4 Steps for a Clean Desk


“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

There are many arguments on whether or not having a clean desk is a rule for success. Creative people thrive with messy desks, yet, studies show that a cleaner desk will make people more likely to do what is expected of them. Either way, having a clean desk is a good foundation. This is why we created a list of rules to abide by for a clean work space.

  1. Think of your desk as prime real estate. Only leave items on your desk that you need to use every day. Store other supplies in drawers or boxes.
  2. Think “up”. By putting your computer monitor on a stand, you’ll not only raise it to a proper ergonomic level, but you’ll give yourself more clean desk surface space.
  3. Use a stacked In/Out tray. Papers and unopened mail coming into your office need a temporary home until you can make decisions regarding them. Make sure that the bottom of the two trays acts as your In-Box, thus limiting just how much stuff can accumulate before you give it some attention. This helps you keep a clean desk and stay on top of projects that need attention.
  4. Get rid of distractions. Between people stopping by your office, your phone ringing, email coming in at a steady pace and keeping up with appointments and meetings, it’s no wonder it’s such a feat to maintain a clean desk. To simplify, get rid of excess personal items, including things that need to return to home. You should also pay close attention to the space under your desk as it’s often an easy hiding place for clutter. These distractions will only keep you from your goal of obtaining a clean desk.

These simple but useful ideas can help you keep that clean desk year round. Now you will have more time and energy to devote to more important tasks.