How to keep a tidy desk

A tidy desk can make a big difference to your work life, affecting your colleagues’ perceptions of you as well as your productivity. Rightly or wrongly, people associate a messy office desk with a lack of organisation whereas a tidy desk makes you look more professional and trustworthy. A cluttered desk can also make you less efficient by costing you valuable time spent looking for items hidden under other paperwork.

Here are some simple tips that will help keep you organised at work.

  1. Take 5 minutes at the end of each day to clear today’s clutter off your desk before you leave.
  2. Take your dirty coffee cups to the dishwasher and throw away any leftovers. Don’t leave it until tomorrow!
  3. Use a letter tray to set up a simple filing system for documents you need at your desk. Separate paperwork into three categories: to-do tasks, active files and important documents waiting to be filed.
  4. File sensitive documents in a lockable cabinet every evening. Not only will this help you keep a tidy desk but will prevent any GDPR breaches.
  5. Throw away any loose papers or notes that you no longer need throughout the day. The easiest way to do this is by having a waste paper basket and a small recycling bin near your workstation. Remember to check that the pages don’t contain any sensitive information.
  6. Place stationery and other office supplies in a desk drawer or under-desk pedestal. You can even use drawer dividers to give everything a designated space so that you can find what you need quickly.
  7. If you need frequent access to reference books or files, ask your boss for an office cabinet that can be placed near your desk for easy access.
  8. Use cable holders and a cable tray to keep wires untangled and off your desk. A desk with cable ports will help you do this effectively as you can pass computer and phone wires directly through the desktop to reach plug sockets.

Don’t forget that office desks can be a breeding ground for germs. A recent study found that the average desk contains 400 times more germs that a toilet seat! Keeping the surface clear makes it easy to clean the desk with anti-bacterial wipes to prevent the spread of diseases in the office.