Whether you’re a home worker, remote worker, digital nomad or a frequent user of shared office space, having an organised desk is a great way to ensure you’re feeling motivated and productive for the day ahead. You know what they say, tidy desk, tidy mind…
But when it comes to organising your desk, it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you’re not sure how to organise your work desk for optimal creativity and inspiration.
In this blog, we’ll share our top tips for how to organise your desk to ensure it works for you and helps you to be your most productive self.
Ways to organise your desk
An organised desk doesn’t always mean your space has to be paper-free or completely clear of clutter. There are ways to ensure you have easy access to everything you need without it looking untidy or disorganised.
The way you organise your desk will also depend on where you work. Those based from home or in a permanent office have slightly more freedom when it comes to organising their space than people who hot desk and are unable to sit at the same desk everyday.
With this in mind, our top tips are not a definitive list that will work for every desk style, instead you can think of it like a shopping list where you pick and choose options that you think will work for you.
- Sort and purge
If you work from a permanent desk, spending time sorting and clearing unnecessary items is a great first step in organising your desk. Clearing clutter helps you to only keep what you use, but sorting and organising are also mindfulness exercises that force you to focus on the present and create a relaxed and positive mindset.
We’d recommend evaluating every item at your desk and determining whether it’s something you use all the time, occasionally or never. You can then remove what it never used, before grouping similar ‘keep’ items together; for example stationary.
Remote workers can use this method too. Simply go through all the items you typically take with you to a serviced office space and carry out the same process.
- Establish a system
Disorganised desks usually happen when there isn’t a system in place for organising and storing items. You should start by looking at what storage you have available and what items need to be kept on the desk or put away. You can then think about the placement of your items depending on the way you work and how you can access them for optimal efficiency.
Some people work left to right and so it would make sense to have incoming items like your phone or notepad on the left, with outgoing or completed items on the right. Likewise, you might work best when the items you use most frequently are placed in front of your dominant hand.
If you don’t have a permanent desk or storage space, we’d suggest only pulling the items you need out of your bag as you need them to avoid unnecessary items taking up valuable space.
- Choose a centrepiece
Every desk should have a focal point at the centre, and it’s usually a laptop or computer screen. If you work in front of a computer for the majority of your day, always ensure it’s centred with your chair and the height of your screen has been adjusted to avoid eye fatigue and headaches.
Even if you don’t work from a computer at your desk, placing your most used item at the centre of your desk can really help to improve focus, keep everything organised and ensure you’re not straining or overreaching for the things you need.
- Create space
While some research has shown that messy desks can indicate higher levels of creativity, this is generally not the case for most people. More studies have shown that clearing clutter from the work environment can result in the ability to better focus and process information.
Ensuring there is empty space on your desk can help to keep yourself organised and increase productivity, while also giving you a section of free space that can be used for other projects. Perhaps try keeping the right hand side of your desk completely free for times when you need additional workspace.
- Don’t forget hidden areas
For those in permanent workspaces, out of sight usually means out of mind! This means that under the desk or inside drawers can be hotspots for clutter, which is not only stressful for the mind but can impact your physical health too.
If you have clutter under your desk that inhibits your ability to place your feet flat on the floor or stretch your legs out comfortably, you could be putting pressure on your lower back which can result in poor posture, back issues or even deep vein thrombosis.
You should also consider how to organise your desk drawers so you can easily find what you need. We’d recommend grouping similar items in drawers and keeping your most used items in the top drawers close to the front.
While it’s still possible to have an organised desk space when traditional paperwork is a large part of your job, it does help if you minimise that paperwork and try to use digital as much as possible. This is definitely easier for remote professionals that use coworking spaces!
Start by looking at areas that can be easily digitised and start the process of transitioning your working practices to more digital methods. This is great for decluttering and keeping your space organised but you can also feel good about the environment and the steps you’re taking to reduce paper wastage.
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- Keep it clean
Organising your desk is one thing, but keeping it that way is the difficult bit. Once you’re happy with your desk organisation and the systems you’ve put in place, it’s good to get into the habit of clearing your desk at the end of every day.
Not only does this help you feel more relaxed and refreshed when you come in the next day to a tidy workspace, but it also ensures you know where everything is stored.
We’d also recommend keeping a pack of desk wipes or cleaner close by to give your desk a quick wipe down. Dust management and cleanliness are key to feeling organised, and who doesn’t feel refreshed and ready for work when they sit down to the uplifting smell of lemon?
Creating the perfect workspace
No matter what type of office you work in, having an organised desk can do wonders for productivity and inspiring creativity. If you’re yet to find the perfect desk to organise, Easy Offices has a vast selection of dedicated workspaces and shared office spaces that can take you one step closer to having the Marie Kondo’d desk of dreams!