Cluttered desk? You might have a problem – a problem getting ahead at work. Fortunately it’s a problem that can be solved. My desk is almost always cluttered, not really a mess, but if someone else was to sit down and try to work, they may have an anxiety attack.

Clutter is stressful. It’s a proven, scientific fact. A fact I have a hard time believing…until I have actually taken the time and effort to optimize and organize my workspace. Then, I feel extremely proud and accomplished, like I can take on anything. Basically, the state of my desk has the potential to set me up for success. If you’re like me and could use a little primer on how to declutter your desk, here are a few tips.

Get rid of the piles – If you have piles on your desk, it’s time to get to work. Do you even know what is in the piles? Go through each pile and figure out if it is still relevant. If yes, file in a properly labeled folder. If not, recycle. Clutter like magazines and outdated schedules build up quickly, try to come up with an in/out system on how long these types of items can hang out on your desk.

Easy access to frequent use items – Keep things, including documents, you use all the time handy. While it may sound and look appealing to have a completely empty desk, sometimes that is just not practical.

Personalize with purpose – You may love your family, friends, kids, dogs, tigers, whatever. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should have tons of pictures and photos littering your desk. Pick a few special items that make you feel good close by. They often provide comfort, however too much stuff, can be distracting.

Schedule routine maintenance – Once you’ve cleaned up your act, don’t let things start to slip. Get into the habit of a daily cleanup. Follow that up with a weekly and quarterly purge and then a deep cleaning every year – which should include some of the file cabinets where you probably have been stashing items.

Clearing clutter can take time, but is worth the effort. What are some of your clutter clearing tips? Share in the comments.

Jill Kempka

About Jill Kempka


Jill loves to share information about ways to keep up with the changing world of work. She focuses on quick tips, facts and helpful lists to give job seekers tactics and advice they can immediately use.

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