Your desk, whether at an outside office or a home office, will admittedly be where you spend a large portion of your time. Having a cluttered office - and more specifically, a cluttered desk - can stress you out a lot more than you realize. A cluttered space will lead to a cluttered mind, and if you can't organize your headspace, you'll never be able to put out the most productivity that you can.
Cleaning out your space - and we mean really cleaning, not just rearranging things or shoving them away where you can't see - will give you more room to breathe. You'll feel more comfortable in your own office space, look like you have yourself put together, and maintain a mature and professional appearance that others may even admire.
How to keep office organized
Before honing in on your desk space, you'll very much want to tackle your entire office. Work through specific areas at a time and decide what you can shred and toss out. Consider unnecessary papers, untouched decorations that have collected dust, anything broken, and whatever else you come across that ultimately doesn't serve a functional purpose anymore, if it ever had.
If useful things have found their way out of place, put them back where they belong. Invest in a label maker to mark where things need to go. If you can, convert whatever paper you still have into a digital copy, and organize all your digital files as best as possible.
How do I declutter my desk?
To start, you'll want to take everything off your desk and out of your drawers, and we mean everything. After giving your desk a good wipe down, sort through what you need and what you don't, putting back only the essentials. You should keep your personal and work items in separate drawers, and you should put together things that make sense together, like paper clips and thumbtacks, envelopes and stamps, pens and pencils, etc. etc.
What should I put on my office desk?
Assuming you, like most, work with a computer, that'll be the central focus. Keep your monitor an arm's length away and make sure that it's eye level so that you aren't slouching. On your dominant-hand side, keep a space big enough for papers and keep your phone within arm's reach. Invest in cable clips in your phone is the type that you need to charge while you work, to prevent tangling wires. On your other side, keep items you use every day, like a black ink pen, a highlighter, and a pad of sticky notes. Limit personal belongings to three, to prevent getting lost in thought, and keep relevant files in a tray or a vertical organizer.
How do you stay organized?
Once you get organized, you need to stay organized. Doing weekly run-throughs of your desk is what we'd recommend to keep re-organizing from becoming a hassle by waiting too long. Immediately read any mail or documents given to you and avoid creating piles of paper, mark on documents when you can toss them out, if applicable, and keep a color-coded system to help you know what goes where.
Keeping an organized space does wonders for your productivity, and it's a lot less complicated than you think. Figuring out what to toss out is the hardest part, and chances are you have everything else that you need - though if those cable clips sound appealing to you, check out these cable clips for minimizing clutter. By organizing your office, your desk, only keeping the essentials, and staying organized, you can spend the time you would otherwise be using scrambling to find something, working, just like you're supposed to do.