How to Clean and Organize Your Desk

It's easy to get things in order and to clean and organize your desk for maximum efficiency and productivity with these simple tips.

Clean and organized desk with pink flowers and a gold lamp

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Step One - Clear Your Desk and Minimize Distractions

Take everything off of your desk and put it on the floor or on a table beside you.

I usually just take everything off the desktop and put it on the floor. Don't give in to the temptation to go through each and every item individually at this point, our goal is to make an impact quickly and we'll save the details for the end.

If you have drawers empty these as well. Depending on how many drawers you have and how full they are, you may want to have some boxes on hand to keep the items from each drawer separate if necessary.

Step Two - Clean Your Desk

Use a microfiber cloth or other dusting tool to clean the desk. Depending on how long it's been since you've dusted it, you can start with just the microfiber cloth to clear off the dust. Once the initial layer of dust is gone, come back with a cleaner like a multi-purpose cleaner and clean your desk giving it a nice polished look.

Step Three - The Purge

This is where you need to be firm in your choices. Go through the items on the floor or table and get rid of anything you don't need. Assess how many pens, markers, staplers, etc., you really need.

I used to have far too many office supplies. It's one of my trigger buys. When the back-to-school sales start, it is hard for me to not buy items whether I need them or not so I feel your pain if you have a thing for supplies, too.

Sort any pens and items you will be keeping and decide what kind of container you will need for them. I like to use antique silver pitchers and small containers from Ikea to hold my supplies.

This is also a good time to test pens and markers. I grab a stack of paper that I'll be throwing away and test each and every item throwing out any that have dried out or just don't work anymore. If you have excess beyond that, place them in a plastic bag and donate them to a local facility or the thrift store.

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05/16/2024 02:16 am GMT

Step Four - Organize and Arrange

Before putting the items you have decided to keep back in place, determine if you have enough containers, file holders, etc., to keep everything neat and organized. I like to use items from Target and Ikea to organize, inexpensive and chic.

Side profile view of a Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Computer Pad

I have been purging a lot lately and am finally feeling more creative. Being rid of clutter has helped me so much. In order to keep the clutter at bay, I decided to place a new item on my desk to replace tablets and sticky notes; a Quartet Dry Erase Computer Pad.

It's the Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Computer Pad. The video above goes into more detail on how to use it and I literally use it daily. I didn't realize how useful this would be at first, but now, I don't want to be without it.

Dry Erase notes from the Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Computer Pad

I can keep track of my schedule, jot down ideas that I think I'll remember otherwise (which I rarely do...remember, that is) and so much more. It doesn't take up much space and fits directly atop my monitor.

overhead view of a Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Computer Pad

There's even a little drawer to keep paperclips, pens, and thumbtacks in.

Do you have any tips for keeping your desk neat and tidy? If you do, I would LOVE to hear them.


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  1. Jessie Smith says:

    Great ideas for organize the desk. Next time, I must keep in mind these four steps that you mention here.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much, Jessie! I have to whip my desk into shape every few weeks.