A disorganized desk can make it hard to focus and find the things you need. A clean desk promotes productivity and presents a professional image to your boss, coworkers and clients. If your desk is a mess, causing you stress and making it difficult to get stuff done, it’s time to get organized. Make the hours spent at your desk more constructive and comfortable with these handy tips.
START FROM SCRATCH
Getting a desk organized is easier when you start with a clean, blank slate. Remove everything from the top and inside of your desk. Dust the top and sides and use a handheld vacuum to remove dust bunnies and lunchtime crumbs from your drawers. While the vacuum is out, clean your computer or laptop keyboard; they’re notorious for harboring debris. A handheld vacuum is ideal for keyboards because the suction is gentle enough for sensitive electronics and won’t pull off keys.
GENERAL ORGANIZATION TIPS
Once the desk is empty, declutter by tossing anything that’s broken or never used. This prevents you from cramming your desk with useless items and leaves fewer things to organize.
Begin with your computer monitor if you use a desktop computer. Place the monitor at eye level and at an appropriate angle to ensure maximum comfort. Save desktop space by installing your computer tower below your desk using a CPU stand or caddy. Set up your peripherals, and corral your cords with a cable organizing system to keep things tidy. Designate a space to keep clear for paperwork or a file. Next, decide which items should be kept on top of your desk or inside drawers if you have them.
ORGANIZING DESKS WITH DRAWERS
If your desk has drawers, prioritize which items you need close at hand. Place things you use daily in the most easily accessed drawers. Items you seldom use should go in lower drawers. Be selective with the top drawer to ensure it doesn’t become cluttered and make items hard to find. Micro-organize small supplies with storage boxes or drawer organizers to help keep chaos at bay.
Use the biggest desk drawer for large items, such as printer paper, empty file folders or electronics you don’t need on your desktop. Keep files in a hanging file frame in a large, lower drawer or opt for a separate filing cabinet. Organize drawers by function, such as designating a single drawer for office suppliesor a specific task you do frequently. Then you can simply open the correct drawer to access everything needed for a particular function.
ORGANIZING L-SHAPE DESKS WITHOUT DRAWERS
One of the best perks of an L-shape desk is the additional desktop space it provides. However, a desk without drawers presents a challenge when it comes to organization. On the other hand, built-in desk drawers aren’t always where you want them.
Integrate one or more detached drawer units for the storage space you need and the added flexibility of positioning drawers where they create the smoothest workflow. Choose two- or three-drawer units short enough to fit beneath your desk. Three-drawer units typically include two regular drawers on top and a file drawer on bottom for maximum organization.
Keep the extra space on top of your desk pile-free with stylish desktop organizers. Prevent clutter by only placing items on your desktop that you use frequently.
ORGANIZING STANDING DESKS
According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting too much is bad for your health. It can lead to obesity and increased risks of high blood pressure and heart disease. This has prompted many people to choose a height-adjustable standing desk instead of a traditional sit-down desk. The drawback is less space with limited room on the desktop and no drawers. While a handful of standing desks come with built-in drawers, they often offer very little usable space. Instead, consider a mobile pedestal in matching laminate that provides the desk organization space you desire.
Save desktop space with a separate stand for your printer and a floor lamp instead of a desk lamp. Install a sliding under-desk pencil tray to store a limited amount of office supplies. Maximize desktop space with an uncomplicated organization system like a tiered letter tray. Position them in a back corner away from your immediate workspace to keep files organized without interfering with other tasks.
ORGANIZING GLASS DESKS
Glass desks are elegant with their transparent, open space. The downside is everything is exposed, including all those cords connecting your computer peripherals and other office equipment. A tangled mess of cords and cables ruin the sleek, stylish look you’re attempting to create. Run the cables down one of the legs and Velcro them in place. Then, route these cables under the desk with a locking channel cable raceway.
No matter how small or large glass desks are, they seldom have drawers. Choose an independent drawer unit that matches the legs or blends well with your desk. Pick one that slides beneath the desk if there’s enough room and it doesn’t affect the aesthetics. Otherwise, position the unit directly beside or near your desk. Use your drawer unit to house office supplies or any items you don’t want to clutter your desktop.
ORGANIZING U-SHAPED DESKS
U-shaped desks offer more surface space and storage components than any other desk design. This is great when you require lots of stuff in your work area, but too much space can actually make organization more challenging. Logical organization is even more important with so many open and closed storage options available. Reduce the amount of time you spend hunting for what you need by storing related items together. Store your stamps with your envelopes, pens with notepads, file labels with file folders and so on.
Create different zones with a natural left-to-right workflow approach. Place your office equipment, supplies and files on the left. Set up your computer/work area in the center, and keep the right side open for client interaction or outgoing paperwork. U-shaped desks often have a hutch, credenza or bookshelves on one side, making this side the obvious choice for storage, even if it’s not on the left. The opposite side frequently has an executive or a peninsula desk for direct interaction with others or for your computer.
Instead of dwelling on how long you think it will take you to organize your desk, think about all the time you’re wasting each day due to disorganization. With a little planning and attention to detail, getting organized requires less time and effort than you realize. Plus, it helps you accomplish more throughout your workday.
Keep your desk organized by straightening up and clearing any clutter accumulated before you leave for the day. It’s highly motivating to come to work to a clean desk, and it helps inspire you to stay organized.