- Relocate items that don’t belong to the desk or need not be there
- Throw out and Give away
- Rein in loose and messy cables
- Collect loose items in to containers and drawers
- Use documents tray for your papers
- Go digital
- Have a cleaning routine
Move equipment or items off your desk if you do not use them regularly. Your desk space is like a prime real estate. Think through what items you need to facilitate the work that is usually carried out on your desk and allocate space prudently to those items that will promote your productivity.
For instance, computer CPU can be placed on the floor beneath the desk instead of on it. Files or documents that you don’t need to access frequently would best be stored away in filing cabinets.
Have on hand two trash bags, one for throw-outs and the other for give-aways.
Start with sorting your things into just two broad categories of “to throw out” and “to give away”. This will breakdown the task of decluttering, making it less overwhelming. When you have more time, you can further sort the throw-outs into “recyclables” and “non-recyclables”; the give-aways into “for donation” or “to give to a friend”.
Tangled cables are not only an eye sore but also frustrating to work around. Get those messy cables and cords under control by labelling and organising with some simple DIY solutions. Such as using toilet paper rolls or cable ties. Check out this article for some good DIY ideas for organising cables.
Surfaces are prone to build-up of clutter. They can easily become a dumping ground for things that don’t have a definitive assigned place to go. One easy and cheap solution is to recycle those used and unwanted plastic containers or carton boxes to collect your small loose items such as eraser or paper clips. Go a step further by stowing them away in drawers so that they do not take up valuable space on your desk. Unless you really need to use the items very frequently, it is advisable to keep them out of sight to keep your desk clean and clutter-free.
Sort and categorise your documents. Place documents that you need to access daily or immediately in trays and file the rest away in folders or cabinets. Consider having an inbox tray on your desk. This will prevent others from cluttering up your desk when you are not around and you will also quickly know that a colleague left something upon returning to your desk.
Avoid printing documents or paper bills as much as possible. Going paperless is not just good for the environment but also help you in reducing your paper clutter. More importantly, it saves you time and storage space from having to file those documents too. Get started by opting for electronic statements with your banks or utility company. Email PDF version of invoices or documents to your client instead of mailing them the physical copy.
Make cleaning your desk a daily and weekly routine. Acquire the good habit of clearing your work station before you leave and have a thorough clean up weekly on a set date with a reminder to do so in your calendar. As with any new endeavour, without intentional effort and habitual routine, you will soon find yourself with a cluttered desk again.