A clean desk is a key to success in the workplace, though some creative people think differently. To them, being surrounded by piles of papers, stacks of books, and even last night’s congealed takeout is evidence that they’re on to something good. An organized workspace will not only impress your boss but can also increase productivity by helping you find things quickly and easily. To help get you inspired, we reached out to the best-selling author and expert organizer Jennifer Ford Berry for her top secrets to makeover your workspace.
Keep Only the Necessities.
Keep your desk clean and tidy by only having the items you need within arm’s reach, and make use of storage space. A desk becomes cluttered when there are too many photos of your pets or other objects on top of it. Position the things you use every day—like your laptop, project folders, and pens and pencils—in a spot that’s easy to reach. Having them readily available will save you time and frustration down the road.
[Related: QUIZ: What Does Your Desk Say About You?]
Invest in Desk Accessories to Boost Your Productivity.
If you want to be able to grab your essentials quickly and easily, invest in a desk caddy that can hold pens, Post-its, etc. Many also come with the bonus of being able to charge your cell phone. In addition, purchase a shallow tray where you can organize folders for current projects or other tasks you’re working on.
Keep the Rest in a Safe Place.
If you only use an item once a month or less, don’t store it on top of your desk. If you’re keeping items you seldom use in your desk drawers, get rid of them to make more room.
Give Yourself a Fresh Start.
Every night, take a minute to tidy up your desk so you can start afresh the next day. This is the best way to end your workday if you don’t want to be the first one to leave, but you’re finished with your tasks.
Give Your Home a Deep Cleaning Four Times a Year.
If you stick to the tips provided above, your desk will always be clean. Having said that, it’s not a bad idea to pencil in some time every few months to give your desk area a quick once-over–especially if hectic hours or large projects keep you from maintaining organization regularly. Tidy up your space by getting rid of unwanted files and old candy, and consider adding a potted plant to spruce things up. You’ll be re-energized and your desk will become the envy of all your coworkers.
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