Desk Organization using the Konmari Method

Why organize a desk?

Organizing your desk can not only improve efficiency but it can also reduce office stress. Desks that are organized and free of clutter make starting the next task that much easier. Reducing the time you spend looking for the stapler means you have more time to devote to the project at hand. Try using one or more of the easy ideas below to get your desk organized before the next project.

20 ways to organize a desk

Here is a list of 20 different ideas to organize your desk and boost your productivity.

1. Designate your workspace

Chances are your desk has a surface area that lets you designate sections to various tasks such as reading, writing or computing. Clear off any items that arent in use to increase your desktop workspace and assign sections for specific uses. The upper left corner may be devoted to incoming tasks while the upper right corner is for completed tasks.

2. Use color-coding

Use color-coordinated trays, bins or jars to organize supplies by purpose. Use color-coordinated markers or sticky notes to prioritize work assignments. Items can be moved to shelves or drawers to reduce desktop clutter while keeping items within easy reach.

3. Use storage caddies

For desks without drawers, use storage caddies for frequently used items such as pens or cords. Caddies are versatile and can be left on the desktop or stored under the desk for retrieval. Combine with the color-coding option to organize what goes into each caddie.

4. Move accessories out of the way

Desktops may house lamps, pencil cups and one or two personal items. Assess what needs to stay on the desk and move the rest out of the way. Use alternative lighting such as floor lamps or place a table, cabinet or another surface beside the desk to hold knick-knacks or personal items. Use wall space if available and hang a shelf for photos, cups or lights.

5. Centralize office supplies

Instead of spending time figuring out which drawer has the hole-punch and which caddy holds the red marker, gather them all together and designate a home. Organize supplies by purpose and divide into frequently-used and not-so-frequently used.

6. Use a trash can

Discarded ideas, phone messages and other paper items can rapidly take up desk space. Keep a trash can nearby and get rid of items as soon as they are no longer useful. Empty the trash receptacle at the end of the week for a fresh start.

7. Use a “one item in, one item out” rule

As papers and supplies mount up on a desktop, consider putting a rule into place that keeps the mountain from growing. The “one item in and one item out” rule means that for every item that enters your workspace, one item must go. If you want to display the photo of your grandson winning the little league game, replace the photo of him graduating kindergarten.

8. Use drawer dividers

Desk drawers can become havens for clutter when items are put into them without consideration. Use drawer dividers or hanging folders to organize paperwork or project notes into easy to find files. Or use acrylic dividers to divide pencils, business cards or flash drives and keep them accessible.

9. Use pegboard

Mount pegboard to a wall or the side of your desk to organize items. Pegboard can hold shelves or hooks to create sections and separate items. Consider moving accessories or personal items to the pegboard to free up desk space.

10. Create personal space

Workspaces are typically complemented by personal items such as photos, awards or electronics. Designate a shelf or desk corner for these items to keep surface areas clear for work tasks but nearby for enjoyment or accessibility.

11. Organize computer desktop

Organizing a computer desktop serves the same purpose as organizing the desk. Cluttered computer desktops make finding items that much more challenging. Add folders to organize apps and delete or hide those that are used infrequently.

12. Scan documents

Rather than keeping papers on your desk, scan documents and organize them into folders for easy retrieval. If you dont need to keep the hard copies, recycle or shred them so they dont continue to take up space.

13. Keep to-do list nearby

By keeping items you frequently need nearby, you reduce the time spent looking for them and the same goes for your to-do list. Keep these lists handy to stay focused on the task in front of you. A fresh to-do list can be started each day, be sure to discard the old one.

14. Tie up cables

Computer cables, phone cords and electrical connections may be strewn here and there taking up vital space on or under your desk. Gather cords together and tether them using zip ties or carabiners.

15. Put supplies away

Its easy for clutter to grow when items are dropped on the desk rather than being put away. Once youve finished using an item, put it back so it not only leaves the desk space, but you know where to find it again. Combine with color-coded caddies or bins to separate items.

16. Prioritize essential elements

Desks typically contain the essential items needed to perform a task and may change depending on the project. Determine what your essential needs are for the project youre working on (phone, notepad, calendar) and keep those within reach.

17. Use letter trays

Paper clutter not only adds up, it can be challenging to find one specific document. Letter trays can be organized into designated sections such as in, out, answer or discard to help keep paper clutter down.

18. Optimize storage space

Use the space in, around and under the desk for additional storage. Line caddies under a desk, hang shelves or pegboard on walls and designate drawers or cabinets according to task.

19. Take inventory

Know what you have and know what you need. If supplies are running low or your last pen is out of ink, it can take up time to locate what you need to complete your work. Take regular inventory and stock up on staples, rubber bands, sticky notes or whatever item needs replenishment.

20. Perform a weekly inspection

Commit to look over your desk once a week and sort out what is complete from what has yet to be done. Clear off any items youre finished using and put them into their designated homes. Remember to empty the trash can.

FAQ

How do I declutter my desk?

Organize Your Desk with These 13 Helpful Tips
  1. Keep your desktop computer in front of you.
  2. Put the things you use most near your dominant hand.
  3. Keep only what you need on your desk.
  4. Group similar items together.
  5. Ditch the sticky notes.
  6. Slow your roll on personal stuff.
  7. Control your notifications.
  8. Keep open desk space.

How can I organize my desk with no storage?

A Step-by-Step Guide to a Clutter-Free Office Desk
  1. Clear and remove everything. …
  2. Sort and assess each item. …
  3. Wipe and Disinfect Everything. …
  4. Rearrange and Organize Everything. …
  5. Use Dividers, Shelves, and Cabinets to Maintain Order. …
  6. Always put items back in their right place. …
  7. Clean and declutter your desk regularly.

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