Yes, chances are high that you have tried before (many times???) to de-clutter and organise your desk – but it hasn’t really worked out the way you hoped. We found some very useful tips to help you achieve this desk changing experience as painless as possible:
1. Start from Scratch
- Removing clutter little by little may work for some, but most of us are better off taking everything off the desk and out of the drawers and put it in a box.
- NOW – GO BACK TO WORKING.
- As you need an item, you can put it back on your desk. After a few days it will be clear which things you really use.
- This will make it easier for you to honestly re-evaluate your belongings and what can be stored away from your desk (or thrown out altogether!)
2. Give everything a place that works for you
- Now that you have figured out what you keep, you need to decide where to keep it. This is important so you have quick access to the things you use most often.
- The closest drawer will house the stuff most often used, everything else goes further away or further down.
- If you use lots of paper, give your desk a work flow (work comes in from the left, is done in the middle and finished work goes on the right).
- Fill your drawers with same workflow in mind, using simple dividers to combat clutter.
3. Manage your cables
- Organising your cables on top of or below your desk may seem like a never ending task, but tackling it in a practical way will result in a much neater desk and more space available for your actual work.
- Try an option that works best for you – you can use low cost solutions like hairclips, pipe tubing or even empty paper towel rolls to keep your cables neatly together. More expensive gadgets designed for this purpose are on the market too if that’s what you are after.
- Marking your cables at the power point can make your life much easier too (a simple low cost way is using clips from bread bags around the cords and writing on it which cable this is for).
4. Identify your clutter trouble spots
- Taking a few pictures of your work space and looking at these away from the actual desk, will help you spot clutter which you may not notice in the real world.
5. Enlarge your workspace
- If you honestly have too much important stuff that has to be close, but cannot fit into your workspace, you may need to add some shelves (vertical) or extra drawers (horizontal) to accommodate it all.
- You can consider lifting your monitor or fixing it onto the wall, and use the additional space on your desk this will create.
6. Everything should have a home
- Each item on your desk should have a home where it goes when the working day is done. If not, your desk becomes a home for everything and your clutter will just accumulate again.
- Ideally, anything that is smaller than a shoe box should go into a drawer. Off course there will be a small number of essentials that cannot fit into this criteria, but if you stick to it for most items, the clutter will stay away!!
6. Clear off your desk at the end of EVERY work day
- Even if your desk space is exceptionally clean (now), it will get messy during the day. This is a good thing, since it means you are working! But keeping it messy is when the problem starts…
- So, make sure this doesn’t happen. Allow only 5-10 minutes to clear things up and put them in their home on or in your desk. Tomorrow morning you can start afresh with a clean desk.
7. Don’t go overboard
- Keep in mind that “The perfect is the is the enemy of the good”. We all need some serious organising every now and then, but getting obsessive about it will waste more time than what you are trying to save.
- Keep it simple, spend a little time on getting things on your desk back on track each day, and you will enjoy real time saving and efficient workflow!