It's almost impossible to be creative and think clearly with a cluttered desktop. The more physical clutter piles up on your desktop space, the more mental clutter you'll face when you sit down to work. To avoid this problem, you'll need a good desk organization system to ensure that everything has a proper place. You'll want to start by keeping things that you work on every day on your desk. Projects that you don't work on as often should go inside your desk, into a file cabinet, or onto a shelf.
For example, if you're currently working on a project, it's fine to keep it on your desktop for easy access. But if you've got another project in the works, say for next week and especially if it's for next month, put it away. Set up a reminder file for each pending project and store it in your desk or file cabinet.
Here are a few basics that you'll need in order to maximize the efficiency of your desk organization:
Inbox and outbox - If you need to conserve space on your desk top, consider a wall mounted inbox and outbox. Or, if you prefer to keep projects at your fingertips, use a two-tier paper organizer on top of your desk. All incoming mail should go in the top tray (or the wall mounted box you designate as your inbox), and use the lower tray for items like mail, filing, and so on. Make sure you don't use these as a catch-all for junk mail, outdated documents, and other kinds of paper clutter.
In addition to mail and filing, you can also use your outbox for reminder notes to carry with you when you head out to run errands. Make sure to use brightly colored sticky notes to alert yourself to any paperwork that requires action so it doesn't get lost in your outbox. Make it a habit to check your outbox whenever you head out the door, and do the filing at least once or twice a week.
Keep reading and reference materials within easy reach in a small hanging file box or bin next to or under your desk. That way, you'll have frequently used reference items close by as you work.
Lighting - Make sure to use a desk lamp for proper lighting. A small table lamp is fine if space permits, or use a clip on lamp if you don't have much room.
Office supplies, phone, and computer - Make sure to keep office supplies within easy reach. Keep your phone and computer configured for easy access. Items that you use frequently should be kept on or in your desk. Pens, pencils, a stapler, a staple remover, paper fasteners, note pads, sticky notes, and so on, should be placed logically in an easy-to-reach place. Any item that isn't used daily should be kept somewhere else.
If your desk space is limited, maximize your work area by installing inexpensive shelves on the wall near your desk to store items for easy access.
Seating - Use a comfortable chair. If you don't have a good chair, purchasing one is a wise investment. Avoid back and rear-end pain from a bad chair and bad posture.
To summarize, here are the basics you'll need for optimal desk organization:
- Pens and pencils
- Inbox and outbox
- Sticky Notes
Now that you know the basics of good desk organization, get to work and get your space working for you!
Samantha Buck is a Professional Organizer and Editor of http://www.LifeOrganizeIt.com/desk-organization.html, where you can find solutions to life's organizing dilemmas even how to tame and manage a cluttered desk no matter how busy you are. Subscribe to the free organizing magazine "Organize It Mom!" at http://www.lifeorganizeit.com/free-e-zine.html for super easy tips and techniques to get yourself organized. Not just for moms, this free organizing magazine will help anyone get organized!