When faced with a difficult day of work do you dream about sweeping your arm across your desk dramatically and clearing it of everything...just like they do in the movies?
Whether today has been challenging fantastic, as a Professional Organiser, I recommend decluttering your desk often because those little bits and pieces can tend to creep back so quickly and easily and can really affect your productivity.
In the spirit of National Clean Off Your Desk Day yesterday, here are some quick tips to declutter like a pro ready for a super productive 2019:
Start with a clean slate
Take everything off your desk and give it a good clean, it's crazy where dust gathers and what you can find!
Dream of what you want your desk to look like, how do you want to feel at your desk, how do you do your best work?
Create a vision for your desk and your working space based on these answers. It doesn't have to be "Instagrammable", but it has to be true to you and how you best work.
Having a vision is so helpful as it not only gives you something to work towards, but also an image to come back to if your desk becomes a clutter magnet again.
Go through what was on your desk and quickly scan for rubbish.
What can go in the recycle or bin without too much thought? Did you find a business card that you picked up at a networking event but now she is your biz bestie? Recycle it! Found a chocolate wrapper that never made it to the bin? Bin it!
Are there things that need to be filed? Spend 2 minutes and just do it now.
Is there an ornament that your ex gave to you? Get your Elsa on and let it go!
Be thoughtful & intentional
This is where we work towards creating that vision you channeled for your desk. The purpose of this step is to be thoughtful and intentional about what goes where on and around your desk.
Think about what you are going to put back on top of your desk. Just because you’ve always had a hole punch on your desk, it doesn’t mean it actually needs to go back there. Do you use it every day? No? Put it in your drawer. Do you ever use it? No? Donate it.
As a general rule; if you use something a few times a day, it should live on top of your desk or within very easy reach. If you use it once a day, it should live in a drawer or arms reach. If it’s occasionally used, it can be stored in a cupboard or drawer in your office.
Do you want to work uninterrupted by the distraction of your phone? Set up the charger away from your desk so you have to intentionally walk away from your desk to check it.
You also have permission today to clear out your desk drawers, your cupboards and any other storage areas you have for your work. Declutter them and then thoughtfully and intentionally put things back that you need and use.
Have you found in the process that you actually decluttered enough that you don’t need that piece of furniture, or have you found that the storage solution is no longer working for you?
Consider why that it is?
Do you prefer vertical storage over drawers? Are you a visual person and need to see something to remember to action it? Storage needs to be a solution not a way to add to the mess and clutter.
My top tip above all is to have a daily shutdown process!
Before you leave work for the day, set it up for tomorrow. Do a mini declutter, put things away. Write a to-do list so things are out of your head. Be grateful for what you achieved. Your future-self will thank you for finishing up the day as an organised goddess, I promise!
Words: Kirsty Farrugia
Kirsty Farrugia is a Professional Organiser and transformed “messaholic”. She is passionate about helping others to find space in their heads, hearts and homes and wants to share the freedom that comes from living a decluttered life.
The owner of Feels Like Home Professional Organisers and co-host of popular podcast The Art of Decluttering, Kirsty is on a mission to help those who are too busy, too confused, too tired, too stressed or too overwhelmed to deal with their own clutter - working with clients to create order and make long-term improvements in all aspects of their lives.
Kirsty lives in Sydney, Australia with her uber-organised husband and two gorgeous children.