How to Organize Your Desk

Has your desk drawer turned into a junk drawer? Do you have so many Post-its™ on your desk that you don’t notice them anymore? What about that really important paper you wanted to keep right at your fingertips…it’s there somewhere right? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s time for a desk organization intervention.


  • Garbage Bag
  • Can of Compressed Air


  • Paper Shredder
  • Swiffer
  • Microfiber / E-Cloth

Step 1empty-desk

Take everything off, out and underneath and take a deep breath. This is the moment you will see your desk again. Soak it in. Sort through your items quickly, saving only the most necessary. This is the perfect time to get rid of pens that only work half of the time, markers with no lids and scribbled notes from that meeting 16 months ago.

Tip: Be sure to shred any personal or sensitive paperwork. If you don’t have a shredder, see if your community has a monthly shredding collection day.

Step 2

Clean the heck out of your desk. Wipe down every surface and drawer. Get rid of stray paper clips and those random bits of paper that always seem to collect in the corner of drawers. This will prepare your desk to house only the most important office items needed in your future. This is also when the trauma from throwing away something you may need in 7 years starts to fade away.

Step 3

Look at your remaining items and decide what goes in the desk, on the desk and around the desk. The more clutter free your desktop is, the easier it will be to clean (and work!) in the future.

And this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for…put only the necessary items back. Make sure everything has a home: paperclips and hair ties, bills that need to be paid and have been paid, pens and pencils, sticky notes and your “to-do” list. This is where attention to details matters, so hang in there…you’re almost done!

  •  Take all computer and mobile peripherals off the desktop. Instead, put them on a nearby bookcase or shelf and combine miscellaneous items like keys and wallets in a fun tray or small box.
  •  Come up with a filing system that makes sense for your needs. Label folders to make filing and retrieving documents quick and easy. Make a habit of filing papers as soon as you are finished with them.
  •  Pencils, pens, staplers and paper should be stowed away and off the desktop. Store tools and accessories in desk drawers, divided by type. Frequently used pens should be easy to access. Items you need but don’t use as frequently, such as paper clips, post-it notes, scissors, etc., can be grouped together.

Did you know? You should avoid “miscellaneous” folders, as these catch-all receptacles usually work against organizational efforts by encouraging you to keep things you probably don’t need.

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