5 Habits to Keeping a Clean Desk



By Nada Al-Mutawaly


With a raging pandemic forcing us to work from home, staying organized has been difficult. 

Our workspace is a reflection of our mental state, and staying on top of something as small as your filing system can be the key to boosting productivity and giving you the mental capacity to clear your mind! 

Here are 5 ways you can declutter:


1 – Stray Papers Begone!

The number one reason for a messy desk is usually stray papers.  If you’re anything like me, you probably tell yourself, “I will put this in its file later”, eventually resulting in multiple messy piles on your desk.

I have learned that the best way to tackle this problem is to immediately file any document that reaches me the second it arrives. To make this even easier, I switched my out-of-reach file drawer to one right next to me to prevent me from giving myself any excuses.


2 – Less is More (At least for workspaces)

Keeping an organized desk also means knowing what you need on top and inside. Don’t overcrowd your desk surface with extra stationery such as pens, blank papers, tape, and staplers, amongst other things. These can easily go in your drawer where they can be retrieved when needed. Everyone has different needs, so analyze yourself and take note of the kinds of tools you use on a regular basis versus the ones you don’t.


3 – Junk Drawer No More

All right we’re all guilty of this one.  While it’s much easier to just shove something inside a random drawer than take the time to actually put it in its proper place, this behaviour quickly adds another item on our to-do list which we swear we will “get to this weekend”. 

Instead, take the time to do it now!  Yes, before continuing on with this blog post, take a peek at your junk drawer, mutter a quick prayer, roll up your sleeves and get to work! It might take a few minutes, it might take hours, but the results will be worth it. To stop yourself from accumulating another junk drawer within the next few days, utilize the drawer for something else: extra filing, stationery, cleaning supplies – whatever you need, use the drawer! You won’t be able to just throw in that random letter or paperclip so easily anymore.


4 – Untangle Your Life (no, not that kind, that will take a much stronger force)

Cords – the bane of every modern worker’s existence. They’re everywhere you do not need them to be and handling them can be tricky. Thankfully, modern problems come with modern solutions. Getting a wireless keyboard and mouse is no harder than a quick trip to your local tech store or an Amazon search. If that isn’t possible, try a desk cord organizer. I’ve linked one from Amazon for only $10 below. A power bar which you could slide underneath your desk would also be a great way to manage the clutter!

Cord organizer link: https://www.amazon.ca/Cord-Organizer-Desk-Kit-Nightstand/dp/B082GXM7M1/ref=asc_df_B082GXM7M1/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=336878360087&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14157614266035741713&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9000871&hvtargid=pla-872411428205&psc=1


5 – Disinfect everything

If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s to become raging germaphobes. Keeping a quick cleaning kit nearby to use when you’re done with your workspace is a great way to not only ensure peace of mind, but it also pushes you to do a double-check on your desk. If there’s anything that shouldn’t be there, you’ll know to put it away, keeping your desk clean and organized.

Organization shouldn’t be something to dread. Understandably, it’s not always the greatest thing to get to, but it significantly helps our work and personal life. I’ll be the first to admit that the pandemic has made me more messy and careless when it comes to putting away papers and tools I know shouldn’t be there.  However, with offices opening back up and people going back to work, we all need a small reminder that sometimes all it takes to be more productive and reduce stress is a few minutes of cleaning.

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