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Decluttering Your Desk So It Won't Reclutter

06 December 2022

When the amount of work you have on slowly begins to mount, your desk is often the worst hit. All that tidying that you did a few weeks ago has unravelled and once again your workstation is strewn with what can only be described as ‘a mess’.

If you’re the type of person who is constantly battling the mess monster, as most of us seem to be to some degree or another, any little help can go a long way. Tidying is not normally the problem, but keeping it tidy usually begins to take on the same kind of Herculean tasks as say, landing on the moon.

Humans are born messy, but that doesn’t mean we have to be a slave to the mess. With a few pointers here and there, along with some tactical purchases, it’s certainly possible to keep that office desk clear and tidy for more than a few days.

Remove everything  

One of the biggest mistakes when tidying a desk is to simply shuffle items around, without actually removing anything. Yes, a lot of what is on the desk is needed and can’t be thrown away, but it’s also extremely difficult to put a good tidying system in place while there is still stuff lying around.

Even if you need to just dump everything into a box, having a completely clear desk gives you the chance to step back and assess what needs to be done. This should also include any drawers or shelves close by that are used for work items because as we all know, it becomes a little too easy to have that one drawer that you throw any miscellaneous items into and then completely forget about.   

A good clean

Nothing feels as motivating to keep a clean and tidy desk as when the desk is itself spotless. Once you’ve removed everything, spend a little time cleaning everything carefully, while also going over things that you know you are going to put back immediately, such as a computer, folder trays and a pot of pens etc.

Sort through everything

With everything off the desk, now is the perfect opportunity to go through that enormous pile of papers and half-eaten pens that have long run out of ink. Just because these items were on the desk, doesn’t necessarily mean that should have been on the desk. We all know how quickly things can accumulate and what seemed vital three months has long passed into the realm of unneeded and unwanted.

Additions needed

As we mentioned earlier, humans are very often inherently messy, but this is often compounded by poor choices in organisation and storage options.

Take some time to assess what could be added to your work area to help maintain a tidier work lifestyle. It might be as simple as some extra trays to put your folders in, or adding some shelves above to help you keep the desk clear. There are numerous options for home office storage ideas, but often it will depend on what kind of work you do and how much space is needed.

FlexiSpot offers several options to help you stay organised, including our Mobile Pedestal File Cabinet which comes with three lockable draws that can be kept under a table and wheeled out when needed.

Another great option is our Under Desk Drawer S01, which can be easily attached to the underside of any table and offers that little bit of extra storage space.  


Our culture has long championed the accumulation of stuff, but in recent years the minimalist movement has offered an alternative to the cramped item fuelled world of materialism.

While many cultures practice minimalism so some degree or another, Japan has long been seen as a leader with many principles that can be applied to our western world.

With minimalism in mind, try to be careful about what you put back, to not simply crowd your desk as it was before the Big Tidy. Another step would be to add a CPU holder to your office desk that can be conveniently kept under the table, which adds a greater sense of space to your existing desk.

Put back everything  

Now that everything has been cleaned, sorted through and streamlined, it’s time to put everything back. It goes without saying, but don’t simply dump everything back on the desk in a haphazard way.

How your desk is after tidying up should be how you aim to keep it, so start on the right foot and make sure everything is tidy when it’s put back.  

Periodic tidying

It doesn’t matter how great of a job you did on the tidying, it’s easy to slide back towards the messy pit that it was before. The key here is to do a little tidying regularly, which keeps the whole process manageable and under control.

We find that choosing a specific day and time always helps here and it can quickly become a routine if you can stick with it. Whether it’s Friday just before you finish, or Wednesday just after lunch, periodic tidying is one of the most important aspects of keeping your desk clean and tidy.