How to keep your office desk clean and tidy

How to keep your office desk clean and tidy

Almost all of us have a colleague who has piles of paper, several half-drunk cups of coffee, an apple core and countless coffee cup rings on their desk. If you are "that" colleague, we have some handy tips for you! Even if you already have a clean and tidy desk, you may find some ideas for how to make better use of your space and keep everything you need within easy reach without causing clutter.

We’ve all heard "untidy desk, untidy mind". While there is some evidence to suggest that a messy desk may be the sign of a creative genius at work, for most people it simply takes time and energy away from your work by making it harder to find the things you need. Not to mention that it leaves a bad impression on clients and likely drives your colleagues up the wall! Here are some simple tips on how and why to keep your desk tidy.

Messy vs. tidy

Consider for a moment what a cluttered office is conveying to customers and colleagues. First impressions are important and lasting. A messy workspace suggests one of two things: either that you have too much to do and can't handle your workload or that you are simply a careless person. A clean and uncluttered desk leaves your clients and your boss confident that you are professional and organised.

Give your desk a lift

An easy way to organise your desk is by fitting a rail to your desk screen. You can then choose many smart desk accessories to help you get a clean and tidy workplace. For example, by fitting your computer screen onto a monitor arm, you raise the screen off the desktop and create more workspace. As an added bonus, you will naturally sit in a more ergonomic posture as the screen will be at the right height not to place any strain on your eyes, back and neck. The addition of a desk screen also provides privacy and helps reduce surrounding noise.

Organise your paperwork

One of the things you can add to your rail is a sorting tray for printouts, magazines and other documents that you need to have close to hand. This frees up space on your desk and helps you stay organised. If you don’t need a letter tray, you could use a shelf on the rail to place a family photo, pot plant or pen pot for a neat but homely look.

Make use of space under the desk

A mobile drawer unit with inserts for pens, paper clips and other small items is an easy way to keep your stationery organised so you can find what you need quickly. If you have space, you may even be able to fit your bag in the bottom drawer. Recycling can often be a cause of clutter while it waits to go into a central recycling bin; placing an archive box with a lid under your desk for collecting paper looks neat and tidy and is easy to carry when it needs to be emptied.

Get your cables under control

Wires hanging loose under the desk are not a pleasant sight. They collect dust easily, get tangled and are hard to unplug if necessary. By hiding the wires in a cable tray or spiral, not only do you hide the mess, but it is much easier to keep cables untangled. You can also hide cables and socket extension leads in a cable box.

Add labels

You can easily make stylish labels to help you keep everything in its rightful place. Try labelling all your cables so that you can find the one you need quickly and easily if you want to take your laptop charger with you, for example. Labelling each shelf on your letter tray is another good way to stay on top of things. Label each shelf according to order of priority so you can see what you need to do at a glance. A handheld label printer makes easy work of this task!

Lastly, take 5 minutes at the end of each workday to tidy up anything that has built up on your desk that day. This and the other simple suggestions above make it easy to prevent any clutter and keep your office desk neat and tidy!

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