How Did All this Clutter Happen in the First Place?

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By - 5 February 2009

Decluttering your personal desk at home can be a big task. It is an important one, however, because a person’s desk usually is the storage area for some of their most important paperwork.  You can get away with decluttering your home a couple of times per year, but your desk really needs to be done more often than that. This is especially true if you pay your bills at your desk. If you don’t keep it organized or decluttered in some way, you are likely to end up with some grouchy bill collectors wondering where your payments are. So let’s get that desk organized.

Starting to Organize Desk Declutter

First, get a large box. Clear off the tops of surfaces and put these items in the box. Then dump each of the drawers in the box, contents and all. Do you have any other shelves or cupboards in your desk? Dump those items in the box as well. There should be nothing left on your desk when you’re done, with the possible exception of your computer.

Next, pick up each part of your computer and look under it. Wipe or dust under and around each section of your computer. Dust the computer and screen as recommended by the computer’s manufacturer. It can be surprising what you will find under parts of your computer!

Categorizing Drawers

Then clean each shelf, drawer, and any other part of the desk until all surfaces are shiny and clean. You will then need a garbage bag and a box for stuff that needs filing. Then start at the top of the box and start sorting. Decide what category of items will go in each drawer. When you decide to keep something, put it back in the drawer.
Pens, pencils and other writing tools can go in one drawer. This drawer also can contain liquid erasing fluid, staples, and paper clips and other related items. When you decide to keep something, put it back in the drawer. If you are like most people, you will have duplicates of some things. Decide if you really need 5 packages of pens. You can store the extra pens for later use, but if you have LOTS of extras, either donate them or toss them. Put them in a drawer. Perhaps you already have an area in your desk drawer to store pens and pencils. If not, be creative.

You can run out and buy a couple of plastic storage containers especially meant for office desk drawers. But small boxes work well, also. Check book boxes are perfect for storing pens and pencils, and keep them from rolling all over the desk drawer. Another good place to store pens and pencils is in a container on top of the desk. Anything shaped like a vase or a jar works to store pens, pencils and other similar items on top of your desk.  And if you have the time and money, you can buy office drawer organizing units to keep all of those little items like erasers and rubber bands organized in your desk drawers, as well.

Stationary and paper can go in another drawer. Anything related to stationary or paper products can go in that drawer, as well. Computer paper, labels, envelopes and other such items can go in this drawer. This drawer should only be for paper items that haven’t been used yet, or for paper that you plan to recycle.
Bills should go in another drawer. Categorize bills by the order in which they need to be paid. Then put paid bills in another area of the drawer. Filing folders can come in handy for this drawer. You can also sort bills by month, if that makes it easier for you.

The point is to know where your bills are and whether or not they have been paid or not. Some people like to keep their bills in an inbox and outbox organizer. That type of organization is fine, as well. But if you don’t want your bills on top of the desk for anyone to see, sort them into a drawer. Set a specific day of the month to pay bills, so you won’t forget to pay them. Or pay your bills on line, using paperless bills and payments to avoid the clutter of bill statements as much as possible. That way, you’ll have less paper to keep under control.

An inbox and outbox on top of your desk will keep you organized. After you sort your mail, put the items that need to be sorted into your individual desk drawers and files in the inbox. Use your outbox for outgoing mail and bills that need to be sent. Correspondence and letters can go in your outbox, as well. Using an in and out box is no substitute for routine sorting and filing, however.

Take time routinely to clean off and declutter your desk. Before you know it, a clean desk and organized workspace will become a happy habit.

About the Author

Regina Pancrazio
Regina is well known online personality for decluttering your life and author of many articles at her declutter portal