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How To Keep Your Desk Clutter Free 25 Ways to increase Your Productivity

in Home Management - No Comments - 9 min read
tips to help you keep a clutter-free desk

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Maximize your productivity. Here are 30 tips to help you declutter your desk.

It’s a known fact that clutter and disarray in your office CAN affect your productivity. And when productivity is down, so is your work efforts. Clutter fights for your attention and moms are already sparse on how much more then can give.

If you are a work from home mom this can be so difficult. Finding time to declutter and organize difficult.

Throw in the fact that a desk can easily become a catch all. Kids’ school forms, sports paperwork, bills and whatever else you manage. The paper pile can add up fast if not address.

It’s important to get your desk organized so that you can maximize your productivity. Here are 30 tips to help you declutter your desk.

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30 tips to help you declutter your desk

1. Clean your desk every night. Starting when a clean desk gets you going on the task that needs to be done. So every night make it a habit ti clean off your desk. I am not talking a deep clean, just a put-away the papers, organize your notes and clear away your coffee cup.

2. Plan out the next day at the end of your workday. Make a list of your most important tasks and any supplemental tasks that need to get done the following day. Knowing your game plan will help get you into the proper mindset. You won’t be scrambling aimlessly in the morning.

3. Empty your email box. How freeing to have zero emails at the end of the day! Of course, this means creating a filing system with folders and labels that you can easily manage. But you’ll get in the habit of taking action with each email instead of letting it sit, taking up precious space.

If I am being honest I don’t have a clean email list. But my number 4 tip has helped me.

4. Create more than one email. Having coupons, then important documents and shopping deals all in the same inbox made keeping up with my emails in possible.

So I created 3 emails. 1- for shopping/deals or recipes things like that I would subscribe too. 2nd one for business 3-For bills and family stuff.

It has helped a ton. Try it out for yourself.

5. Use a paper in box. Create a system that has an inbox. As daily papers come in you can make it a habit to file or take action on them by the end of the day. Or maybe decide weekly inbox filing and sorting to be done at the end of the week.

Keep your desk clutter-free and get organized

6. Take 5 minutes to analyze your productivity. At the end of each day, write down your accomplishments, what you had hoped to finish but did not, and any roadblocks that stalled you. This isn’t a pity party; it’s simply a way to notice patterns of how you get knocked off the productivity wagon.

7. Commit to regular “brain dumps”. Keep a notebook with you and write down everything that’s on your mind throughout the day. It can be the tiniest of errands to big problems that need solving.

As a mom this is one of the most helpful things I learned among my journey. Brain dumps are so beneficial for clarity. We wear many hats as moms so creating headspace and help you refocus.

Get it down on paper. Now, look at that paper and sort out your next steps. Sort the errands all together; then schedule time to do them or delegate them to a family member. If they’re notes about future projects, get them on your calendar or store this list in your binder. You should feel lighter and more relaxed once everything is acknowledged on paper.

You can also use an online system like Trello or Airtable. I love both.

8. Turn off your notifications for a part of the day. Multitasking is difficult even for the most disciplined individuals. Plus constant notifications will just distract you. Set time limits for checking emails. Keep your social media notifications off. You can even delete social media apps.

9. Practice using positive visualization to see your goals. Similar to mediation. Positive visualization is about seeing yourself as though you have reached your goal already. Notice the lifestyle you’re living. Notice the office space you’re in. When you see yourself in this light, your goal feels more realistic.

10. Create a vision board. Sometimes we need to visual the things we are working on. This increases productivity and can add a little inspiration to your desk.

11. Set boundaries. If it doesn’t have to do with work, it doesn’t belong on your desk or in your office. Learning to say no to people is also a way to set boundaries. Say no to a client who wants support above and beyond what they’re paying for each month.

12. Label everything…including your electronic cords. Stop wasting precious time searching through boxes for that book of ideas or those old tax returns. Even if you use those fancier binders and storage boxes to keep on your shelves, slap a label on it before putting them away. Is your surge protector filled with cords, but you have no idea what they are attached to? Label them as well.

This is my favorite label maker that I use. Also I am a huge fan of sterilite clear bins to help me store office supplies.

Oooh and I love Marbel’s labels for stuff that I need to be permanent.

Stay Organized with Mabel’s Label’s Personalize School Labels

13. Find a place for everything. Don’t just leave those pens or highlighters on your desk; put them back where they belong. If they don’t currently have a home, create one. If you need sectional drawer organizers to prevent another mess from occurring, make the purchase. If you want them to stay on the desk, consider getting an attractive pen holder that can sit on your desk.

How to eliminate desk clutter

14. Use notebooks to jot down business notes. Not everyone is a tech junkie. For those who prefer old fashioned pen and paper for taking notes, use labeled notebooks instead of post it notes. Notebooks eliminate clutter and can be stored neatly on a shelf for future reference.

Use cation though I have fallen into the trap of having too many notebooks. When this happens you lose track of what is what.

READ MORE: Miracle smart notebook for moms and 17 reasons why you need one

15. Get help. Enlist another friend to help you or a professional expert. Instead of making guesses about what organization methods will work best for you. An objective third party can offer subjective advice.

