Every time you misplace something or find yourself shuffling through papers on your messy desk, you waste a few minutes of your time. We know what you’re thinking – a few minutes is nothing! That’s true, it doesn’t matter much in the short term, but it adds up. Soon enough, you’ve wasted days of your life because you didn’t keep things organized. The solution is simple: Set aside time to organize your life. Take it one step at a time, beginning with these six starter tips. 

1. De-clutter

Start with the most dreaded chore: purging and de-cluttering everything. All you need is one spring cleaning to get yourself on track. Plus, you can feel good about donating stuff you no longer need or use so that others who need them, can.

2. Decide Where You Will Work

Pinpoint your “work zones,” the places where you’ll actually get work done, and the places where you will eliminate all clutter. Then you can move on to filing cabinets and drawers to store extraneous stuff. As long as you know where your workspace will live, you can fit everything else in around it. 

3. Label Everything

We mean everything! Not that you have a goldfish memory, but you probably won’t be able to remember where everything is. If you mix highlighters with staplers, you should label that. Anything that doesn’t seem intuitive should be labeled so that your future self will know exactly where to look. 

4. Go Through Piles

If you’re still stuck with a few piles of loose papers, sort through them. Decide which papers you need, which ones you can get rid of, and which ones you can scan and keep on the computer. In the digital age, piles of paper are outdated, so jump on the bandwagon and get rid of yours!

5. Do a Deep Clean

Organizing and cleaning are two entirely different things, but both are important. Take a look at the things that you’d like to keep on your desk or in your office – picture frames, plants, and decorations, to name a few. Wipe them down and remove dust from them. Make sure everything is clean while you’re tidying up. While you’re at it, ask yourself if the stuff you plan to keep on your desk is a distraction. If the answer is yes, find another home for it.

6. Keep it up

Rather than play catch up every quarter, do a weekly maintenance check on your desk and office to make sure everything is in order. Straighten your desk, purge any loose papers, and make sure everything is in its rightful place. Don’t forget about saving documents to the appropriate computer files and backing them all up.

An organized desk gives you peace of mind and makes your office a home. The more organized you are, the more productive and efficient you will be!