Desk Organization Tools & Tips - Tandem For Two

Desk Organization Tools & Tips

Every morning I work from my laptop on the couch with my dog, but every afternoon I have gotten into the habit of working from my desk. I need a change of scenery, my dog becomes restless and I need to feel a little more professional. But if my desk is a mess, then it can demotivate or distract us from working or at least keep us from working efficiently. So here’s some ways to corral the clutter and stay organized.

1. Segment Your Desk

I spend the majority of my day on my computer, like most people, so have it front and center so you stay focused. I also keep a calendar front and center - especially one with art that makes me smile. I still need an area of my desk for non-computer work. Then I can review papers or documents right away or deal with my to-do list without clearing a space.

2. Corral Your Papers

Don’t keep things on your desk too long. I try to review, edit and file them but if I can't deal with them right away I keep them in the same spot on my desk. Then once I review a document, I either recycle it or file it.

3. Put What You Use Most Close

I use my cell phone as my business phone and I am right-handed so it’s more efficient if cell phone is on the right side of my desk. Same with a pad of paper to jot down ideas or notes during phone calls. My husband is a lefty so the main drawer he uses is on the left. Just think of workflow and what works best for you.

4. Keep Out Only What You Need

I use a variety of different type and colored pens, but I only keep one out of each. I don't staple or paperclip items often, so those stay in the desk drawer. Keep things close that you use often (as in daily) otherwise they can go in the drawer and not become clutter.

5. Everything Has a Place

Perhaps you need to purge first, but you can keep all of your office supplies together in one drawer, or your art supplies in another. Keep commonly used envelopes together, and keep all of you receipts/bills in one place. You’ll not only find things more easily, but you will be more efficient with your time too.

6. Sort Papers/Clear Daily

When your time at your desk is done, take a few minutes to go through all of your papers and determine which need to be scanned, filed, or shredded, then do that before you quit your desk. Clear your work surface of your papers, trash, even extra sticky notes and paperclips. This is an invaluable habit and will help you maintain an organized desk and get a fresh start each day!

7. Do a Weekly Deep Clean

I make piles. And I don’t always deal with stuff as soon as it comes across my desk or in the mail. So once a week, deal with any papers or trash missed, re-organize office supplies, review and file or shred papers that haven’t been dealt with, recycle old mail and do general tidying up. This way it stays manageable and doesn’t become overwhelming and make working at your desk feel like a chore.

Jennifer Smelker

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