16. Start with just one corner. Don’t look at the whole picture…yet. Choose a corner and tackle only that clutter. Go armed with a garbage bag and a file box.

Breaking down a larger task into smaller 15 minute task work.

17. Sort through paper first. Paper seems to make the biggest mess so take a pile and sort it into Business, Personal, and Shred. You’ll find a way to store these papers after they’re sorted.

18. Locate a shredding service. The rise of identity theft these days, it’s imperative to shred any documents that include personal information, especially medical bills, insurance papers, and credit card statements. Shredding services or trucks are plentiful. Some credit unions offer the service for free once a quarter. Your village or city may do the same.

Not only are you saving yourself time by hiring an expert, but you can rest easy knowing your personal information won’t be stolen.

There are also services at:

Fedex

UPS

Also considering getting one of these to help block out your personal information.

19. Take out anything that’s NOT belong in your office. Hang personal photos or artwork on the wall. But move family photo albums, clothing donation bags, or anything else that doesn’t have a purpose out of your office. Once they’re in another room you can decide if they’re things to keep, trash, or donate.

20. Use wall shelves or bookcases. Once the paper is sorted and off the desk, take a quick inventory of what else is taking up precious space. Can these items be sorted together? Is there a way to store them on a shelf? Shelves can get messy, too, but since they’re smaller, they’re easier to tame once a mess starts accumulating.

21. Use wall calendars and white boards. Even though you can use project management systems and mind mapping apps. Visual learners are more focused and productive when they see their plans right in front of them every day. It helps them stay focused on the primary goal of the business.

22. Let a timer motivate you. Set that timer on your phone and get moving! See how fast you can tackle your desktop or another corner of your office. Work until the timer goes off, rest for 5-10 minutes, then get back to work.

23. Go paperless. If paper is the bane of your existence, then contact whoever is sending you paper and request to receive receipts and statements electronically. You should still put into place a label and filing system on your computer to store them but at least they won’t be cluttering your desk.

24. Get the kids to help you. Older kids can take on small task for you. Teach them how to file their school documents. Have them help you shred. Send them to put the mail in the mail box. This allows you time to get more things done and reduce the change of things piling up.

25. Organize your desk top. Create folders on your like desktop to short-cuts. Reduce the visual clutter. Organize files and sort your applications.

How do I stop being so messy?

I will have admit I will be the first to say I actual don’t sit at my desk often. It’s a small desk in the basement and I much prefer to work on my pro lab desk. I love the opportunity to work anywhere and move about.

Start with Small, Atomic Habits, then Go Bigger

The idea of starting with tiny habits is based on the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. The idea is to start a habit with the smallest amount of time and impact possible and then build on that daily. For instance, instead of trying to complete 20 pushups a day, do just 1. After a week, go for 2 pushups.

Aiming for 20 pushups a day is intimidating, especially if you’re already out of shape. Instead of discouraging yourself with 20, complete 1 and work your way up to 20. Slowly but surely, you’ll notice your arm strength improving and then maybe you’ll be motivated to add 2 more every week.

This idea of atomic habits can be applied to any situation, including keeping your office and desk clean. Start small and build up over time.

The idea of atomic habits sometimes called has habit stacking is a

Take time to clear out the clutter and turn your home office into a 👑GIRL BOSS office. If you don’t have an extra bedroom to turn into an office, empty out a closet to use that space. You’ll find hundreds of ideas on Pinterest for “closet offices.”

If the idea of decluttering overwhelms you, enlist the help of a family member or friend. This may seem like a mountain of a task, but the end result will be well worth the effort.

Start with Small, Atomic Habits, then Go Bigger

The idea of starting with tiny habits is based on the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. The idea is to start a habit with the smallest amount of time and impact possible and then build on that daily. For instance, instead of trying to complete 20 pushups a day, do just 1. After a week, go for 2 pushups.

Aiming for 20 pushups a day is intimidating, especially if you’re already out of shape. Instead of discouraging yourself with 20, complete 1 and work your way up to 20. Slowly but surely, you’ll notice your arm strength improving and then maybe you’ll be motivated to add 2 more every week.

This idea of atomic habits can be applied to any situation, including keeping your office and desk clean. Start small and build up over time.

Keep your desk clutter-free desk tips and tricks

Finally cleaning your desk will get you on the right track. A minamist desk is often the best choice so that you can focus your efforts and time.

Little by little you will develop a system that works for you. And if you feel it getting out of control again. Just evaluate and adjust as necessary.

What are some of the ways you like reduces the clutter in your office or home?

Looking for more ideas on how to declutter your home and life

7 Tips for living clutter-free with children

35 Things that are making your home look cluttered

Decluttering tips for moms who are feeling overwhelmed

Amazing way to declutter your wallet and store loyalty cards in 15 minutes

Declutter RX for organizing a medicine cabinet

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About Me

Hi, I'm Lisa

I am your former career-driven mom turned stay at home mom of 3. Here you will find real life solutions to help you manage your home. Tips to help you organize and clean. So you can create the haven your desire while making time to do the things you love most. Check out the shop for printables!

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