November 10, 2020

How To: Keep Your Desk Organized

Many of us are spending more time at our desk now. If we aren’t working from home, our desks have become a literal home away from home safe space. It can be easy to let our desks get cluttered, but a messy desk really messes with productivity.

Here are 8 things that can help organize your office space.

  1. Keep your computer front and center. Your computer is your anchor. Make sure it’s in the right spot first and foremost. Give yourself enough space to keep it roughly 18 in front of you. Hide and tie up cords as much as possible.
  1. Think about how you use the space. For example, if you are right handed don’t put your phone on the left side of your computer. Reaching across your body every time you pick up the phone is uncomfortable and can create unnecessary opportunities for scattering paper. The same goes for all essentials, put them where you know you are going to need them to be.
  1. Prioritize desk space. Do you use your stapler all the time? If so, keep on your desk, if not it might be helpful to tuck it out of the way. Keep what you need all the time on your desk, everything else is just clutter.
  1. Group things together that go together. Its inefficient to have desk paperclips and then backup paper clips elsewhere. It might be helpful to have a designated space for things like that. Duplicates create clutter.  
  1. Don’t go Post-It crazy. I’m defiantly guilty of this one. It’s easy to write things down on post-its and stick them on your computer, or honestly, everywhere. After a while however, your desk can just become a pile of yellow squares and you lose what was important in the first place. Having a paper planner or virtual organizer is good for normal day to day information. Save the sticky notes for urgent items.  
  1. Minimize mementos. Having personal items in your office space is great way to connect your home and work life and can also be great conversation starters. However, too many adds clutter. They can get in the way of what you are there to do: focus and work.
  1. Have clutter free zones. If you are right-handed, the space to the right of your mouse might be a good clutter free zone. You can set something there to work on, then move it along when it’s done.
  1. Clean as you go. The easiest way to keep your desk organized to keep up with the organization as you go. If not immediately, then before you leave for the day, put everything back, so you can start clean the next morning. (2020 side note: Actually cleaning before you go is also a good idea. Desks can be really germ-y so don’t forget to disinfecting before you leave for the night.)

Having a clean office space can make it easier to be open to creating. Not to mention organization often equals efficiency.

What items have you found to be essential to office organization?