Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Five Simple Ways to Save Your Desk

Who among us will admit their desk is a disaster area? You have papers everywhere and Diet Coke cans from a week ago. There are documents you have to get back to your boss tucked in somewhere with personal bills you need to pay stat.

Well, never fear, because this week I’m sharing five simple ways you can save your desk. Organizer’s Promise:  Each of these will take about five minutes to do and will make you even more awesome at your job.

1. Deal with the trash. Do you have a trashcan easily accessible? If not, get one. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to dispose of those Diet Coke cans and gum wrappers when the trashcan is at your fingertips.

2. Corral your action items. A simple inbox or tray for items you need to act on will ensure you never loose track of important paperwork. To prevent your inbox from becoming a black hole, spend five minutes in the morning reviewing the contents. Trash any papers that are no longer relevant, and take action on timely ones. After a while, checking your inbox will become a habit.

Trays from West Elm

3. Create a personal space. In any office it’s easy to get personal items like tissues, hand lotion, bills, and all that other good stuff strewn all over your desk. My solution: set aside a small drawer in your desk. Bonus points if you use drawer organizers. Or consider something creative like wall pockets to maximize unused wall space and keep those items in one place. 

Photo courtesy of Design Sponge

4. Clear the decks. The easiest way to streamline the amount of papers you keep on your desk is to identify an inbox to contain papers that 1) should be returned to their original file or 2) should have a new file created for them. Once you have those papers in one place, schedule time once a week to go through it. This is also the perfect task to delegate to an assistant.  

Photo courtesy of Glitter Guide

5. Now maintain daily. Schedule five minutes at the end of the day to put away any items you’ve pulled out, throw away trash, and generally tidy up. There is nothing better than coming into a clean, organized desk in the morning. 


  1. I didn't agree with your suggestion to leave action items in the in tray until I read the part about going through it every day. That's the secret to success!

  2. Love that you have a slot for all the different areas of your desk. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great photos! And love the West Elm trays. These are all simple, easily implementable tips. Wonderful!