If that glimmer of occasional sunshine has got you in the spring-cleaning and reorganising mood, you may have turned your attention to your desk – and groaned.
Fear Not! Our ten tips for decluttering your desk will soon see it returned to a hub of peaceful productivity.
Skim the Surface Rubbish
Unless, deep down, you’re far too saintly to be reading this article, there will be a few items on your desk that you can throw in the bin straightaway. You know the kind of thing. Sweet wrappers, the rubber that broke off the end of your pencil, that scrunched up note… quickly grab these things and dump them.
Rehome the Wanderers
Dirty coffee cups, the jumper you abandoned when the sun came out, the holiday brochure that’s ended up on your desk and is far too distracting… take these things back to the place they belong. If they don’t have a home, gather them up and put them in one place, but make sure they’re not out of sight, out of mind. Make a date with yourself to deal with those items sooner rather than later.
Remove What Remains Form Your Desk
Yep, I mean everything. If you can, try to stack it neatly somewhere close by and roughly categorise it. But the main thing is to get it all off!
Go After the Grime
While your desk in empty, take the chance to give it a good clean. Sort out that loose screw and wobbly shelf while you’re at it.
Be the Cable Guy
Look at where your cables run, both over and under your desk. Is there any way you can tidy or contain them? If you’re using multi-gang sockets, are they safe?
Tackle the Paperwork.
Eliminate what you don’t need and roughly categorise what’s left. Is any of the information replicated digitally? Could you scan some of your documents and free up some space? Does it belong in your office?
Tackle the Stationery and Office Equipment
How many pens do you really need? Think about what you really use on a day to day basis. Anything else needs to be stored elsewhere. If you have space for it in desk drawers or cupboards, that’s fine. But it shouldn’t be cluttering up your desk surface.
Consider Storage Solutions
Look at the items that you’ve decided need to be kept on your desk, and that paperwork. Consider those that need to be in your desk or clos by too. Do you need to invest in new storage solutions?
An organiser for your drawer, maybe, or filing accessories for your paperwork? Do you need an in-tray or an expanding file?
Don’t feel guilty about getting rid of storage that doesn’t work for you anymore. It may be making your life unnecessarily difficult!
Consider Your Workflow.
How do you actually use your desk? Can you reach everything easily? Do certain items or equipment always end up sitting on top of paperwork because that’s the most convenient place to use them? Think about this before replacing items on your desk.
Repopulate Your Desk with The Things That NEED to Be There
Ta-da! Hopefully, a much-reduced group of items are making their way back onto your clean, tidy desk. Some of them may not make it back; perhaps you’ll change your mind even as you’re putting stuff back.
Of course, to avoid repeating this process at regular intervals, it’s best to keep on top of the situation.
If you can manage to commit a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to do a min-declutter, it will make a huge difference. If this isn’t feasible, what about making a 15-minute declutter a cool-down habit on a Friday afternoon?