7 Steps to an Organised Desk

Having a clean desk can make you feel motivated, energised and focused yet the majority of people can only dream of such a luxury. The reality is often piles of paper, post in notes stuck in random places, maybe a half-eaten sandwich and a cold cup of tea. We spend, on average, nearly six hours a day sat at our desks yet most of us rarely find the time to declutter.

Having a clean and organised desk can help your creativity, stress levels and even your health. If you follow our 7 simple organisational tips below you’ll be on the road to a clutter free desk in no time.

1. Your desk space is precious; don’t let it become a dumping ground for files and paperwork that you don’t have time to deal with. If you resolve to keep your desk clear of anything that isn’t essential you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

2. A desk organiser is great solution for keeping all your stationery in a convenient and easy to find location. If you have desk drawers you can also purchase drawer organisers that keep everything neat and tidy.

3. If you have resources, paperwork or documents you use on a daily basis then there are a variety of options available to you. Foolscap documents wallets are a low cost and effective method of storing paperwork. They come in a range of colour options allowing you to create a colour coding system which will help with easy retrieval. Display books are another fantastic and simple tool that can be quickly utilised. They allow for A4 documents to be viewed from both sides so paperwork such as phone lists, supplier details or customer details can be stored together neatly and viewed quickly.

4. Taking the time to correctly set up your working space can help with your goal to stay organised. Using a monitor stand not only frees up valuable desk space, it also ensures your desk is ergonomically set up which can reduce the aches and pains associated with too many hours sat at a desk. Many monitor stands also have handy draws which lets you keep those essential bits of stationery within arms-reach.

5. Paperwork is generally the biggest issue when it comes to keeping a desk tidy and so a system for organising your paperwork is essential. What you use and how you approach it will vary depending on the type of business you’re involved with and the volume of paper you have to work with. If you’re lucky enough to work in a ‘paperless’ office a simple letter tray may suffice to keep the few pieces of rouge paper that slip through the net nice and tidy. If you’re business is accountancy or legal related then you will no doubt have huge volumes of paperwork that need properly organising and archiving. The key word here is ‘PLANNING’, if you take the time to properly consider a filing system then it will work.

6. It’s nice to have reminders of loved ones and other personal effects on your desk but too many can become a distraction and simply add to the clutter . If your employer is nice enough to allow personal touches to your desk space then try and limit it to one or two items at most.

7. In and out trays or letter trays are a perfect solution for managing your day to day paperwork. However, it’s important to keep on top of these as it’s easy to let the contents build up until they become a little paper mountain in the corner of your desk. Try and set aside 5-10 minutes a day and this way you will stay in control.

Maintaining a clean and clear desk space is all about being organised and having the right mind set. A little time spent forward planning and creating systems to manage paperwork and then sticking with these systems will enable you to keep your desk organised and clutter free.


Carl Barton is a director of Office Allsorts who has worked in the office products industry for 15 years.

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