So today is Clean Your Desk Day. Really.
Clean yours in 9 easy steps.
1. Sort like items with like items. Start with loose business cards, then move on to paper; office supplies; pens and writing utensils; food; personal items and decor; photos; miscellaneous and trash.
2. Toss anything that is definitely trash and move on to your paper pile.
3. Paper. Divide it into things to be recycled, shredded, scanned and filed. Do the actions. The less you keep, the less you have to scan or file. Use the Scannable app on your phone if you don't have access to an office scanner.
4. Pens and Pencils. Can some of them be donated to coworkers or the office supply room? Keep 3 of your favorite pens, a pencil and a high-lighter. The rest are just excess.
5. Decor. Pick 3 items to keep on your desk, donate the other ones or give to the Pam in payables that always comments on her love of your dolphin statue.
6. Photos. Display 5 or fewer. Any more than that and things start looking messy. You can keep the others in a folder in your file drawer and swap them in when you want a change. Better yet, scan them all and get a digital picture frame with USB drive to keep on your desk.
7. Food. Check the expiry dates. Toss. Keep the rest in one small bin in your drawer or cabinet.
8. Office Supplies. Just keep one of everything that you actually use. Bonus points: just keep the pens, a highlighter and pencil. Let the office store room hold the rest of that stuff for you because you probably won't need it. See if your coworkers are out of tape and give them one of your 38 rolls. Keep the rest in a small bin or drawer.
9. Miscellaneous "Stuff". There are probably a few items that have nothing to do with your work life. Take them home, give them back to their owner, donate them - just get them out of your desk. :)
Bonus Points: Wipe down your desk and drawers before you put stuff back into them. It's probably pretty crusty. Yuck.
PS Now downsize your digital life.