In order to work most efficiently, you need to have an organized work space. This applies whether you work in or out of the home and any spaces where you may do your homework or even pay bills.
Whenever my desk gets messy, I just do not work efficiently. I just can’t. I also need to keep our bills organized. If they are just stacked in a corner, they get missed and may not get paid on time and that just isn’t good for anyone.
Not only do I need the top of my desk cleaned and organized, I also need this with the drawer. I tell you what – that drawer will be clean one day and then so messy the next that I can’t find a THING in it! I secretly think trolls live nearby and sneak in at night and mess it up!
While it can be a big task, I am here to tell you that if your desk or workspace is neat and organized, it just makes you much more productive. It also can help you feel more in control of your finances and other paperwork that filters through your home.
Before you start to organize your office, make sure you print out our free checklist. That will help you get started. You will also want to read through the rest of this post where we provide even more detail for each item on the list.
Clean off the top of the desk
You really want to make sure your desktop has nothing on it. Just set the papers aside into a pile to sort through later and then place the office supplies in another pile. If you find things that don’t belong, make sure you return them to their proper home (don’t just lie them in another room, but actually put them away – don’t create more clutter).
Empty the desk drawers
Do the same as you did with the top of the desk. Place the paperwork in a pile. Create additional piles keeping like items together. If you find things that don’t belong, make sure you return those back to their homes as well. Throw out anything that is broken or is just trash (put envelopes and other papers into the shredding or recycling pile).
Start to return items back to the drawers
You might find dividers or hanging files to keep items need and orderly. You may want to also use small basket to keep writing items or other office supplies together. Don’t forget to keep the most frequently used items at the front of your drawer (so you can easily access it).
Sort through paperwork
File those items that need to be saved as needed (read more about filing important documents). Toss or recycle anything as needed. Set your bills aside and make sure they are always kept together in a location where you can find them easily (so you never miss any payments). Place kids’ school papers in their proper bins (see more about that here). If you find notes, just them onto your planner or make an online document to keep them together.
Clean up writing items
Test all pens and highlighters and toss anything that does not work. Sharpen any pencils which are dull. Keep only a few items on your desk and keep the extras in a central location. Place in your drawer or use a cup or other type of storage to keep them on your desk.
Return items to the top of your desk
Try to limit the number of items on top of your desk. It should include your laptop (or tablet), a few family photos, cup with writing items, small calendar and even a place for a few papers you may need to refer to soon. Try not to allow papers to pile back up again by filing them away as soon as they come into the house.
Wipe down the desk and any shelves
Place small items onto the shelves, but do not allow to become over cluttered. Only use one or two small paper storage bins on your shelf so that it does not become overcome by paperwork again.
Vacuum or sweep
Now your office is clean and organized!