13 Tips to Keep Your Desk Clean and Organized
According to Psychology today “Keeping things clean and organized is good for you, and science can prove it.”
Many studies have been done to prove that clutter can greatly impact the ability to focus. You're probably how to keep your desk clean and organized, and if workplace organization seems daunting or impossible, we've got you covered. Today we're sharing 13 easy tips to make keeping your desk organized second nature.
Let's get started!
Organize Your Cables
Being in the digital age, most people use a computer or other devices that need to be plugged in. Cables can feel like chaos when they are getting tangled together. Some options for organizing cables are zip ties, hair ties or velcro connectors. These can be easily ordered on any online website, or purchased at a hardware store. By doing this, cables can be more organized and help increase productivity.
Rethink Your Desk Layout
Having a good layout is very beneficial for keeping your desk clean and organized. Not only is it great to save time by knowing where everything is, but it will let your mind focus on the important things you are working on.
Part of keeping a good layout can including keeping all accessories such as your light, a cup for pens and pencils, and post-it notes to one area. Also leave one section of your space completely bare with a chair handy so that you always have a place to sit and work at your desk (for tasks you aren't doing on your computer). This also invites your boss or coworker to feel comfortable sitting and collaborating with you.
By having your “clutter” organized, it becomes less of clutter and more as an organized addition to your layout.
Don't be Afraid to Label
Labels are something that can greatly increase productivity because of the amount of time it takes to find things once they are labeled. There are a few ways of labeling. Color coding papers and folders, actually putting a written name label, and digitally labeling files on your computer. By taking just one hour to label all of the different areas of your desk, and then after immediately labeling new items, your desk will be a whole new area of organization.
Basket System for Your Office Paper
Paper is inevitable in many businesses and business practices. It is also quite easy to allow paper to overflow and become unruly. There are a few ways to make sure that one is staying on top of things to keep an orderly desk in regards to paper. A great way to maintain order by having 3 baskets for paper. Shred, filing and outgoing. Shred is for those papers you plan to throw away but want to keep private and need to shred first. Immediately after shredding these shreds can go to the recycling bin. Filing is for those papers you do want to keep and plan to file, while outgoing can be for mail, or for something you need to hand off to a colleague. It is very important to have a schedule and alarm for yourself at least weekly, or possibly bi-weekly, to make sure you shred, file and deliver all of your paper properly. Otherwise this can get out of hand and make a very unorderly situation.
Go Digital, Embrace the Cloud
An option that can help to save space and is also good for the environment is going completely digital or as digital as possible. This isn’t always a full option, but going as digital as possible can help reduce clutter and paper waste.
Color Matters: Consider a White Desk
Something surprising that you may not realize until you implement it, would be to have a mainly white desk space. For some reason, a white desk looks cleaner when clean and can naturally encourage you to maintain that clean desk space.
You may have heard (or noticed) a black car looks dirty faster than a white car, and that's due to white not showing dirt and dust as easily as black does.
Up-cycle Clutter That Has Sentimental Value
Good housekeeping has given an example of a great alternative to paper clutter that might be sentimental and you just can’t throw away. By “turning paper clutter into decor,” you can turn clutter into art. Things such as old notes, post it’s, photos, Christmas cards or any artsy mail can be turned into a display to view and have nice memories while at work. This can also be done on a pin board which makes it easy to take off and on whenever you decide you would like to add or get rid of something. Combine art and your own clutter art for a nice bohemian look.
Stress Causes Mess
Lavender or another calming scent is a nice way to take a moment and reduce stress. When stressed, the brain does not think as rationally, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness regarding the mess. This can in turn lead to more mess. After smelling your lavender scent, you will reduce your stress. Then you can take a step back and a moment to reorganize your desk and continue on with less clutter and better performance.
Don't Eat at Your Desk
One great way to insure you keep a clean desk is to avoid eating while at your desk. It is not a negative thing to take a 30-60 minute break daily to eat lunch. It is a much better practice to go outside and take in some fresh air, while eating lunch. Of course if it is cold outside, head to the lunch room in the office and socialize a bit. If you happen to work from home, head to a different part of where you live and just take a short break. This way you will keep the crumbs away, and spend less time physically cleaning your desk.
Schedule Regular Cleanings to Stay on Top of the Mess
Making a habit will make it easy to keep things clean. By making a plan to simply wipe down your desk each time at the end of the day, dust will have less of a chance to build up and collect. Once per week, usually at the end of the week, you can plan to do a deeper clean and actually use a rag or something wet with soap to wipe down your computer, desk, keyboard and other items.
Coasters (seriously, coasters)
Many of us have memories of being children, and getting yelled at by adults to use a coaster on an expensive table. By using coasters at your desk, there is less of a risk for your coffee, water, juice or other beverage to stain your desk or cause a mess. It is a good practice to actively use coasters to save yourself a bit of cleaning at the end of the day or week.
Decorative Boxes or Baskets
Boxes are a great organization tool that also look trendy and modern. It is also nice to combine the tool of labeling, with the tool of using boxes. Boxes keep things hidden enough so that it maintains and organizational appeal, while also giving a place to actually organize all the things that are important.
Go Minimalist at Your Desk
The more things we collect, the greater chance we have to lose sense of an organized and clean desk. One way to insure less chance of clutter is by simply having less. Minimalism can seem difficult, but in the words of Marie Kondo, “does it spark joy?” If the answer to this is no, then give it away and head towards a more minimalist lifestyle.
There are quite a lot of reasons why it is important to keep your desk clean and organized. It is true that by improving your organizational skills you will increase productivity and reduce stress. Next time you are about to leave work without thinking about your organizational habits, stop for a moment, remember how a few simple steps can get you there, and make just one change for a better and easier tomorrow.