How to Organize Your Desk & Workspace

National Clean Off Your Desk Day occurs the second Monday of January. While it’s always a good idea to take a few minutes each day to devote to tidying up and to celebrate today I’m sharing my best organizing tips for not only clearing off your desk, but also on how to organize your workspace. 

We all want to be as efficient and productive as possible, but when our desk is a mess, and our work environment is chaotic, it’s hard to make that happen. Even if we are getting things accomplished, if our workspace is cluttered it can make us feel so unorganized and behind. If you want to declutter and organize your work area, you first need to make a plan.

In today’s post I’m not just talking about the physical clutter, I’m talking digital clutter too! Digital detoxes are crucial for boosting productivity and getting your thoughts in the right place for your day ahead. If your computer desktop is filled with tons of documents and your email inbox has 400 unread messages, it can also be a major stressor.

First things first, you need to set time aside to declutter and organize your work area. You have to be intentional. If you don’t designate time for this, it will never happen.

Desk Declutter

Like any area you want to organize, the first step is to take everything out. As you take items from your desk, be sure to toss anything that you no longer use, want, or like.

Once you’ve purged those things, create categories. Paper clips should have their own container, while staples have their own. Having a home for each item that you keep in and, on your desk, will make finding things simple and fast. 

Paper is probably the number one reason a desk becomes unorganized. If you don’t have the option to digitize your files, create a filing system that fits your unique needs.

Here is an example. Inside a file box create and label individual files for your most kept paperwork. Receipts, bills, mail, and action items. The action items folder is great for paperwork that requires you to take action, such as writing a date on your calendar. Go through your file box at the end of each week and shred or recycle the papers you no longer need. Then your file box will be clear and ready for the new week ahead.

Workspace Declutter

Your desk isn’t the only thing that needs to be decluttered. Your office space needs to be organized as well of you want to feel productive and focused.

Pick up any items that are on the floor, consider color coding your books, and hang artwork or pictures that you enjoy looking at. Your workspace should inspire you!

Email Declutter

We’ve all been there before. Having upwards of 300 email notifications in the inbox. Typically, we open the urgent ones and ignore the rest. Another one of those tasks we always say we will get to. But waking up to a ton of unread emails and having that number continually grow is stressful!

Set some time aside at the beginning or end of your day to do an email declutter! Go through your inbox and delete any emails you don’t need and unsubscribe from emails you no longer wish to receive.

If you have emails you do want to save, create folders for them, so you know exactly what and where they are. This will free up space in your main inbox and will eliminate the dread of unread email notifications.

Computer Desktop Declutter

Have you ever set your desktop background to an image you love and over time realize you can no longer see that image because there are so many documents and photos that you’ve saved that are blocking it?

Anyone raising their hand in agreement?

I get it! Therefore, having folders for everything is so important. If you blog and save your image to your desktop create a folder for that. Have photos of the family or events that you attended? Make a folder for that too. This is a great way to organize your digital life and be able to find the things you need quickly.

Desk Organization Complete

After working through each of these categories you will be left with an organized desk and workspace.

Now instead of dreading to sit down at your desk and do work you will be excited and feel so much more focused and productive. Pro tip- Once you have an organized workspace, set aside 5-10 minutes at the end of each day for maintenance of your new organized office.

Interested to see how we took one busy business owner’s home office from chaos to calm? Check out our last blog post to see the complete transformation. We’ve even included some amazing before and after images!

Not sure you’re ready to organize and declutter your office on your own? Don’t stress because we can help! Offices are one of our favorite spaces to organize. Book your free consultation here so we can get started!