How to Unclutter Your Desk

Seize the moment! Today is National Clean Off Your Desk Day. It’s the perfect opportunity to carve out some time to clear the clutter off your desk. Here are some steps to get you started:

Start with the papers right at your fingertips. It’s always best to start organizing with your most current papers. Gather them into a pile and start going through one sheet at a time. Make decisions about each piece as you go. Every time you delay a decision, you build clutter.

Create temporary files. If your files are all over-crowded, get a file box and create new temporary files so papers can be put somewhere. Remember, everything needs its place. One of the biggest organizing mistakes is taking the time to go through papers and then just putting them into another pile! Here's some more information on how to create temporary files.

Pare down on office supplies. Take a close look at how many pens, pencils, rolls of tape, sticky notes, etc. you have at your desk. Keeping too many supplies can add considerably to the clutter. Frequently do a supply check to refill or eliminate what you keep right at your desk.

3-Way toss. Divide what you toss into three categories: trash, recycle and shred. Make it easy to fling the papers into something with a wide opening. Quickly tossing can help cut down on the time the project will take

Take time on this designated day to clean off your desk. You will be amazed how much more productive you can be if you spend time to focus on getting organized!

Monica Friel is president and founder of Chaos To Order -- the Chicago area's premiere organizing company since 1990. Friel manages and trains a staff of professional organizers who specialize in everything from household clutter to corporate chaos.

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