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The Secret to a Clutter-Free Desk

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Jessica
03.12.13

Spoiler alert: the secret to a clutter-free desk is that there is no secret! Sorry to disappoint, but to keep your home office tidy all you really need to do is be aware of your own habits, know your space and test different methods. There’s no universal trick that’s going to magically organize your desk – what works for us may not work for you, and what works for you may not work for your spouse. And that’s okay!

Photo: West Elm

Ready to experiment? Try one or more of these desk-organization ideas. They may not turn you into June Cleaver overnight, but they’ll push you in the right direction!

1. Trash Can Placement

If you have a trash can or recycling system right next to your desk, you’ll be more likely to use it. If the trash can is in another room or just plain tough to reach, papers that should be hitting the bottom of the bin will end up sitting on your desk. Same goes for that take-out container leftover from when you were working late last week! Keep your space clean by making it easy for you to toss trash.

2. Be a Supply Minimalist

Do you really need 1,000 pens and every color sticky note available to mankind displayed on your desk? Probably not. If you only keep what you need on your desk and store the rest elsewhere, you’ll free up a lot of valuable space and reduce clutter.

3. Give Old Dishes New Life 

Your desk is a lot like your bathroom – there are tons of small things to keep track of. Instead of filling your drawers with staples, push pins and other commonly used items, keep them in plain sight and inside some spare dishes. They’ll add some flair to your desk and keep little items organized. Plus, no more desperate drawer searches!

4. Go Paperless

Online tools like Evernote make it easy to take notes and stay organized without lifting a pen. That way, you won’t be shuffling through sticky notes and layers of papers on your desk, and you’ll never lose an important memo again!

5. Ditch the Drawers

Desks with drawers seem great, but depending on your habits they can turn into black holes of clutter. Consider using a drawer-free desk instead – that way, the only clutter is on the desk’s surface and you’ll have no choice but to tackle it head-on. 

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