Desk organization ideas? Why do I even need it?
Why should someone organize his or her office desk? We have been organizing everything at home, from our wardrobes to our kitchen. So can’t we at least take a break at office?
If these are the questions that popped up in your mind on seeing the title of today’s post, then consider this scenario. (Disclaimer-It is not fiction.)
“May I borrow a pen?” asked a co-worker. And this question sent our entire cubicle into a frenzy. The reason?
Not one of us could find a pen handy!
Now there are many reasons why it happened and they are-
- We did not have a pen (a remote possibility at a workplace where stationery including pens and notepads are in abundance and absolutely FREE!)
- We had one too many and did not recollect where we kept it ( quite likely, tucked away inside our notepad after the last meeting. And yes, of course the notepad has been missing after that… Or in the remotest corner of our handbag (who even bothers to clean the handbags)
- Well, we are a group of engineers (read tech savvy) who think, a notepad (of course the desktop version) can replace the pen, paper etc. (and we are used to the notepads being overwritten or not saved and our computers are super machines which never gets formatted!!) And we definitely don’t believe in ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.
How does having an organized desk help?
Well, the whole point of the above scenario is that, it’s just that we are so disorganized at work that a simple incident like the one mentioned above almost led to 10 to 15 minutes of time wastage ( read that as ‘decrease in efficiency’).
On an average, people tend to spend approximately 7 to 9 hours at work (that’s equal to the time that we sleep). Studies have shown that having an organized work space has a positive impact which in turn increases productivity and efficiency.
Lesser the clutter, lesser the distraction. A cluttered work desk means a cluttered mind. When you sit to work at a cluttered desk you feel comparatively more stressed. Try clearing the mess and notice the change.
Working in a clean and hygienic environment is equally important. So declutter your workspaces and see the difference. Organizing your work desk doesn’t take much time. From my experience here are few simple tips and tricks to organize your work space. These are tried and tested and it definitely works.
I have also listed some must haves for your desk.
Desk Organization Ideas For Working Moms:
So let us look at the tips to organize your desk.
If you are wondering, yes, these organization tips for work are applicable for Work from Home Moms too! After all work is work, whether you work from office or home.
Glance at your work space. You can most likely see a lot of notepads, stationery, heaps of papers etc. If there is anything that you can discard, do it. The fewer items on your desk, makes it easier to organize. Take a look and see what you have not used in months and can be done away with.
#2. Keep it MINIMUM
We tend to keep a lot of stuff to decorate our workspace like certificates, photo frames, mementos etc on our desk. Some of them are kept there for motivation while most of them stay there because we don’t really know what we need to do with it or where do keep it.
Too much of anything doesn’t serve the purpose. So keep only what you think really is needed there.
You can use the ‘ROUND ROBIN’ methodology.
Keep rotating the certificates and the photographs at regular intervals. This not only reduces the clutter but also changes your environment.
Decorate your desk but do not overdo it. One photograph, one memento, couple of certificates are just more than enough to add to your desk décor.
#3. The white board – Keep it clean
Most companies have a white board or a pin up board where you can make note of appointments or any reminders. And in most cases the reminders and the appointments stay there post the date as well. Ensure the board is always clean since that is the space you tend to look at when you look away from your monitors.
Write down a favourite quote or something that makes you happy or pin up something (like a postcard from your favourite holiday). It can be anything that cheers you up.
#4. Trash-Throw it away
Many times, there is a lot of trash scattered on your desk. These could be envelops / printouts that you no longer need and not to forget the boxes and the wraps of the online order from e- commerce vendors. Trash is a big no-no since it makes your desk shabby. Take an effort to put this into the bin in a timely manner.
Have a trash bin within reach. This is so that you don’t tend to accumulate a lot of unwanted stuff over a period of time.
After you leave work, you definitely don’t want your co-workers looking at a desk full of trash when they pass by. It leaves a terrible impression.
#5. The drawers – It is not a trash bin!
All that is not needed gets tucked away into the drawers and thus it is a miniature store room.
The purpose of having drawers is to lock away important stuff. Archive what you don’t need immediately and stock up things that you need. However, the drawers tend to act as a bin in most cases.
Organize your drawers in such a way that things that you need the most (example: mobile chargers, headphones are within reach) and the things that are not needed at the moment (anything kept aside for future use can go right inside the drawer). Or if you have multiple drawers, things that you need the most goes to the closest drawer.
Lock your drawers as it’s a good practice.
#6. Strictly no food leftovers
Most office goers have some light snacks handy to combat those long working hours or commute. The bags usually contain biscuits or chocolates or dry fruits and the drawers contain their wrappers!
