Getting Your Desk Clean—And Keeping it That Way

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If your desk is overwhelming and in need of space and housekeeping, you probably know how hard it is to find things you need. Additionally, clutter and mess can actually cause a person to be less focused and more stressed—not a good combination when you’re trying to work!

You may have cleaned your desk before, but has it stayed clean? There are a few things you can do to keep your desk neat and working well for you:

#1: Systemize. The best thing you can do for yourself to get your desk clean and to keep it clean is to create systems, especially for papers. A Life Clever contributor created a full system, but if you want to start small, try this:

  • Create an inbox on your desk for anything not sorted.
  • Create a folder for things that need attention soon.
  • Create folders for each ongoing project.
  • Throw away anything you don’t need.

To keep it looking nice, once a week clean out your inbox completely. This way, you'll also have a clean start once a week!

#2: File Immediately. As you clean your desk, don’t throw everything in your inbox. Now is the time to clean! File as you go and make sure you’re getting rid of any papers you no longer need. Otherwise they’ll take over your desk space in no time!

#3: Get Rid of Things. When you look at your desk, how many things do you see that you don’t ever actually use? If you’ve got a box of paperclips that have been unopened for a year, it’s probably safe to get them off your desk. 

In the same way, before you set something on your desk , think about whether or not it’s something you’re going to actually use. If not, find it a new home! 

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