A cluttered desk can quickly become a big problem. It’s not just unsightly; it’s also a distraction that can prevent you from getting your work done efficiently. Worse still, the more cluttered your desk becomes, the less likely you are to be able to find what you need when you need it.
If this sounds like something that’s been plaguing your workplace for some time now, then you’ve come to the right place. You’re not the only one dealing with this problem; in fact, most people struggle with this on some level.
The good news is that you’re not doomed to spend your days rummaging through piles of paper and stacks of binders, desperately trying to find the one piece of paper you need right now. There are solutions, and they don’t have to take forever or cost any money either.
Here are five simple steps to completely clear your desk and reclaim your workspace—all within less than an hour:
1. Get rid of what’s unnecessary
You probably have a few pens you’ll never use and to-do lists from eight years ago sitting in your drawers. But you’re in luck because this is the perfect time to get rid of them. Get yourself two boxes: one box will be “trash,” and the other will be “giveaway.”
Start by sorting your papers into three different piles: things that should be kept, things that need to be scanned, and things that can be thrown away. This way, you can keep your most important documents, but only the ones you’ll need.
2. Organize what’s left
Once you’ve sorted through all of your papers, it’s time to organize everything else. Label some file folders with different categories and start putting away your files just like that. If you don’t have any hanging folders, that’s okay. You can organize your files in a filing crate or box.
You can also invest in nice file folders and a labeler to make more attractive labels. If you go the filing crate route, also get yourself a labeler so that it’s easier to tell the files apart. Plus, it’s just more organized that way.
3. Put things where they belong
Now that you’ve organized all of your papers and files, it’s time to put everything back in its place. For the drawers in your industrial office desk, you might want to get an organizer so that everything is easier to find and not in such a mess when you go looking for something.
As for the clutter on the top of your desk, pick one place where you will put every single thing that doesn’t have another home. That way, they aren’t just sitting on your desk and waiting for the dust to settle on top of them.
4. Clean up your desk and workspace
Once you’ve finished putting everything back where it belongs, it’s time to clean. Use a microfiber cloth for your desk and a broom or dustpan to tidy up the rest of your area. Or you could also buy yourself a handheld vacuum that you can use on the go.
If there’s anything you’d like to keep, but don’t have room for it in your office, then now is the time to ask yourself if you need it that badly. Remember, just because something is sentimental doesn’t mean it’s worth keeping cluttering up your life.
5. Create a system to stay organized in the future
Once you’ve gotten rid of everything you don’t need, organized the rest, and cleaned your desk and work area, it’s time to create a system for staying on top of it all. Find out what works best for you, and make sure you update your files every month or so.
It will just be easier to stay organized in the future if you have a system that you can turn to once in a while. Plus, it will also save you from going through this process again anytime soon. So do your homework and look up organizational systems that you can use for your office.
It can be challenging to stay organized in the workplace, especially if you’re busy with your tasks for the day. Many people struggle with this problem because it’s so easy for papers or files to get lost if they’re not careful when it comes to organizing their workspaces.
Luckily, some solutions don’t have to take forever or cost any money either. With these tips, you’ll never have the excuse to slack on organizing your office again because it’s just too hard to get started.