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Tips for keeping your work area clutter-free

If you're at work right now, your desk area is likely going to look something like this: it will have pens and other other office supplies across the desk. If you have sticky notes, there are some hanging up as reminders. And you probably have papers all over the place, because we all do it. 

You need your documents. You don't want to try to reference something later and not have it handy. Thankfully there are some office products you can get, and some things you can do, to keep your desk clean.

Start by getting an inbox. It's just a metal paper container, but it's one of the office products that can make the biggest difference. Especially if you have two of them. Make one inbox for paperwork older than the last 10 days, and put a second one on top of that for current paperwork. This keeps your work organized and dated, while also allowing you to get a hold of whatever you need while keeping your desk clear of print outs.

To avoid bursting inboxes, try putting paperwork that is a few months old into a filing cabinet. Ideally you would recycle that paper, but in case you need it file it away, every Friday, or whenever your working week ends, go through all your documents. Ask yourself if you need it. Is it worth holding on to for a few weeks just in case? See what spot you should put your documents, and then before you know you can come into work Monday morning and not have to worry that your workspace is a cluttered mess.

Another tip is to keep an empty folder on your desk and store files in there before they make it into an inbox. You can't be too organized when it comes to office supplies. And then while you're at it, pick up some of those pens scattered across and either put them in a drawer or see if your cubicle neighbor needs any. Before you know it you'll have a clutter free desk and a more organized work station, leading to a more productive you.