How To Organize A Desk
How To Organize A Desk
Having a home office is great, but it's less great when it's such a disaster that you can't find anything and have no workspace. Let Expert Organizer Mary Astadourian show you how to make order of chaos.
Step 1: Clean Off Your Desk
Take everything off your desk, and empty the drawers. Now that you can see what you have, take a hard look at what you've been storing and assess the items. Throw away or purge the things that you don't need, and group the things that you are going to keep into groups that make sense. Put pens and pencils together, reading material in its own pile, mail in another, and so on.
Step 2: Assess Your Desk
Look at the space that you're going to put everything back into, and assess it. Measure it. Think about how you can best use it. What works best for you? Where will all your belongings fit? What do you need to have at your fingertips?
Step 3: Get Your Organizational Products
Using the information you collected during your assessment process, choose the organizational products you will need to make your desk work for you. An organized desk should have an inbox, an outbox, a mail box, a notes or reading box, a "pending file" holder, a pen and pencil holder, and file cabinet. Wait! It's not as complicated as it sounds! Your inbox is for papers that need to be acted on quickly - bills to pay, permission slips to sign - items that need action. Your outbox is for papers that need to go out, whether to the mail, to another person, or to your assistant, if you're lucky enough to have one. Your mail box is for, you guessed it, mail. Your notes or reading box is for all those articles, brochures, pamphlets, and notes to yourself that you've been promising yourself you'll read, but haven't gotten to yet. Your pending file folder is for currently active files, from projects your working on to the bids you're getting on repaving your driveway. Your pen and pencil holder - you already know what that's for. And your file cabinet or cart is there to hold the papers that you're going to diligently put away into their proper places from now on.
Step 4: Put It Away
Using your new organizational products, put everything away, keeping your groupings together as you put them back onto your desk. There should be a place for everything now, so you know where each piece of paper or bit of equipment should go.
Step 5: Make It Real
Once you have everything where you like it, label it so you know exactly what to do with anything that floats into your home office.