How to Maintain a Clean and Clutter-Free Desk

Keeping a clutter-free desk is a notion that sounds fairly simple in theory, yet, might be much more challenging in practice. Sure, your desk starts neat and clean, yet, this default state isn’t necessarily ideal either. Just think about it, there are some items that you need frequent and instant access to, which is what the surface of the desk is simply ideal for. Still, making a selection of these items, as well as recognizing the fact that this priority changes over time, just isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. With that in mind, in order to deal with this problem, you’ll have to learn hacks and acquire habits that will help you keep it clean and clutter-free. Here are some suggestions on this topic.

1. Ritualize your desk habits

The first thing you need to understand is the fact that keeping your desk clean is a matter of consistency and not a one-time effort. This is why you need to start developing habits and the best way to do so artificially is to make a schedule and try your best to keep up with it. Now, one of the most efficient ways to keep your desk neat and clean is to keep things in drawers, which would imply that you need to put them on the desk when you start work and return them all to the drawer when you’re done.

The next thing you should keep in mind is the fact that you need to keep your desk clean but this doesn’t mean that you should dust or clean it on a daily level. Instead, you can do this once per week and doing this on the exact same day week after week will help ritualize this habit to your benefit. Seeing as how it doesn’t take you more than five minutes per week to do this, there’s really no excuse to skip this step. Moreover, it will help you keep the place work-friendly without making you feel like you’re investing any effort into this project.

2. Don’t use it as a temporary storage solution

Earlier on, we talked about keeping items you use on a regular basis on the desk for the efficiency of this course of action. On the other hand, things don’t always go in this direction, seeing as how some people use their desk as a temporary checkpoint for the items that are supposed to go someplace else from the start.

If you use an item every 10 minutes or every half an hour, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it on the top of your desk while you’re working. Just remember to put it back in the drawer (or some other designated place) when you’re done. However, if the item is not supposed to be on the desk in the first place, don’t even let it touch the surface. Sure, this may seem like a too stern of a rule, yet, it’s a hack that may make your life much easier in the long-run.

3. Mind the surrounding

The neatness, orientation, and organization of your desk is not the only thing that affects its appearance and your productivity. The surroundings can be as impactful, as well. First of all, the abundance of cables underneath the desk is not only unaesthetic but they are also incredibly inconvenient, provided that you want to stretch or sit a bit more comfortably. Therefore, getting a cable organizer to sort them out and keep them in order is definitely a great idea. To further gamify this experience, making it somewhat more interesting, you can even make a DIY cord and cable organizer on your own.  

The next thing worth mentioning is the prospect of having a carpet underneath your desk. First of all, this is a most common practice in offices all over the world, seeing as how it provides more comfort and helps make the ambiance in the office much cozier. The problem, nonetheless, lies in the fact that the desk leaves the mark on the carpet, which is both unaesthetic and impractical. Fortunately, this is a problem that can easily be solved with the help of a simple carpet protector that can be found in stores like Matshop. The cost of such an item is incredibly frugal when compared to the potential damage to the rug or a prospect of buying a brand new rug.

One last thing to keep in mind is the importance of regularly emptying the trash can next to your desk.  Full trash will prevent you from properly discarding items, which might result in keeping invalid or faulty documents lying crumbled on your desk. Some people prefer to use mini countertop thresh cans, yet, this is both non-practical (due to the size of the can) and visually displeasing.

4. Don’t eat at your desk

Previously, we talked about the importance of not using your desk as a temporary storage place. However, there are some additional don’ts that you should adhere to in order to keep an immaculate desk. The first and, perhaps the most intuitive suggestion is to stop eating at your desk. Even if the crumbs, the leftovers the stains aren’t hard to remove, this is an unnecessary problem that can be averted in a simple manner. Cleaning your desk once every week is really the most time-efficient manner, so having to repeat the action every day is simply not worth it.

5. Get to work a tad earlier

This may be something that sounds incredibly taxing, yet, getting to work just 10 minutes earlier can make all the difference in the world. This will help you prepare your morning beverage, prepare your computer for work and prepare your desk for maximum efficiency. If you pull this off right, this can help you become much more productive early in the day. The full importance of this becomes obvious when you consider the fact that, for the majority of people, the first two hours in the morning are the most productive ones. This also means that you should finish your daily tasks somewhat earlier, which will give you enough time to remove all the temporarily stored items from your desk.

In conclusion

At the very end, you need to understand that the state of your desk and its organization affect more than just its appearance. It also has a significant impact on your overall productivity. A messy desk can be incredibly vexing, which would automatically make you more agitated and less focused on the task at hand. Aside from this, it can also prevent you from being able to find what you’re looking for, therefore, causing a significant amount of downtime. Fortunately, with the above-listed hacks and tips on your side, you now have all the means to prevent this from actually becoming a problem.

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