Is your cubicle-strewn with piles of paperwork and littered with empty coffee cups, beverage cans and snack packs-often mistaken for a junk shop? Are you afraid to slip a hand inside your desk drawer because a family of rats has claimed it as their own cozy nest? Then it’s high time you spruced up your workspace. Follow this six-step guide to reclaiming your cube:
Clear out. Designate a de-clutter day and get everything (except for heavy items such as the computer or printer) off your desk. Throw away junk such as bottles and food scraps that are a breeding ground for mold, mildew and microbes. Wipe every inch of your desk including corners and undersides.
Sort and segregate. Now go through your stuff and group similar things together in boxes. You might categorize these into office supplies, filing materials, paperwork, reference materials, desk accessories, bric-a-brac, etc.
Trash it. Keep a garbage can nearby and throw in everything you don’t need. It’s said that 80% of what you decide to keep, you’ll never look at again. So if it’s irrelevant or outdated, put it way for good! Have a recycle bin close by, too, for such things as scratch paper.
Pull rank. When returning your stuff, remember this rule: Items you use all the time should be located nearest you; least-used materials should be farthest from you. Those you will need every day should be within easy access in, on or above your desk. Those you will touch only weekly, monthly or yearly can be put away in desk drawers, filing cabinets or storage shelves.
Hold it. Get even more organized by using holders, caddies, containers, trays, dividers and other organizing aids. When arranging, group related materials together for your further convenience. And make it fun! Invest in a box of colorful pins or attractive bookends. Staying tidy need not be dreary, after all.
Get personal. Finally, add a human touch to your “second home.” Brighten up the area by bringing in some fresh plants or displaying photos of friends and family. But keep your mementos minimal, and place them where they won’t interfere with your work.
Next: So you’ve de-cluttered your desk. Now how do you keep it that way? –Romelda C. Ascutia, Philippine Star