After you have been working on a project for a long time, it isn’t easy to take an honest look at your desk and realize it’s a complete mess. At that moment you know something has to be done, or it’s just going to get worse. Still, there is no need to panic. Organizing your desk is not as scary as it may seem. As a matter of fact, once you are done, you will be happy that you did. It will not only boost your efficiency but will also make you feel good. Follow the next few tips, and your productivity will skyrocket like never before.

Purge Your Desk

The first step toward organizing your office space is to purge your desk of everything. Take every item you find lurking around such as stacks of files, pens, pencils, paper clips, binders, and place them on a nearby table. It might be scary at first, but it’s necessary to build your new ideal working space. Once that part is done, clean the area if needed. As soon as the desk is clean, take a look at each item on the table and decide whether that item is truly important. If it isn’t, give it away or toss it in the trash, and don’t look back.

Visualize the Space

First, create a clear picture in your mind of how everything in your office space should look. Then, think about your day and see how your new desk layout would help you do your work better. Pay attention to every detail. How often do you speak on the phone? How many times do you reach for a pen? As you analyze the different elements, see yourself performing every task that you would normally do. Once you are clear about where everything should go, draw the image of your ideal working area. As soon as you have it on paper, you will notice how everything comes together. Proceed to place the items back in your desk the way you imagined it and become amazed at your new more efficient self.

Take Care of the Files

Organize your files neatly. Take an inventory of all them and classify the files as urgent or standard. Place them in an accordion folder or filing cabinet. Use a red label for the files in the urgent category and a blue label for the ones in the standard category. Tackle the files in the urgent category first. Once you are done with them, it’s time to work on the blue-labeled files. Don’t forget to scan all your documents and keep a copy of them in digital folders with the same names as your physical ones. Once a certain project is completed, you should move that file to a folder dedicated to completed tasks and keep it in case you need it in the future. Don’t forget to make extra copies and save them in an external hard drive or USB device.

Manage Your Supplies

Leaving supplies all over your desk is a huge mistake. In addition to giving it a cluttered appearance, they will keep you distracted and make you less efficient. Store pens, pencils, papers, highlighters, staplers, and paper and binder clips in drawers, stackable bins, or baskets. Items that are needed often should be closer than those that are seldom required. Each drawer or bin should contain similar items. For example, pick only one bin for pens and pencils, and another for paper and binder clips. Keep your most essential supplies close to you; otherwise, you will waste time every time you have to get up from your chair to look for them. Everything that is not used daily shouldn’t be close to you.

As you can see, organizing your office is a simple task that will deliver great results. It may take a few hours of your time the first time you do it, but soon enough, the benefits will be clear. By getting rid of unnecessary items, imagining how everything should look, taking care of important files, and organizing your supplies, you will become more productive and feel better about yourself. Moreover, you will feel more relaxed and even reach that new level of efficiency you have been striving to achieve.