Lack of time should never be an excuse for clutter. If you sit at a desk cluttered with stuff and covered in dust, typing on a dirty keyboard, your mind will feel cluttered too, you won’t be able to focus on your work and your productivity will be at the bottom.

Use this routine to get a clean and organized desk in 5 minutes. It can be used daily to quick start your work, and should be combined with a more serious desk organization session when you get more time and inspiration. The point of this routine is to quickly get your desk ready for a productive work session, without stealing too much time.

Large storage box container

Step 1: Get A Storage Box, Stash Everything

Going through every single item on your desk, deciding whether on not it needs to be there, and if not, where to put it, is very time consuming.

It requires a lot of thinking and can drain your energy and make you loose motivation pretty quickly. Although this is a very necessary exercise, we will save it for later.

Now, look at your desk and estimate the amount of stuff on it. Then get a storage container that will fit everything. Try to get a larger box than you think you will need, so that you don’t have to worry about running out of space.

Next, stash everything on your desk into the box. Start with larger items such as books, magazines and folders, and then move on to the smaller items.

Each time you pick up an item, the only decision you need to make is: will I use this item TODAY? If the answer is “no”, stash it, if “yes”, put it aside on a chair or a shelf. Do not leave these items on your desk.

The only things that are allowed to stay on the desk are your stationary computer, including monitor, and your desk lamp. If you have a laptop, move it away from your desk.

Step 2: Clean Your Desk

Now that your desk is empty, clean it. Use a cleaner appropriate for your desk surface and a kitchen towel.

Quick Tip: Get a large bottle of rubbing alcohol, remove the top and replace with a sprayer.
You can instantly clean and disinfect glass, plastic and metal surfaces, computers, monitors, keyboards, mice and phones.

For any electronics, don’t spray directly on the item. Instead, spray a little alcohol on a kitchen towel, and then wipe the item. I have a glass desk, so I use the alcohol to clean both the desk and everything on it.

I keep the spray bottle and a roll of kitchen towels in my office: this way I don’t have to go look for the cleaning supplies each time I want to clean my desk.

Step 3: Put Back The Items That You Will Use Today

Put back the items that you set aside on the chair. If the items don’t have a designated place on the desk, try to decide the best place for the item. Always keep the item in its designated place.

That’s it, you are all done and ready to get to work!

Work desk with laptop, lamp, notebook and coffee cup.

List Of Items That I Usually Keep On My Desk:

  • Computer, including monitor, keyboard, mouse and mouse mat
  • Desk lamp
  • Inbox tray (empty most of the times)
  • Phone
  • Notebook and pen
  • Photo frame

Storage Box is a Useful Tool

If you are not a super organized person, your desk will get cluttered from time to time, and you will have to repeat this routine. This is completely fine, and may be the best solution for most of people.

The big box that you used for stashing can be a permanent de-cluttering tool. Use it during the “5 minute” organizing sessions, and then unload the contents of the box on a weekly basis.

I believe that using good tools helps us keep the motivation up when we are working on a habit. I invested in a high-quality and good looking box that I enjoy using for my de-cluttering sessions. I you like it, you can get it from Amazon here.

Hope that this article have helped you getting more organized. How do you keep your desk organized?

Read more on productivity:
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Best Productivity Apps: My Current App Toolbox

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