It’s probably not a secret that your productivity (and your sanity) can increase when your work space is neat. “Outer order contributes to inner calm,” says Gretchen Rubin, an author, blogger and speaker on the topics of habits, happiness and human nature, and I tend to agree.
It just makes sense – a less-cluttered desk gives you more room to work, which leads to higher productivity and less overall stress in your daily routine. But achieving a neat, de-cluttered workspace is often easier said than done!
To organize your desk, I recommend small, daily changes. Follow these simple organization tips to de-stress your life at work, home or wherever you and your desk reside.
- Get rid of clutter.
An obvious tip, right? Well, I’m encouraging you to think outside of the box on this one. We tend to think of stacks of papers and trash as clutter – and it certainly is – but there are other examples of clutter, too. If you have countless non-work items – such as photos, knickknacks and other decorations – on your desk, your workspace gets cluttered. To fix this, try hanging photos on the wall and placing knickknacks on a nearby shelf. Or, create a wall gallery to keep your creativity flowing and your desk clear! Only keep what you need on your desk, leaving open space for work.
- Keep a trash can nearby.
It’s extremely helpful to keep a trash can within arm’s reach. This way, there’s no reason not to pitch your trash right away. If you have to physically get out of your chair to throw something away, it’s definitely too far.
- Digitize your storage!
We all need to keep certain things, but the capacity in which we keep them makes a difference. If you have papers you need to keep, why not scan them? If you must save an item for reference (say, a battery, so you know the size), why not take a photo and file it digitally? Another great tip: develop an organization system for your digital files — a folder system is a great strategy. Keep current projects in a folder, and then archive them as they are completed. Within the archives, separate them by client (or project) — storing the most recent projects first.
- Make labeled drawer dividers.
- Tidy up each night.
- Set a weekly cleaning time.
Are your drawers a chaotic mess? First, go through and figure out what you need and what you can toss (in your conveniently placed trash can, if you followed tip #2). Then, make creative drawer dividers that fit your personal style and keep multiple things organized in one place. When everything has a designated spot, you’ll be more motived to put it back when you’re done using the item, too! Not sure how to make these dividers? Check out a tutorial.
Before you leave for the evening, you should do a quick sweep of your desk to make sure it’s presentable. Would you be content knowing your boss saw your desk when she had to drop something off after you left? If not, then you may want to rework your end-of-day routine to include some tidying up.
In addition to nightly tidying, it’s also a good idea to set a reminder in your calendar for a time each week to clean up your desk. I get it – you’re busy, and sometimes it’s difficult to take time out of your day. But, if you start to organize routinely, it will get easier every time.
And now that everything is in order, why not try to feng shui your desk?
For those of you who have orderly desks, is there anything else you’ve found helpful? Comment below!