Desk Decluttering


We’re all guilty of letting our desks get piled and piled with stuff. We have let a piece of furniture become a de facto receptacle for our hard to place items, and items we’re too lazy to put where they belong.  While desk-decluttering is an invested job, you will definitely see an increase in productivity afterwards; you may even start using your desk for work again! (No shame, we’re all guilty of it!)

How to organize desk space…

Marie Kondo has the most straightforward method of organizing desk space. As per her method for all organizational endeavors, take out all the items out of your desk and put them in a pile. After you have your mountain of stuff, divide all your items into subcategories. Books in one place, files in another, Target receipts from 2008 in another (aka the trash).

After you divide your items…

After you divide all your items, start with one pile and pick up every item. The physicality of it is important. Ask yourself the question- does it spark joy? A mug made by your daughter for Mother’s Day, a book given to you by a mentor: if you love it, keep it. We’ll find a place for it later. The things that don’t spark joy, put them in a discard pile. Thank them for their service in your life, they can now be off to help someone else.

Disclaimer: your 2017 W-4 form most likely doesn’t spark any joy, but it’s probably something you should keep and manage in an organized manner.

After you’ve organized everything…

After you’ve organized everything, get rid of your “discard” pile, and come back and focus on your “keep” pile. You need to rework the flow of your desk space, find a place for everything you want to live there. It will take some arranging and rearranging, but eventually you will find what works for you.

Some quick tips…

Some quick tips:

1. Line up your books instead of stacking them. It makes going through them and finding what you need a much easier experience.

2. For your documents, invest in some good file dividers! Organize all your files into subcategories, and label them all to death! You’ll appreciate it so much more when you’re not looking through the car insurance papers to find your children’s birth certificates.

3. Put the things you use the most on the side of your dominant hand. That way, when you’re grabbing a pen, you won’t have to reach across your entire body for it.

4. Group similar items together! Sharpies, pens, pencils, and highlighters, while I can appreciate the distinct differences of each, can all be put in the same drawer. Which leads me to my next point…

5. If you have drawers in your desk, get drawer dividers! That way you can subdivide all your writing accoutrements to your heart’s delight, but still get the most bang for your buck in terms of space.

6. Color coding. Enough said.

Maintaining the organization of your desk is just as important as the organizing itself. We all have hectic days but try to make some time in your schedule to do some basic “putting-away.” The time will make up for itself and will save you a lot of headaches and stress!

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