A clean and organized desk is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it can also benefit how you feel and work. According to organization experts Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit, a well-organized office boosts productivity and can even help manage your stress levels. "Rule of thumb: If your mind begins to feel as cluttered as your desk looks, it's time to create a system," they say.
If you've reached this point and are looking for ways to keep your office organized yet stylish, heed the advice of Shearer and Teplin and prioritize creating an organization system for your office to keep you and your space at your best. It's as easy as picking up a few storage bins, labels, and folders. Ahead, Shearer and Teplin share their best office organization ideas to make the process as easy as possible. Here's what you need to do.
1. Pare Down
"The first step is always the edit," Shearer and Teplin say. Start by emptying your drawers and lay out out all of your belongings in front of you by category. This way, you can take inventory of all your supplies, old papers, and unnecessary items. Get rid of everything you don't need, and store things you think you'll need in the future away in a neatly labeled box.
2. Maximize Your Desktop
"Your desktop is where the work typically gets done, which is why you shouldn't overload it with storage products," according to Shearer and Teplin. They suggest leaving enough room for large devices like your computer and then consider what you need within your immediate reach. Those are the items that should remain visible on top of your desk. You can also use stackable products and wall space to best utilize your desktop.
3. Create Workstations
Shearer and Teplin suggest designating areas for specific tasks. So if you often find yourself taking notes while on calls, keep your pens and papers next to the phone. "If you have a specific spot, it will help decrease clutter that would otherwise accumulate."
4. Keep Drawers Functional
Shearer and Teplin urge you to "say no to the junk drawer." While it's easy to let things pile up in your drawers in order to keep your desktop neat, you'll want to tackle your drawers when giving your office a serious clean. "We always suggest starting with a drawer," they say. "A drawer is manageable but also life-changing." Try using drawer inserts to keep everything organized once you've gotten rid of unnecessary clutter.
5. Label Everything
According to the experts, labeling is power. "If you can easily spot where something is, you don't have to waste time scavenging for it." It can also help hold you accountable when you're tempted to quickly toss something where it doesn't belong.
6. Display What Makes You Happy
"In regards to the mix of function and form, if there are items that promote creativity or make you happy, feel free to display them," Shearer and Teplin say. Whether that means hanging up family photos or keeping inspiring books where you can see them, don't be afraid to keep your favorite belongings out for all to see.
7. Tame Your Cords
Finally, in any modern office lies a dreaded pile of cords. From phone chargers to HDMI adapters, it's easy to hoard a knot of wires that contribute to office clutter. "Using a cord wrap or cable tie to gather the wires helps prevent them from taking over your desk or media table," according to the experts. You'll be surprised by how much space is freed up when you tame your collection cords and follow the rest of these office organization ideas.
This post was originally published on September 19, 2014, and has since been updated.