Does your desk look like an explosion occurred? Full of everything but the kitchen sink (an expression we use here in the UK to indicate mess, mess, and more mess). If so then you have an issue with clutter. What does it matter you might say if your work space is messy. My answer: how productive are you really when your environment around you is chaos?

You want to be successful, right? Then why not start with a tidy desk. A tidy desk helps create a tidy mind which in turn can help you be more productive

What is clutter?

A search online reveals that the definition of clutter is a collection of things lying around in an untidy mess.

Productivity and clutter cannot co-exist. Clutter and mess only serves to bring imbalance and will often get you down. How much better do you feel in a tidy, well ordered environment?

Many people say that one of their favourite things to do when stressed out is to clean! Hard to imagine, right? Well, it is true. Cleaning gives order and purpose to your life, even if only in small chunks at a time.I have found that when distracted if I tidy and clean my office I can get down to work quite quickly with more focus. Don’t over do it though. You need to find a balance between tidying the office and actually doing your work.

When it comes to tidying your cluttered office or desk we are not just talking about moving around clutter from one shelf to another. We are talking about de-cluttering. Saying good-bye to the dust, saying good-bye to the junk – saying hello to room to breathe and move around! Now, doesn’t that sound good?

Here are 5 tips to clean your office and keep it tidy

Ask yourself what you want from your office space and how you need to use the space Divide the space into areas depending on how you are going to use them: A computer work space, a library area for your research if needed, a supply area for stationary etc, and other specific areas depending on what work you do. .

Remove clutter from your work area. Only keep what is essential close to your work space: Your computer, telephone, a notepad and a couple of pens, a lamp and perhaps one photo that inspires you. Everything else can be put away.

Conquer your paperwork Create three areas for your paperwork: to do, to read, to file. I use baskets but you could use trays or hanging files. Keep on top of the three areas and set times each week to empty them so you don’t get overwhelmed

Organize your catch all drawer. We all have one of those drawers where everything gets thrown However, after a while we can forget what’s in there and not be able to find anything. The best thing to do is put dividers in that drawer to give everything a place and schedule a time every couple of months to clear it out.

Keep a basket or drawer for short term storage. Do you have a newspaper, trade journal or magazine subscription? You need an area to put them until read and filed away.