messy wooden desk with computer and papers

How To Declutter Your Desk

Having an organized workspace is important, if not essential for productivity. Though there have been studies that say messiness leads to creativity, ultimately a dirty desk can be distracting, or even make you look less professional.

Knowing where your items are and having available work areas will not only help you feel prepared, but will reduce stress, as you are focused on your tasks, not your clutter. Whether you’re struggling with a messy desk, overwhelmed by your workload, or just looking for some organization tips, here are ten ways to declutter your desk, with infographics from Quill.

1. Reduce your ‘stuff.’

First and foremost, it’s important to see what you actually need vs. what you’ve acquired unnecessarily. Empty coffee cups? Scraps of paper? Notes written on sticky-notes attached to the computer screen? Whatever it is, be conscious about ridding of excess junk.

Create separate piles for yourself, examples: keep, shred, recycle, discard so that you can easily sort and remove what you don’t need.

2. Wipe off your work space.

This is both a cleaning and decluttering tip, but what’s best about this physical act of wiping down is that it leaves you feeling refreshed. Sometimes a space can look and feel organized simply in keeping it clean.

3. Give your loose papers a home.

Or sticky-notes, or scraps, etc. Grab a bin, file, tray, or designate an area where loose papers will go. This will keep you from endlessly searching for individual sheets because they’ll all be in one place.

4. Label. Label. Label.

This is so helpful. Though it might be silly (and time consuming at first), the effort will pay off. When you label your items, you can a) easily find what you need when you need it, and b) be able to sort future items easily. This is a foolproof way to get your desk (and life) in order.

5. Create designated areas.

For everything. Pencils? Pencil holder. Mints? Little cup by your phone, etc. Having a designated space goes right along with the label tip—easy to sort and keep things tidy.

6. Put less-used items away.

Whatever you don’t need now, or within the next few months, categorize and store in a drawer. Use your immediate shelves and desk space for what you’re currently working on or use frequently.

7. Take advantage of the vertical space.

Whether your’e using a wall or building another set of shelves, etc. vertical space is a great way to declutter your desk, while still saving space in your work area/office.

8. Go digital.

Do you really need that contract to be printed out? Or can you scan and fax? Do you need to write all your notes down, or can you use an app like OneNote? Finding ways to go digital can save you a lot of space and help you declutter.

9. Leave with a mess-free area.

One of the easiest ways to declutter each day? Start the night before. Make sure to throw away trash, put items in their respective places, and leave with everything in order.

10. Set time aside specific to decluttering.

Oftentimes if you don’t prioritize something, it won’t get done. That’s why setting a timer/notification for decluttering and cleaning each day or week will help to make sure you’re on track and not getting overwhelmed.

*Infographic images provided by Quill and used with permission.

Featured Image Credit: rawpixel