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Declutter Your Desk in 5 Minutes a Day

Declutter and organize your desk in 5 minutes a day

Is the clutter on your desk getting in the way of your productivity?

Whether you are a business professional or a student, it is important to have a work space that encourages productivity. Mountains of paper, office supplies, leftover lunch, and who knows what else can make your desk look like a war zone. Piles of paperwork and desktop clutter make it hard to be productive.

Decluttering the war zone

Here are 5 tips on how to create a work space where you can find what you need, when you need it. This allows you to focus on priorities, free of distraction:

  1. Only keep the essentials on your desktop (i.e. your computer and your phone). The less you have on your desk, the better!
  2. Use drawer dividers. If you have a desk that has a few drawers, use dividers to keep items organized. Keep paper clips in one section, pens in another, etc.
  3. Remove small decorative items. Less clutter means more work space and more productivity. Unless an item really inspires you or is used often throughout the day, don’t let it take up prime space on top of your desk.
  4. Remove other distractions from your desk or office. If there are posters or pictures on the wall or things on the floor that distract you, remove them.
  5. Set up an Action, Reference and Toss (ART) System. With this strategy, you take the mess and separate it into categories that make it more manageable and help you to regain your focus and increase productivity.

How to Apply ART to your Workspace:

  • An Action Filing System will be for papers you need to take action on such as “to sign,” “to pay,” and “to call.” These files work well on or near your desktop in an organized filing system.
  • The Reference Filing System will be for papers you need to keep for reference such as “reports,” “statements,” and “study guides.” These are best kept in a filing drawer close to your work space. By having a home for both action and reference items, you will eliminate a lot, if not all of the piles of paper that clutter-up your work space.
  • What happens to the rest? You toss it!

Below, with help from the folks at, we’ve rounded up more tips and tools you can use to keep your workspace clutter free. Hopefully, these strategies will help you to declutter your desk and your increase productivity.

Contact us if we can answer any specific questions about your work space, or if you would like some hands-on help in unearthing your desk. We love helping clients to declutter and implement systems and habits to become more productive!


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