Do This Today: Purge Your Top Desk Drawer

Conventional de-cluttering wisdom allows for one, and only one, junk drawer in your home. So why is it that every single drawer of your desk seems to be the place for all the knick-knacks that have no home? It's time to get rid of it. Cleaning them all out at once could be a motivation-busting overhaul. Instead, start small by creating a productivity-efficient top drawer. Grab an empty box and lets get started.

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For the same reason you bookmarked Google Calendar, it's important to make sure your top desk drawer contains only the most useful tools for your trade: If you can't quickly get to all the tools you need to work, you won't be working efficiently.

Try purging your drawer of all the useless stuff right now. Here's how:

  1. Take everything out of the drawer and put it all in a small box. Keep it nearby, but out of the way. This box will be your drawer's stand-in for the week.
  2. Clean out the drawer and put a desk organizer inside. A desk organizer can be anything that divides your wide desk drawer into smaller compartments—try mini-cupcake pans, ice cube trays or a cereal box for some cheap DIY alternatives.
  3. Go about your life, working in your home office whenever you need.
  4. Every time you need something that was previously stashed in your messy desk drawer, sift through the box to find it. When you're through using it, put it away in a good spot in your desk drawer organizer.
  5. The items left in the box at the end of the week do not belong in the prime real estate of your top desk drawer. Throw them away, give them away or find another drawer to stash 'em in.


It's a good idea to give yourself a week to organize the tools in your top drawer—that's where you should stash all your most-used gear. But if you're applying this technique to a different space, like a lower drawer or your bookshelf, give yourself longer to sift out the items you use most often.



(Images: Flickr member DaGoaty licensed for use under Creative Commons, Gregory's Refreshed and Refreshing Home Office Tech Tour)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer based in Atlanta, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She loves her fiance, her dog Bacon, and collecting beer koozies when she travels.

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