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6 Tips for a Clutter-Free Desk

It happens to the best of us. A folder here, an envelope there. Before you know it, your desk is drowning in a sea of papers. Keeping a clean desk is very possibly one of the most difficult achievements to complete – perhaps even more so than folding a fitted sheet. But with this list of helpful tips, you’ll be that much closer.


1. Keep a Single To-Do List

For the list-makers out there, we know how list after list of to-do’s can eventually crowd your workspace. There’s no need to paper your desk with a collage of sticky notes though. Keep a single notepad and your favourite pen on one side of your desk to record reminders and to-do’s.


2. Confine Computer Cables

Corral the tangle of cords connected to your lamp, laptop, phone charger and dozen or so other devices with a desk featuring a built-in power strip. Your cables won’t need to stretch far, saving you a chaotic mess of cords.

If you’re not in the market for a new desk, use hooks or Velcro strips to rig a power strip to your desk. Then use elastics or Velcro strips to keep your cords neatly grouped, and use bread clips or washi tape to label each cable.

desk with power strip and USB


3. Cut the Paper Clutter

One of the biggest culprits of a messy desk is paper. If you need to keep important documents around, hanging wall files are a great way to keep papers organized and off your desktop. We love this tutorial for creating your own hanging baskets, and you can easily get the supplies from your local dollar store.

By far, the simplest way to cut the paper clutter, though, is to go digital. Scan all of your documents into your computer and organize them electronically. It will take some dedication, but the result is worth it in the end. And don’t forget to recycle (or shred) all those papers once you’re done with them!


4. Give Everything a Home

The easiest way to keep your desk tidy is to make sure everything has a place to live. There’s no better way to clutter your workspace than to constantly stack paper upon paper across the desktop – the higher the pile, the more overwhelmed you feel and the easier it is to simply put off clearing it. Instead, the trick is to put everything in its proper place as soon as you’re done using it so there’s no opportunity to let it stack up.

desk with four drawers


5. Try Minimalism

A simple way to keep the clutter at bay is to not even give yourself the option of holding onto anything unnecessary. Choosing a desk with minimal shelving means less space for excess books or stationery, and you’ll be less likely to mindlessly toss items into extra drawers. With less storage space, you’ll be forced to consciously consider whether you really need that beautiful set of stationery or another package of coloured pens. You could even save money in the long run.

Pick a desk that offers enough space to keep you organized, but doesn’t give you so much storage that you’ll feel the urge to fill it up with items you don’t need.

modern minimalist desk


6. Find the Right Furniture

Sometimes the best solution is simply to set up your home office so it works for you. Do you have a large collection of books? Do you need to keep plenty of files on hand? Get a bookcase or file cabinet so you can organize your belongings and keep them from piling up on your desk.

retro modern bookcase