Accumulating leftovers in the drawer should be avoided .You definitely don’t want cockroaches or ants as guests at your workplace.
Tip: Use a good container to store food items (non-perishable food items only). The container can stay in your drawers without any issue.
Same is applicable to the coffee mugs. Wash them after every use.
If you have a lot of paper work at your desk or too many physical mails coming in, the best way to organize is to sort these and put them into different trays. Empty card board boxes also can serve as trays. For example, all the official references stay in one tray and the incoming mail in another.
Visit them time to time to clear off what you need. Scan mails and store in digitally, if possible, so that you can get rid of the hard copy.
Classifying the items on your desk makes it easier to organize. And if you think they don’t need to be on your desk tuck them away in the drawers in files or folders. Label these for future use.
Note: Ensure you don’t have any confidential stuff at your desk while you leave from work.
At any given point of time, my desk always had a lot of cables entangled with each other. Chargers, connecters and God knows what not! There was always some time that used to be wasted to untangle.
Take out some time and clear this off. Call over the facilities staff to check if everything is needed and if yes, ask them to tuck it away neatly below the desk.
#9. The essentials (Non work related)
Apart from desk organization, it is important that you keep certain essential things on your desk, always. You tend to spend about one third of your day at your desk so practically there are lots of things that you need to keep at your desk.
Food always tops my list (Always!)
How many times have we been caught up in situations where the work load doesn’t allow you to walk to the pantry? Some instant snacks always come to your rescue during such times.
Biscuits, chocolate bars, dry fruits are something that you can easily carry.
But be careful to only keep food that doesn’t spoil easily. We don’t want your desk to give out a rotten smell and attract undue attention.
- Water bottle
A water bottle is a must-have. Due to sitting in AC rooms, our water intake is just inadequate. Having a water bottle at your desk ensures that you drink adequate water.
Make it a habit to fill your bottle, couple of times a day, so that your water intake is sufficient.
- Notepad and a pen
Always have a notepad and a pen at your desk to note down things quickly. Ensure that you have a designated place for these at your desk.
A pen stand with essential stationery is also ideal for your desk.
- Phone charger
Keep a spare phone charger in your drawers. In my opinion, this is one of the most important things that you need so that your phone doesn’t give up on you.
Having this handy can help save the time you would spend on asking your co-workers to borrow their charger.
Keep it neatly bundled up in your desk drawer preferably in a small pouch so that you don’t misplace it.
Always keep it within reach.
- Coffee mug
Keeping your own coffee mug at your desk makes it easier. Avoid disposable glasses and add to your organization’s green quotient.
To add to the décor you could have the readily available mugs with quotes or photo mugs.
- A jacket/ cardigan
A definite item in your desk drawer to combat those fluctuating AC woes. It doesn’t have to be something fancy. A pull over or a sweat shirt will serve the purpose. You can also keep a scarf handy.
Another must have. How many times have you tried to find your headphones in your handbag or drawers and ended up wasting a lot of time? Keep your headphones well within reach always. You never know when you would need one.
Especially during summers, a deodorant is a must. After long commutes, the last thing you want is to smell bad at work.
- Vanity kit
When you leave home in a frenzy and have not even had the time to comb your hair, your vanity kit is what you need. How many time have you tried to follow a skin care / personal care routine and you give up falling short of time?
A quick tip: A handy vanity case with some make-up essentials (a kajal / moisturiser / face wash / comp / lip balm) always helps and takes no more than 5 minutes.
So if you have a quick lunch meeting or a get together post work , you don’t need to panic. You will still look your best and that will add to your confidence.
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- A pair of footwear
Keep a spare footwear, especially during rainy season to avoid walking around in wet footwear. If you are used to wearing high heels at work , you can commute in comfortable wear and change into office wear.
If you end up spilling coffee or water at your desk, (I am one of those people) it is good to have some tissues handy to clear up the mess.
Ensure that you put them into the trash bin after use.
- First aid / Medicines
Most workplaces do have a first aid kit available. However, it is better to keep a small kit at your desk. A band aid and essential medicines should always be present with you at any given point.
Especially if you are habituated to a particular medicine and it might not be available at all stores.
Tip for work from home moms:
So that was my desk organization ideas. These are all that I could think of that are essential for a workplace and can help you organize your work desk effectively and adding to your productivity and efficiency. You know what they say- Work is worship after all and cleanliness is always next to godliness.
I have started following these tips and have noticed and experienced the positive change for myself. So I really hope that you will try out these tips to organize your desk! Also do not forget to share your tips and tricks to organize work desks. So if you have any desk organization ideas, you know what to do!