Mess No More

8 Desk organisation ideas for messy desks

When you’ve spent too much time in the office looking for the contract you signed last week and finding a stapler amongst stacks of papers instead of working, you know it’s time for a change. Here’s how to get that desk under control.

Problem: I have clutter all over the desk.

Solution: keep only what you need and throw out what you don’t. Take heed from organisational guru, Marie Kondo, and sort your belongings by categories (e.g: books, papers. pens, etc.). Retain only the most essential office or reference materials. Kondo suggest to keep only papers that are either currently in use, needed for a limited period, or needed to be kept indefinitely.

Problem: I can never find things when you actually need them.

Solution: go vertical. It’s easier to pile papers and folders but it’s also harder to keep track of what you have. You are more aware of where things are when they are visible so start replacing your flat in/out box with a vertical step file.

Problem: there’s paper everywhere!

Solution: reduce the volume of paper in the office by going paperless. If you have physical receipts and invoices, scan them and throw out the physical copy. Find more useful paper organisation tips here.

Problem: I find occasional random things on my desk.

Solution: Be it a pen, ruler, mailing envelopes or papers, the key to tackling these random stowaways is to find a home for all your belongings. When you know where to store unused items, you’re less likely to just dump it on your desk.

Problem: I’m organised but things seem to stray anyway.

Solution: the simpler your organisational method, the easier it is for you to follow through. Organise your supplies by categories and store them in their own containers. Try using old cups or mason jars to keep pens and stationery upright on your desk. Tip: If you’ve got extra shoeboxes lying around, can turn them into containers for unused supplies and filing cabinets.

Problem: My cords are taking over my desk.

Solution: Double-sided and velcro tape are your best allies. Stick two command hooks on the side or the back of your desk to hold excess cords. Be sure to roll them up and secure with velcro before hanging it on the hook.

Problem: I keep finding stray tissue paper and candy wrappers.

Solution: never ‘store’ trash on your desk, even if it’s a piece of food wrapper. Keep a small trash can under your desk for easy access to trash disposal. Just remember to take out your trash every day before you leave office.

Problem: My desk is clean for a week and messy for the next three months.

Solution: Schedule cleaning and filing time into your work day.It’ll give you a sense of closure to your work routine, plus, you’ll be thanking yourself when you come to office the next day and see a spanking clean desk.