5 No-Fail Tips for a Clean, Clutter-free, Productive Desk When You Work-from-Home

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Do you struggle with keeping your home office clean and organized? Life as MOM Prerna has some fantastic tips to help you keep your space clean, clutter-free, and productive!

wicker paradise desk

photo source: Wicker Paradise

Your workspace affects your headspace. Truth.

As someone who’s been working from home for the last 6 years now, I value the importance of a clean, clutter-free workspace. There is something soothing and at the same time, productivity boosting about coming to a desk that is well-organized and free of clutter each morning.

Having said that I know that working from home often means, working from the kitchen table or the dining table {like, yours truly} and as a result, the clutter that accumulates isn’t always work-related or even, yours.

However, regardless of where you work, you can still keep your workspace relatively organized and clutter-free.

Here are my 5 easy-to-execute tips to help you do just that:

1. Have an Incoming Paper Tray

I have a small tray on my workspace that holds all the papers that come my way during the day. These may or may not be work-related but they all go here and then, before I “shut shop” for the day, I quickly go through them and deal with them in one of 3 ways – file, scan or trash.

organizing on a budget

2. Keep Your Office Supplies Corralled

Since my workspace is pretty mobile and there are some days when I work from my office desk while on others I work from the dining room because the view is much better, keeping all my diaries, notebooks, sticky pads and pens in one handy box keeps them easy-to-tote and stops clutter from overtaking my workspace.

3. Have an End-of-Day Cleaning Routine

At the end of the day, I power down my laptop, slide it into its case, keep away all the cords and ear phones and put away all my planners {I use 3!} and pens into my office box and make sure all the paper that’s in the incoming tray is dealt with. All of this barely takes me 5-7 minutes, max.

You could have your own end-of-day cleaning routine where you sort through and neaten up things before closing down for the day.

4. Keep a Trash Can Handy

You could always make the short walk to the kitchen or wherever the closest trash can is, but if you’re like me and tend to forget about trashing that bit of paper once you leave your desk, it will do you good to have a trash can handy so you can just toss in all the papers that don’t need to be filed or scanned.

desk office area

photo source: Clarkston Scamp

5. Scan or Go Paperless Where You Can

This single step has helped me to cut clutter to an almost minimum in our office. We’ve opted for electronic statements, our contracts are signed electronically and we scan everything that needs to be filed and store it electronically, so yes, paper documents are few and easy to file away.

A clean workspace is blissful and does affect my productivity in many ways. I don’t waste time looking for a stapler or sticky note. I can work without thinking about that pile of papers that teeters ominously on the desk. Yes, cleanliness may or may not be next to godliness but it surely fills me with a peace and serenity.

How about you? Do you work from home? How do you keep your workspace clean and clutter-free?

– Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Check out her free eBooks on organizing and productivity to get literally, hundreds of ideas on how to get organized on a shoestring budget, right now.

Other Tips on Working from Home

  • 5 Organizing Must-Haves for Busy Work at Home Moms
  • A Work at Home Wardrobe
  • How to Make Working Home Work for Your Family
  • Why Working from Home Is Still Work

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  1. Hah! You should see my desk right now! I could almost keep up when I just did homeschooling, blogging, and reviewing. Now that I’m preparing lectures too, it’s piled high with reference books and so is the space all around my desk.

    In certain circumstances, I think you’ve just got to admit that what you’re doing at home would take a full office at work and accept the fact that you’ll have clutter as you’re nearing deadlines.

    Even so, keeping on top of the simple things like Prerna suggests does make a huge difference and helped to keep my desk under control when I was doing less.

  2. Regarding point 5, what is your process for scanning and electronically storing documents? Do you use a regular scanner such as those in 4-in-1 copiers? Do you have files set up on your computer that work like a filing cabinet? I am currently in need of a file storage solution and in a quandary over whether to purchase a file cabinet or start scanning everything. Just not sure where to begin. Any insight you could add to this would be gratefully accepted.

  3. I’m with Heidi. I’d love to hear about your scanning process. Inquiring minds want to know!!