Keep your desk tidy in 5 easy steps

I appear to spend a lot of my time writing about home offices, de-cluttering and feng shui even and yet my office looks like my business threw up in there!  Therefore my half term target is to get the clutter out (I mean there’s a hammer on my desk!?), shred unnecessary paperwork and reorganise.  Clearly if my office space is getting into such a mess my current system (or lack of) it’s not working for me.

The 4 D technique : 

Office trays provide a great way to systemise your paperwork. Bills, invoices, post! Anything that can be and does get left on your desk. should be placed into office trays freeing up work surfaces. Adopt the same technique as with your email inbox :

productivity tips

  • Do it : Simple just get the task done.  Pay and file the invoice. Respond to letters from school/invites to parties. Get stuff done! This is why your office is overrun lack of doing!
  • Delete it : If it’s junk, shred or bin it. Don’t hang on to it. This goes for invites to unless you need them pop the event in your diary and move on.
  • Defer it : If it takes time to complete, put it on your to-do list and write a date to action in your diary.
  • Delegate it : If you can pass it on to someone else to deal with.

Sort your trays weekly and shred anything you don’t need, remember you are working towards a paperless office : 11 reasons your small business should go paperless

Storage :

Invest in storage that works for it’s purpose!  If your storage is a messy, bookcase buckling under the weight, paper peeping out of the cabinet this isn’t helping with productivity.   I was recently offered a Hobby Holster to help with my office clutter. They have been designed to make life around the home easier and safer and I for one am loving them! What makes them so special is each Hobby Holster is heat resistant to over 200°C and made from high-grade silicone construction, which makes them also waterproof which enables you to use them in the bathroom or kitchen, if you so wish. They make the perfect holder for hot glue guns, meaning its an invaluable tool in my home office. I struggle to find somewhere to prop the damn thing up.

hobby holster

What do you actually need in your office?  Realistically anything you don’t need to use on a daily doesn’t need to be in your office.  In my home office I have utilised all the space with shelves just under the ceiling and stock boxes under my desk, this is dead space in the office. However, if you are working from the corner of your living room you might not want all these things on show.

Zones : 

Have specific areas where the magic happens. The desk zone realistically what do you need on it? (I really do not need that hammer!) Probably just a computer, diary, pen and notebook, not the million other things impeding on my creativity!

Have you filling cabinets in one area in my case I have all my stock on shelves in boxes so when I’m packing orders I can easily reach everything rather than wondering around the office.  Also, have all your books displayed nicely on a shelf instead of piled up.

Like with like : 

People like me (disorganised) need someone to point out ways to keep … well organised and this tip is perfect. Organise your office belongings so they live together ie. paper clips, stapler and staples all in the same draw so you limited the possibility of wandering around looking for stuff (unless like me you factor “hunting for stuff” into your to-do list).

Put it away! : 

If I had a penny for every time I remind my children to put stuff away before getting MORE stuff out I wouldn’t need to write a blog (OK being a lady of leisure would soon grow boring *tells oneself willfully*).  However, I am so unaccustomed to practising what I preach I appear to have EVERYTHING out on my own desk! This is where a good filing system and adequate storage comes into play, also making time each day to put your pens away, close any notebooks, take cups to the kitchen. Such simple tasks will soon have your office shipshape!

keep your desk tidy in 5 easy steps

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  1. October 14, 2016 / 11:11 am

    It can be easy to end up with a mountain of stuff on your desk! Great tips here that I really need to implement 🙂

  2. October 14, 2016 / 11:44 am

    Great post!!
    I’m quite good at the messy stuff (removing cups etc) but tend to let paperwork pile up, so I’m going to be more mindful of this too.
    I love the 4D’s process and use it all the time for various things, especially email 🙂

  3. Lorna Sixsmith
    October 14, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    I have to admit that I try to convince myself that working at a messy desk allows for a more creative mind but I know that’s not true. I deliberately have a small desk so that it doesn’t take long to tidy (but it has lots of drawers so the mess is kinda of co-ordinated into different drawers and is definitely hidden away.
    I love the 4D process too but do it about once a month! Good reminders here.

    • October 14, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      I tell myself that too … but now my desk is clear I feel much more productive than last week!

  4. October 14, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    I think I might need glass filing trays because, if I cannot see something, I forget to deal with it. If I put something away in a desk drawer, it may as well go in the bin! I have everything out…same when I am cooking…I like to pretend I am Delia (cooking wise) and have all the ingredients in little bowls 🙂