Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Friday, September 5, 2014

Desk Distaster? 5 easy fixes to get it organized

Now that the kids are back to school it might be time to get yourself back on track and organize that desk.  We get so busy and things can really pile up but it feels great to get organized and studies show it helps to minimize stress.

Getting that office or work area organized can feel like climbing Everest but don't fear, you don't have to tackle it all in one day.  Follow these easy steps, one at a time and you'll be organized in no time!

1 Start with the desk itself
The first place you should start is the desk itself. If you’re just using your desk to pay bills or shop online, a small, attractive desk is fine, but if you do any kind of work at it, you need room to maneuver, you need at least one drawer and ideally two (one shallow one for desk accessories, and a deeper one for files), and you need an efficient paper handling and filing system.

2 Keep the surface of your desk uncluttered
Aim as much as possible to keep the surface of your desk uncluttered and clear; there’s a positive psychological aspect to this, as well as maximizing the amount of working space you have at your disposal.
Think of your desk as the cockpit of an airplane. You want everything you use frequently to be close at hand but not in the way, and a layout that’s well organized, easy to understand and efficient

 3 Desktop accessories: Do or don’t?
If you love attractive desktop accessories, by all means use them, but make sure they are out of the way of the “hot zone” (the live, working area) of your desk, or consider storing paperclips, Post-its and so on inside a desk drawer instead. . Plastic cutlery trays, baskets or cardboard boxes attached together to fit tightly into the drawer will work as well. Think about how you work and what you work on at home and take it from there.  Personally I like a cup for my pencils, a desk top calendar, a light and that's about it.  My husband on the other hand like a file folder to vertically hold the files he is currently working on, along with some mini bins for clips, white board markers, pens etc...But don't forget to use the vertical space too - installing open shelves is a great way to keep items close by without cluttering up the desk surface


 4 Create systems
The principle to keeping your home office desk organized, efficient and attractive is to create systems that allow you to find what you need quickly, perform the task efficiently, and return everything to its proper place easily when you’re done. The daily mail is a perfect example. Make sure you only open it right next to the shredder, recycling bin and wastebasket, and immediately process each piece you’re keeping: bills in a bills folder (or paid online and then filed), magazines in a magazine folder, appointment reminders marked in a desk diary and then recycled, etc.Think about colour coding with files this is great especially if you are sharing a home office.  So his work files could be green and hers in yellow, Household bills and receipts in red and maybe kids' stuff, insurance/will info etc in blue. Having a system is the key to staying organized just be sure to follow it and keep it simple or you won't stick with it!

 5 Managing paperwork
There are entire books and articles on how to efficiently organize the mountain of paper that comes through our lives every day, but as far as your desktop is concerned, there are two principles that should govern how you use and store it: a) how quickly you need to retrieve it, and b) how to store it without adding to the general clutter.
For your most important files, like projects you are currently working on, I like staggered vertical desktop file holders that allow you to see all of their subject labels at a glance.
Another alternative is to make use of the wall space around the desk; you can buy clear plastic file pockets that mount on the walls, getting paperwork off your desk but still keeping it within reach. Papers you’re not working with any more but need to keep can be stored in the desk file drawer, in closed file boxes, or in a “morgue file” cabinet out of the way.

At the end of the day (or the end of each work session), take a few minutes to process, discard or put away everything left out on the desk. It’s tempting to place papers into neat piles that you’ll definitely go through in more detail tomorrow – but, believe us, within a day or two they’ll become part of the “landscape,” so to speak, and sooner than you think, you’ll be surrounded by teetering paper stalagmites.
What you want to do is to stop the clutter before it starts, and find a simple system that you can stick with!

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