If you haven't fought a battle with desktop clutter and mess, you're in a — possibly desk-less! — minority. Keep clutter from accumulating by banishing the transient junk from the flow of your workspace.
Photo by Martin Grydén.
Over at Productivity501, an organisation and productivity blog, they have a series of questions to help you drill down through the clutter and clutter sources that attack your desk. While all the questions are great, the one that hits home for just about everyone who has ever looked at a mountain of clutter on their desk is this:
Are there things on your desk that don't belong there? Right now on my desk I have a plush stuffed dog and a conestoga wagon bank. These belong to my two-year-old daughter and she has brought them to me over the past few days. While they represent clutter, I have absolutely no desire to stop her from sharing her treasures with me. That is one of the big reasons I enjoy working at home. I want to be present as she grows up, and the clutter she adds to my desk is part of that. I wouldn't trade it for the world. (That said, I probably should take these items back to the play room where they belong.)
Other things that are on my desk that shouldn't be there:
- Utility knife – I was using it to open some packages and failed to put it away when I was finished.
- Video camera – I use it for video conferencing, but it has somehow made its way off the tripod and onto my desk.
- Spindle of blank CDs – These belong on the storage shelf, but I failed to put them away last time I used them.
As you can see, I have a number of items on my desk that simply need to be put away. This is where a messy desk breeds a messy desk. If my desk were clean, I probably wouldn't have left out the video camera; I would have put it away. However, with everything else on my desk, there is no mental anguish in adding yet another item.
The last sentence is one I think we can all relate to. Nobody wants to take a freshly washed car down a muddy dirt road or wear work boots into a freshly mopped kitchen. A desk is much the same, putting things away and keeping things that don't belong off the desk is practically an clutter-warding charm that protects against future clutter.
Check out the full list for additional questions and points of clutter-busting consideration. Have a cleaning tip of your own for a tidy desk? Let's hear about it in the comments.
5 Questions To Help Organize Your Desk [Productivity501]