Whether you work from home or in an office, you most likely have a desk or work space that serves as an information hub. On average, you may be spending up to 10 hours a day at your desk, so the goal is to make it an inviting, efficient space that sparks joy! Here are some tips to keep clutter out and invite creativity in:

Visualize your career goals and ideal lifestyle. Per the KonMari Method™, before touching anything in your work space, you must establish your vision. Take a moment to imagine your ideal work-life. Think about a project you would love to work on or a new role you would like to achieve. Keep this vision in mind throughout the desk tidying process, as it will drive your decision making.

Organize by category. For desks, the focus is books, paper, miscellaneous (office supplies, electronics, etc.) and sentimental items. Follow the KonMari Method™ of picking up each item and asking yourself if it “sparks joy.” Discard non-joyful items with a “thank you” to express gratitude and invite positive energy in the form of new opportunities. If some of your supplies could be characterized as “utility” items, consider the joy they provide you when in use, rather than the form/design. If you get stuck, turn to your vision of your ideal work-life and career goals to keep you motivated.

Reduce paper as much as possible. A single sheet of paper takes up almost no room, which makes it very easy to accumulate far more than your realize. Approach the selection processes with the commitment of getting rid of all paper that doesn’t have a clear purpose – paper you are currently using, paper you will need for a limited period, and paper you need to keep indefinitely. Try to organize your paper in broad, high-level categories rather than super specific folders. For example, needs attention (pending), saved for a limited period of time (contractual or tax documents), and saved indefinitely (references or certifications). Consider discarding or shredding paper that doesn’t meet your standard of joy and scanning whatever remains when possible.

Make it sparkle. Before storing the items that spark joy, clean! Wipe down vertical and horizontal surfaces, keyboards, screens and bookshelves to improve your health and show your items the respect they deserve for working hard for you every day! Select decorative personal items that will inspire you daily such as photos of loved ones or an inspiration board and make them shine!

Designate a place for every joy-sparking item. Treat your desk as you would your home, by putting items back in their designated location and focusing on vertical storage in drawers and trays. Keep flat surfaces clutter free, as they are for working not for storing! If you repeat this action for each KonMari category, maintenance will become second nature.

Now that you have the tools, time to put them in motion! Make space for change by tackling desk clutter once and for all. Subscribe here to receive more tidy tips for your home, mind, and life.

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Kristyn Ivey

Kristyn Ivey

For the Love of Tidy founder Kristyn Ivey is Chicago's first certified KonMari Tidying Consult.
Kristyn Ivey