Desk Organizer Ideas For When It's Hard To Organize
Having a clean, organized workspace helps make work quicker and easier. Most people know that. Knowing something is true and being able to do it are two different things. Just because people know that organization helps make work more efficient doesn't mean they're capable of being organized. Some people have executive function issues or mobility issues, or just don't have the time to sit down and do a full organizing job.
Whatever the reason, desk organization is difficult for some people. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to help make it a little easier on yourself. Before getting into the desk organizer ideas, however, it's important to go into the task with the right attitude.
One of the biggest obstacles to properly organizing things is thinking too large. People get the idea that they must clean and organize everything in one go. It's a tempting fantasy. Unfortunately, it's just that - a fantasy. The truth is that cleaning and organizing are difficult tasks. It takes a large amount of mental energy to see them through to completion
This is especially true if someone has mobility or pain issues, or is non-neurotypical. For those who have a difficult time moving or making themselves actually do something, an entire organizing job is more than an obstacle. It's an anxiety-inducing situation. Trying to take on a task that large in one sitting could lay such a person out for days
So when trying to come up with desk organizer ideas, don't underestimate the value of a job half done. Your desk may still have papers strewn across it, but your pens and pencils could be organized. You may still have an inbox stuffed to the brim, but your desk will be free of trash and take-out containers. Organizing a little bit whenever you have the time and energy will help you a lot more than trying to force yourself to clean in one straight shot
With that in mind, here are some great desk organizer ideas to help you keep your work area neat and tidy
The major points of action are:
These three things will go a long way to making your workspace more efficient.
What kind of work do you do at your desk? The tools of the trade can vary greatly depending on what kind of work is being done. However, there are a few things that are constant
Collecting Pens And Pencils - For the practical sort, grabbing a coffee mug or a mason jar works well. Make sure to throw away the pens that no longer work while you're collecting things. You can also collect them and put them in a desk drawer
If you're worried about knocking over the jar or mug, you can try super gluing it down. Don't do this unless you're willing to damage the desk finish when you take the container away!
Collecting Office Supplies - It's tedious up front, but getting small boxes for each separate supply is a great idea. Get one box for paperclips, one box for rubber bands, one box for staplers, you get the idea. However, consider how often you actually use these things as you collect them together. Do you really use a lot of rubber bands, or do you have them "just in case"?
As to the boxes, you can create small cardboard boxes of your own, or buy one of the multiple ready-made organizing boxes. Many people use cash-holding trays from retail registers, though you'll want to put them in a drawer rather than leave them out on the desk itself.
Keep A "Junk" Spot - Set aside an out-of-the-way area as a designated spot for miscellaneous items. Eventually, you'll want to clean out this spot regularly. However, at first, it's a great place for things without any other obvious spot. Better to have a "miscellaneous" box than to be stopped mid-process by an unexpected task.
Like the rest of the major action points, the details of this will vary depending on what you do. So here are some more common tips and ideas
Adjust Sitting/Standing Height - Does your worktable adjust to raise up and lower down? Do you sit at a desk with an adjustable office chair? Adjustable is the name of the game when thinking about this tip. Making sure you're at a comfortable work height allows you to keep your work area cleared by having a standard work area. When you move comfortably, you're better able to see what impedes comfortable work. This gives you a good starting point
Ergonomic Work Tools - If you use a computer you should be using an ergonomic keyboard. Try getting a wireless one rather than one with cords. That way you won't have to worry about wrangling cords together or causing a bigger mess. You can keep the USB plug in an organizing box along with other common tools!
Give Yourself Full Range Of Motion - As you're deciding what things to straighten and move, take a moment to watch yourself work. Consider how you hold your arms as you work, or how you turn around to get to a specific area of your desk. Much like adjusting the height of your workstation, this will give you a good starting point for your cleaning.
This particular action point is fairly obvious. Not every workstation will have papers, but most do. Papers tend to build up most often for people with mobility, executive function, and time issues. Here are some common papers that build up, and some desk organizer ideas of what to do with them.
Mail And Flyers - Many people have mail, bills, coupons, and other things build up as they tell themselves they'll "get around to it". These are a great place to start since they tend to build up quickly.
These types of paper are exactly the sort of thing an inbox and an outbox are good for. You can purchase plastic trays for this exact purpose from a number of retail outlets.
Another good idea is to get a small trash can and place it near enough to your desk to throw things away. This lets you toss out useless junk mail before it builds up.
Work-Related Papers - In order to keep these from piling up, try creating a system to lower the number of papers necessary for work. Need to write notes for yourself? Buy index cards, write the note on the card, and place it in a visible spot. Your inbox is a great place for this sort of thing. When the note is no longer necessary, throw it away. You won't get confused and the paper won't clutter up your desk.
As you can see, breaking organizational tasks down into smaller tasks can help quite a bit. Even collecting the pens and pencils together can go a long way to making your desk feel cleaner. Making your workspace ergonomic allows you to sit more comfortably and with fewer distractions. That can help you save energy to focus on work.
The list of benefits is too long to list. So when you're trying to get some ideas to organize your desk, don't think about the entire organizational job. Just think of the major action points and take it one step at a time.
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