.

By recycling papers that are no longer needed and implementing a filing system, you will be able to easily find the papers that you need, allowing you to complete everything on your list without any unnecessary frustration.

Tip #2: Organize What's on your Desk

Have a look at your desk. Do you have pens sprawled everywhere? If you do, we want you to test out these pens and throw away any that don't work. We want you to take the rest of your pens and put them in a supply caddy. A supply caddy can also hold scissors, sticky notes and more. This will help keep the supplies on your desk organized, which will help you get more work done. This can be seen in an experiment done by the Harvard Business Review. They found that people who worked on a cluttered desk found it more difficult to complete a task, than those who worked on an uncluttered desk.

Decluttering your desk of non-working pens should be easy, but how are you going to decide how to declutter the rest of the tools on your desk? We suggest using a two-step process. First, we want you to take two weeks to determine everything on your desk that you use. Each time you refer to a sticky note or use your stapler, we want you to write it down. After the two weeks are over, we want you to remove anything from your desk that isn't on your list and think about if you need it. If you haven't used the item in two weeks, consider if you will use it in a few months from now. Once this is determined, you should put the tools you've decided to keep inside your desk and put the rest of your items in a box. Anything that you plan to get rid of such as old technology, for example, should be recycled. If you have any tools that would be useful to your co-workers, you should set it aside for other people to pick up.

Tip #3: Organize your Desktop

Now that you've decluttered your desk, we want you to turn your attention to your computer sitting at your desk. Is your desktop cluttered with many oddly named documents? If you're someone who temporarily saves their files on the desktop, we want you to think. Have you ever been frustrated when you couldn't find a certain file on your desktop? Maybe you tried to search for the file, but without knowing the proper name you couldn't find it. That is why we suggest that you provide these documents with a proper naming convention and move them to the right folders. By properly naming your documents and placing them in the correct folders, you'll avoid any wasted time and frustration that you face when you are trying to look for a certain document.

Staying Organized: Bonus Tip

Hopefully, by now, you're motivated to get your desk organized. To leave you off, we want to provide you with one last tip. Keeping your desk organized should not be a once a year project. Try to declutter your desk at least once a month, to ensure your productivity at work stays at an all-time high.


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