Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How-To: Declutter Your Desk

No matter whether it's your desk at work or at home, desks are one of the worst places for clutter. Whilst some people claim that they prefer a messy desk (and even find it easier to find stuff when the desk is messy rather than has been cleaned up), most people would prefer to have a less cluttered desk. Here are my top tips for decluttering your desk:
  1. Use trays and devise a system to file current paperwork in your trays (such as "In", "This Week", "Next Week", etc). Your paperwork should have a home - in a tray, not on your desk. If you don't like the look of trays, shallow boxes are also a good option.
  2. Use bulldog clips. Whilst paperclips are okay for a few of pages, nothing beats bulldog clips for keeping a bundle of paper together.
  3. File old paperwork away in your drawers or filing cabinet. If you don't have a filing cabinet, an easy alternative is to have a set of manila folders in your drawers for different categories of paperwork. Once you no longer need something close at hand, file it away. And occasionally (such as when you have a slow afternoon or are in between projects), go through your old paperwork and chuck away or shred anything that you no longer need again. (But make sure you follow your company guidelines.)
  4. Have a cup for your pens and pencils. And it doesn't need to be from a stationery store - a funky coffee mug will also do the trick.
  5. At the end of each day, whilst clearing your head before you step out of the door, also clear your desk by putting items away.
  6. Unless your cleaners actually clean your desk (most places I've work at the cleaners tend to leave the desks untouched), clean your desk. It's much nicer to work on a desk that isn't dusty, and it's also a good chance to tidy it up.
(images: kikki.K)

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