Having a go-getter lifestyle can possibly lead to strewn papers everywhere, old succulents desperately in need of water, and a desktop calendar dated 2014—but no more! With the heat of spring cleaning upon us, here are quick tips to give your desk a facelift for the season, straight from the mouths of busy bees.
1. GET JAR-HAPPY.
“I organize all my many pens by type in small jelly jars. I buy them at the grocery store by the carton (the kind used for canning preserves). Then I label them as brush pens, felt tips, pencils, rollerballs, etc. and I have them all lined up along the wall. At home, I keep colored pencils organized by color, brushes and other art supplies in the same jars as well as regular pens and pencils.” —Ana of the Well-Appointed Desk
2. USE YOUR WALL SPACE.
“I keep tidbits of research, reminders, and family pics (to keep me centered) on a dual-sided bulletin board; one side is cork and one side is a magnetic dry-erase board.” —Trae Bodge of traebodge.com
3. CHOOSE DELIBERATE DÉCOR.
“Rather than having a bunch of crap cluttering the top of my desk, I opt for hanging up well-designed graphics that are nice to look at without taking up space. I have the small version of one from Emily McDowell (one of my favorite designers) and am currently lusting over this pennant from Benny Gold.” —Amanda Waas of You’re Welcome
4. GO VERTICAL.
“Organizing vertically gives you more desk space. The clear-drawer thing with all of the washi tape in my photo [seen below] is actually two glasses cases stacked on top of each other. But as you can see, they fit washi tape perfectly. Also, I love the two vertical pieces around it.” —Lesli of Put a Little Umbrella in Your Drink
5. PRIORITIZE PILES.
“I may have piles on my desk, but they are organized and accessible—sorted in clumps like ‘strategy, activation, follow-up, refinement, or completion’ so that I can prioritize and edit as I move throughout the day. I think visually, so seeing everything out on my desk is part of my process, but it has to have a sense of organization or I’ll go mad—plus the sheer discomfort of what the office cleaning crew might think if it wasn’t.” —Trish Abbot, SVP of Brand Development at Knock Knock
6. JUST THROW IT AWAY ALREADY.
“Wrap up your day a few minutes before your hard stop. Go through any scribble notes from the day, add items to your to-do list as necessary, and throw them away. Organize all paperwork and make sure that all urgent items were handled. The better you leave your desk, the better it will feel first thing the next morning.” —Lauren Berger of Intern Queen
What are your go-to workspace tips? Tell us in a comment!