6 Tips for Uncluttering Your Cubicle

I thought it was high time we heard from a male guest poster and I’m delighted that James Adams is up to the challenge! James is an editor on CartridgeSave, an online specialist supplying HP laser toner cartridges to the UK market, so he knows a thing or two about the corporate office environment. Unlike the post I wrote last year, on jazzing up your workspace, James advocates more of a back-to-basics approach. Since he is based in the UK, I have left intact a couple of British expressions, which I hope Stateside cousins will decipher and enjoy.  Over to you, James…

Having a cluttered office is the bane to many people’s working lives, but they constantly keep going on this way just because they don’t have the time to think about effective solutions for remedying this problem. There are a number of simple ways though that can be used in order to turn a workspace into a clean environment, free of all clutter.

Via Houzz

Via Houzz

Buy An Inbox
People in crowded offices know the drill. They leave their desk for a couple of minutes, only to come back to a mess of papers that has been dumped on them. Not only do these severely limit their space, but they also put a real spanner in the works when it comes to keeping everything organized.

The best way to solve this is through using an inbox, which is simply a plastic tray that can be placed on the desk. This is clearly marked so that all those delivering documents will place them there, leaving the rest of the desk untouched.

Use The Computer
Although many people detest the thought of using a computer for many of their daily tasks, there is no denying the fact that it saves a lot of space. This is because there is no need for huge stacks of paper all around the place, as all of what would be on the desk is stored compactly within the computer itself.

Setting up a computer for use is an easy step and one that any work IT department can advise on. If there is no IT department then there are plenty of sites that can go through this simple process step by step.

NOA Architecture, via Houzz

NOA Architecture, via Houzz

Buy A Bin
Although this seems like an obvious solution, it is unbelievable how many people are devoid of a waste paper bin under their desk. This leads to workers simply discarding their waste over their workspace or even on the floor – something that is not conducive to a good working environment.

A bin will only cost a couple of dollars from most stores and will be an invaluable purchase. The space it takes up on the floor will be more than compensated for by the extra workspace it creates.

Don’t Eat At The Desk
Eating at the desk is bad for any employee, as it doesn’t allow them the time away from work that they need. On top of this though it also leads to waste being left lying around, such as fast food wrappers and coffee cups.

Eating away from the desk will mean that these don’t ever get the chance to find their way on to the desk, as they can be discarded before getting back into the office.

Dufner Heiges, via Houzz

Dufner Heiges, via Houzz

Get Rid Of Personal Items
Having a couple of pictures of friends and family on the desk is certainly not a bad thing, but everyone knows someone who has dedicated half their desk to personal paraphernalia. This not only distracts the worker, but it obviously seriously limits how much room they have to work in.

The best idea is to take all of the photos and transfer them to the hard drive of the computer. This way the person can still look at them, but not have them restricting their space at the same time.

Have A System
A lot of mess comes from people simply being disorganized and therefore leaving various tasks laying on their desk ready to be completed. Working through tasks systematically means that this won’t happen, as they can be put away when they are finished with.

Marilyn G Russell, via Houzz

Marilyn G Russell, via Houzz

Thank you, James!  I enjoyed your perspective on cutting back to the productive essentials of life, although, I’m not sure I’ll ever achieve your recommendation of not eating at my desk!  And I’m sure you won’t mind if I use a non-plastic inbox. :)

How about you?  Do you consider eating at your desk a route to clutter, or a necessary comfort?  What serves as your inbox?

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4 Responses to 6 Tips for Uncluttering Your Cubicle

  1. Some simple but effective tips there – love reading the British sayings which I don’t get to hear all that often in Oz!! XX

  2. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for this, I find it SO inspiring. I cleaned my desk space the over day, threw out and rearranged and it looks SO much calmer. Trouble is, with 4 kids who use it too – you can only imagiine. I need to read posts like this to keep me on track – THANKS!!!

  3. wonderful post! it reminds me of one of my fav books “Clear your clutter with Feng Shui”. love reading about uncluttering. I unclutter almost every day although my home already looks uncluttered :-) happy new week to you

  4. Gosh I wish I could avoid eating at my desk, but I do it nearly every day.

    I know it’s a tad cliche, but I think — in addition to all the great tips James shared — that it’s important for the desk area to be visually inspiring in some way. Either a calming color palette if you tend to be a stress case at work (ahem, that’s me), or some energizing colors or images that set an uplifting tone if you tend to drag. I agree that you want to avoid visual clutter (though I’m staring at a huge board of photos and tear sheets as I type this), but it’s important to strike a balance so it doesn’t feel too stark and impersonal.

    Thanks, James! (and Pauline for hosting.) :-)


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