Clear out, clean up!
I love using Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap® Seal
to organize my desk accessories because I can see through them! And they come in perfect sizes for desk control. I use the extra small bowl for paper clips and the 2½-cup square for pens and pencils. I use one 9½-cup rectangle for personal correspondence, one for bills, and another to organize clippings from newspapers (recipes, promotions, coupons, etc.). I also love that Ziploc® Brand Containers
stack easily on shelves, making tax time a cinch.
Dust and clean.
Every season I do a complete deep clean of my office space. In the interim, I keep a trio of small cleaning packages in my right desk drawer for ongoing touchups. Pledge® Multi Surface Wipes
help me keep my computer screen free of smudges and pick up stray dust on surfaces, such as wood, stainless steel, glass, and granite. When I don't have to time to clean my windows, I touch up spots with Windex® Original Glass Wipes
It took me years to learn that papers on your desk get higher only if you don't have a plan. (I know it sounds obvious, but you have to "live" this to get it!) Start with a block of time (limit yourself to 10 minutes the first time.) Then go at it! Step 1: Toss. Start with the papers on top and you'll be shocked by how much you can actually throw away—now! Step 2: Act. Answer invitations, set up appointments, pay bills. Step 3: File. If you don't have an existing file for a topic, create one and put it away. After 10 minutes, the pile will look smaller, and you will feel inspired to make another 10-minute appointment with yourself. Repeat and repeat!
I keep five active file folders in my desk cabinet to help cut down clutter. "Copy" folder holds everything I need to make a photocopy. "File" holds everything I need to save for future use. (If a paper is so important I can't live without it, I also scan it into my computer and keep the hard copy.) "Read" is for articles and business papers that I need to process but don't have time to read immediately. "Enter" is for information I need to input into my computer: addresses of new contacts, expense lists, cool websites, etc. "Clip-Its" holds coupons that I cut out or download from websites, to be at my fingertips whenever I go shopping.
I used to think that the mess on my desktop didn't harm anybody. But then Scott, my friend the computer whiz, told me too many files on my desktop slow down my computer. And I hate waiting for files to download! Treat your computer as if it's your home—it's actually your mind's home—and organize documents by topics in folders you can easily find. Also, check your computer for files you downloaded but no longer need; then delete them. And don't file e-mail you've already read and want to keep in your in-box—save it to another folder in your computer.
Still don't have enough storage spaces? I know there's a hidden nook in some closet that you can make over into work shelves. Once, when I was living in a tiny apartment, I actually converted a large closet into a full office space and installed a small workstation inside. In larger homes, check under the stairs or inspect the butler's pantry, if you have one, for possible space.