The Art of Keeping Your Desk Clutter Free

We noticed by the year's end, our desk had become one big catch-all for loose papers, cups, and an assortment USB cords and drives. We decided before the holidays we'd schedule a massive cleaning spree, to start 2012 with an ideal and organized workspace. Here are some good habits to adopt to keep your desk clutter free even months after the New Year so you don't find yourself slowly becoming buried at work or at home.

Keep Only the Essentials
Start by evaluating what you really need on your desk to get work done and you can probably start crossing off a bunch of items. Instead of keeping a collection of unnecessary/unused tech, invest in a couple good pieces. How many thumb drives do you really need? If they are all a couple MB each, then it's time to invest in just one high capacity thumb drive (at least a couple gigabytes). Go through the same process for evaluating other items like earbuds, mice, and notebooks.

You don't need more than two pens at your desk, and if you like to keep a collection on your desk, make sure it is organized in a desk organizer like this.

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Invest in Decorative Organizers
Try to get desk organizers that are functional and decorative. That way you can save desk space but also decorate your desk at the same time.

Choose Your Favorite Toy
We love desk toys, but it's easy to go overboard sometimes. If you have a very large desk and can afford to load up on the toys that's great. If you don't have that luxury, try to pick just one or a small group to line on your monitor like this.

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Keep it Minimal but Functional
My current desk at work is very minimal but still comes with two drawers for storage. This is a good space-saving factor because the drawers don't take up space and keeps my accessories out of sight but is easily accessible when I need them. If you're looking to get a new desk for your home office, consider something minimal with hidden storage versus something bulky that holds the same amount of storage as a sleeker desk.

Invest in Shelves
You don't have to keep everything on your desk. It's always great to invest in shelves to keep whatever you need: books, folders, videos, etc. That way you can just have your main tools on your desk, while keeping occasional use tech and reference (aka books and stored papers) up above or across from your work area.

Images: Julienne Lin