A good system of desk organization is critical to home office organization because the desktop becomes the catch all for everything.
So, make sure that everything that lands on your desk has a home.
Clear off that desktop and let it breath! You need your desktop space to think, read, write, and create! Don’t let your desk become a pile all for everything! Utilize a good system of desk organization to create a landing spot for everything that touches your desk and maintain this system of desk organization by doing the following.
Things that you are working on daily should go on your desk and the rest should either go in your desk or in a filing cabinet or shelf.
For instance, if you have a project you’re working on daily now; it should be out and on your desk. If you have a project that you’ve scheduled for next week or month, or you’re expecting info to come in on next week, then you should have a tickler (reminder) file set up and stored either in your desk or in a filing cabinet.
So, to organize your desktop, you’ll want an…
In and Out box. You can place a stacked two tier paper basket on your desk or use a wall mounted In and Out box. You’ll want to place all incoming mail in the top bin, while the lower bin is for outgoing items like mail, filing, etc. Just don’t use the out bin for a catch all for paper clutter.
I use my out bin for mail, notes to myself to take with me out the door that day, papers that need action marked with bright sticky notes, and filing. I file things at least twice a week to stay on top of them. I also keep a small hanging file bin under my desk full of papers and files that I reference almost daily. I keep my reading material on a wall mounted shelf next to my desk so I can grab it as I work for quick reference.
Keep a lamp on your desk for proper lighting. You can use a small table lamp, or if space is limited, use a clamp on style lamp.
Keep frequently used items within close reach. You should only keep what you use frequently on and in your desk. Keep items you use daily like pens, pencils, a stapler, a staple puller, paper clips, the phone, computer, note pads, etc. organized and contained, and within easy reach. If you don’t use something on a daily business, then remove it from your desk and store somewhere else.
If you don't have much room on your desk, install inexpensive shelving on a wall next to it. Store items on these shelves for quick and easy access.
Sit in a good work chair. Spend a little money and purchase a nice task chair if you sit a lot for your work… your back and rear will thank you.
To recap, here are some basic items for desk organization:
Lighting (desk lamp)
Notepads (legal pads are great for writing “to do” lists at the end of the day). You can leave it on your cleared desktop at the end of the day for a great reminder of where you left of the prior day. What a time saver to start the day fresh with a “to do” list for the new day.
In and Out box/bin
Now that you’ve got the basics, get busy and organize that desk!