Keeping your work space neat and tidy, especially on the busiest of days, can be a task.
However, having an organized and clean space can help you think clearly and stay motivated and on task during your work day. Here are 5 tips to help you achieve and maintain a clean and clutter free space:
Have a space for everything
Part of staying organized is making sure you have space already designated for the many things that pass across your desk each day. Not having a designated spot is what leads to piles of paper stacking up on your desk for future sorting. Pens, paperclips, rubberbands, business cards and more all have a spot that they belong. Magazine holders can be used for folders/file storage and even having a phone stand with storage underneath for notepads and post-its can be extremely helpful.
I also find it beneficial to have an inbox and outbox or tray. Whenever something is dropped off at your desk, place it in the inbox until you are ready to work on it. This keeps all incoming work in one place. As you finish tasks, place all finished papers/documents that need to be taken to someone else in your outbox. When you’re ready to step away from your desk you can grab everything in the outbox and deliver to the appropriate people. Even if these documents aren’t necessarily in any kind of order, they are all kept together in one place until you are ready to go through them.
Make time to organize
In my opinion, one of the hardest parts about staying organized is making the time necessary to put things away, especially when I might be right in the middle of an important project, meeting, or call. It can be very helpful to set aside either a specific time each day, or part of one day each week to tackle this task (and be sure to block off that time in your calendar for this purpose!). For example, use Wednesday mornings to sort through anything that may have crossed your desk and still needs to be organized, or sort through your inbox. Not only can your organize your documents, but use the time to wipe down your desk as well! Dust tends to collect quickly, so things like your keyboard, mouse, phone and desktop may need that extra cleaning once each week.
Don’t forget about the spaces you can’t see
Drawers and cabinets can often be the catch-all for things we don’t immediately have space for. Since these spaces are usually out of sight, or at least the contents are, it can be easy for those spaces to fill up and become cluttered. If not cleaned out regularly, it can become a much bigger task when you are ready to tackle those areas. My suggestion? Use that same time you carved out from tip #2 above to also go through these forgotten areas to throw out anything not needed anymore and reorganize what’s left.
Dispose of unnecessary paperwork
The biggest source of clutter tends to be paper. It’s easy to keep piling one on top of the other until we have more paper than we know what to do with. Instead of letting it pile up, when finished with it, either file away as needed, or shred/toss once finished. It’s much faster to do this one at a time then when you have a stack piled in front of you.
Office supplies can be costly, especially the storage and organization pieces. So don’t be afraid to get creative! Hop on Pinterest or search social media for some ideas on how to create your own organization and storage containers. Empty tissue boxes can be used for storage, along with cereal boxes with one side cut off or even empty paper towel rolls. All of these things can be covered with paper to personalize them to your taste and are very inexpensive.
Although yesterday was National Clean Off Your Desk Day, any day is a good day to start reorganizing and keeping your space clean and clutter free.