11 Simple Steps to De-Cluttering Your Desk

11 Simple Steps to De-Cluttering Your Desk.

We previously discussed getting your head around the concept of getting organized is a combination of both the physical and mental side.


We previously discussed getting your head around the concept of getting organized is a combination of both the physical and mental side.
Let’s take a look at our physical space

Do you sometimes wonder how you lost real estate in your office?
The paper mongrels have eaten it up the desk is somewhere?
Where did these piles of paper come from?
I thought we were supposed to be green? Paperless sounds good, however many people still want to print documents out. Why because if they save it in their computer they may never find it in the giant black hole.

A cluttered work desk is a major problem when it comes to your productivity. Now is a good time to take care of it. Since the New Year is around the corner, lets clean up and start fresh.

Step #1: Designate time to get started in your calendar. The time needed to clear the office clutter depends on how much clutter you have in your office. If you find yourself getting lost or overwhelmed in the clutter you may want to consider hiring a professional organizer.

Step #2: Gather some empty cardboard boxes, a shredder, file folders, labels, post it notes and some empty boxes.

Step #3: Set up a card table to work on a clean surface. The project most likely won’t happen in one setting depending on the degree of clutter. This will allow for you keep up your routine without needing to relocate sorted piles.

Step #4: Clear your desk and transfer papers onto the empty space. Generally there will be a lot of loose papers, invoices, letters and project reports lying around.

Start sorting the papers into separate piles of like kind items. The receipts, the project reports, the mail and invoices should be separated.
Any papers where there is no action required, put a post it note on the pile where it should be filed or the name that would go on a file folder. Scan when possible. Our Get Control Get Organized in addition to the Go System courses teaches how to systematize your documents.
Step #5: Purge as you go, the junk mail should be thrown in the garbage, recycle where you can. Some of the papers may need shredding put them in a separate box labeled accordingly. If your office doesn’t have a shredding department be cautious, I once burnt up a

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shredder trying to do it myself. It normally isn’t worth your time. Ask your banker if they have a shredding day. Most UPS stores has arrangements with shredding company and you can drop your sorted box off there they charge by the pound. Check ahead to see what the requirements are on if they will accept binders etc. If you have several boxes shredding companies will come on site and they shred the documents in minutes in front of you, so there are no worries about confidentiality.

Step #6: Make sure you are compliant with the company’s retention programs before throwing sorted documents away. There are individual rules for each organization. If you aren’t sure what is to be sure to ask your legal department and save the items in a separate folder. If you don’t have a retention policy this is the time to create one.

Step #7: Create folders from sorted files in step #4. File away anything that requires action, they should be placed in a tickler file. We teach this system as part of our Go System Training.

Step #8: File away remaining files in your reference files or scan.

Step #9: Move onto the drawers. Be careful putting your hand in there just in case something is growing. Oh by the way the work desk really shouldn’t be the refrigerator or your personal cosmetic drawer. If you are finding it is full of piles of business cards you collected throughout the years you may want to think of a better way to organize your contacts. Card Scanners work great and they intergrade into Microsoft Office. This is another newsletter…

Step #10: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If at this point you are totally overwhelmed, still not sure on what decision to make on the piles, don’t give up yet. This is the part where even professional organizers can feel overwhelmed but we can see the big picture and have the expertise on how to handle this process. If you are ADD or ADHD don’t ever try this on your own. Know your abilities, strengths and limitation to be successful or you’ll lose your sanity.


Are the file cabinets full?

Step #11: Take the time to look into that black hole. Before taking up more prime real estate on the floor consider cleaning the file cabinet out or going paperless.

Clutter in your space creates clutter on your mind and needless to say greatly decreases your productivity… LET’S SET YOU FREE!

Don’t stop here get educated on getting a system in place to keep your physical and mental space clear, WE ALL KNOW THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY, “DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS!

Happy Sorting!



Give us your time and we’ll teach you how to make more of it.

For more information on how we can take your productivity to the next level and for corporate pricing email us through the contact form.

Karen Cynowa, is a professional organizer, productivity consultant and national trainer and author. Karen’s offers training which increases productivity with Email, Document Management, Meetings, I-Phone, I-Pads, Outlook and Blackberry. This training has been successful in over 15% of fortune 500 companies and brings immediate results.

These programs have improved productivity in excess of 25-30 days a year. Let Time’s Up assist you in finding the time to take your personnel and your business to the next level. www.thetimesup.com 866-906-7767



Give us your time and we’ll teach you how to make more of it.

For more information on how we can take your productivity to the next level and for corporate pricing email us through the contact form.


Karen Cynowa
Productivity Consultant
Certified Trainer & Professional Organizer
866 906 7767

©2014 Karen T. Cynowa, Time’s Up Consulting



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