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11 Tips On How To Declutter Your Desk

Several years ago before I became a professional organizer I was talking to another organizer and she was apologizing for not calling me back, she had misplaced my phone number on her desk. I laughed and said I didn’t know organizers ever had paper clutter/cluttered desks. I was only partially joking and I have had to eat those words this past month. I am now on a roll. I have been organizing everything in my home that wasn’t organized. It sure does feel good. But I know that to stay organized I have to keep up on general clutter including paper clutter every day. Every time I use something or get something out—like a book, clothes or putting the laundry away I need to put the items back where they belong as soon as I am through with them. To actually stay organized and not get lost in paper clutter it is a constant effort, but doing it a little at a time doesn’t make it seem like organizing. My desk has been an office armoire. Now I have a desk top with more room to spread out. I started to spread out when my daughter and son-in-law gave me their old desk. I started tossing things on top instead of taking care of them at the time I had whatever it was in my hands. I like drawers that I can put things in and this has been a challenge since this is just a table top desk. I solved this organizing problem by using a filing cabinet drawer that is next to my desk to organize my paper work. I have separated the paper just like I would if I had drawers where I could lay down my paper work. I used hanging folders with labeled manila envelopes to separate my projects. This has eliminated a lot of paper clutter. I could purchase a metal separating file to put my paperwork in but I chose not to. This would be very good for someone who likes to pile papers. How to declutter my collection of pen? I am using a mug to hold pens. My computer screen was too low so I used a book to prop it up. But I don’t like looking at the book so I put a card I like in front of it. It will work until I get something different for the screen to sit on. I do a lot of writing so I decided I would treat myself with flowers on my desk because they make me feel special and happy. I broke my cardinal rule; I was taking notes of things I had to do on little pieces of paper. I was converted years ago to not doing this. I don’t know what got in to me! I was misplacing phone numbers, appointments, and other important things. I know better than to do this. I shaped up and every note I had taken if it was important I put in my planner. I made a master to do list in my planner and then I wrote the activities on different days that I thought I could accomplish that task. This along helped with paper clutter pile up. I had been looking over my tax file and instead of filing it away when I was finished I just left it on the desk. It was one more thing adding to the clutter. It is hard for me to work when there is general clutter and paper clutter on my desk, my mind wanders so I spent over an hour getting it organized one evening. What a waste of time, if I would have just kept up with it I wouldn’t have had such a large project. To keep general clutter and paper clutter from living on your desk, designate a place for all paper work. As much as possible only handle it once. Make a decision where to put it the first time and put it there. Create a filing system that works for you. Designate a container for an in box so when others put things on your desk they know where to place it. An organized desk saves the time and frustration of missing appointments, not being able to find important information and the cost of not being as productive. Marilyn’s bio: Marilyn is a creative organizer who helps women, seniors and their families create space and end clutter in their homes and offices by setting up custom made systems. Marilyn invites you to visit her website http://www.marilynbohn.com where you can find solutions to your organizing needs. She offers free tips in her blogs, articles and videos for your home and office organizing solutions.

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