How to Spring Clean Your Desk

How to Spring Clean Your Desk

by Sera Avila, Recruiting Assistant, Acclivity Healthcare

Many people believe that a cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind. But in today’s age of information, those piles on your desk continue to grow as new mail comes in, reports get processed, invoices arrive, and so much more. What’s a busy person to do? We’ve got some great tips to help you organize, work more efficiently, and make it easy to keep up!

The Paper Trail
The average professional wastes six weeks every year searching for paper. Despite email, iPads and online services, paper accounts for most of the clutter on desks. Maintaining an organized office where you can find items quickly and easily saves time and makes you more efficient, effective and productive. Try assigning a space for all unprocessed paper, where you can keep things you can’t deal with immediately. This space could be an inbox, a bin on the corner of your desk, or just a designated space on your desk.

Sort Daily
Spend a few minutes every day sorting, shredding, filing, or recycling that paper pile. It’s important to put in the time every day to stay ahead of the paper trail. Ask yourself “do I have this somewhere else, or can I get it from someone?” If you have a copy in email, or in a report, or on the desk of the person who prepared the market analysis, etc., you don’t need to keep a copy. Toss it!

Stop the Drive By
To prevent coworkers or family members from dumping papers on your desk, give them an alternate spot to drop off memos, expense reports, white papers, bills, and other paper. Try hanging a wall pocket on your door or outside of your cubicle. Check and sort it once a day.

Get a Junk Drawer

Only keep the tools you use every day on the surface of your desk. Anything else can be hidden in a desk drawer. Bins can help keep your drawers organized and everything within easy reach.


If you don’t use it daily, or even weekly, then it shouldn’t be on or in your desk. Keep items that aren’t frequently used in a filing cabinet or closet. By putting them elsewhere, you make room for things that are needed every day.

You can win the paper war on your desk. The key is to never give up, never surrender!