The Authentic Assistant

How to have a tidy desk

Have you ever sat at your desk and looked around at all that is on it and wondered why can’t I enjoy a tidy desk?

Other people make it look easy and organised. What are they doing? How do they manage it? What am I doing wrong? 

How about trying out something simple and fun. See if it works for you. 

The best thing is it is a win-win situation. You either achieve that organised work space and simplify your life or you have decluttered your desk and got rid of some rubbish or items you no longer need. So your desk may look a mess again but it is an organised mess with no rubbish. You don’t even need to buy anything to do it. You can start right now or tomorrow.

The fun begins with an empty desktop

If you work on a laptop this will be easier as you will have two options. 

  • Take your laptop and what you think you will need to work for the day and move to another workspace. 


  • If you are working on a desktop or have no other space in your home to move your laptop and work from, then that is ok. Just remove everything from the desk top. Either place the items on a chair or the floor. Take only the items you think you will need for the day and place them on the desk. 


Now you just carry on with your work day. It is as simple as that. 

What you will notice

As you work through your day you will find out if you have what you need to complete your tasks right there with you. 

  • Am  I using all the items on my desk that I thought were important? 
  • Did I find myself looking for other items I place on the floor or kept in the drawers?
  • Are there items on the desk that I did not actually need? 
  • How did it make me feel to have an empty desk? Was I more productive in my work and less distracted with clutter on my desk?
  • Did it bother me that I didn’t have everything there in case I needed it? 
  • What did I need the most to get the work done? (pen, paper, charger etc.)

Of course every day is different and there may be items that you need 2 days a week or every two weeks to complete your work and that is normal. We are only trying to organise what is essential to your everyday tasks. 

Now what?

Once you have finished work for the day, now is the fun time. Well some people find it fun and others don’t but let’s keep a positive attitude as much as possible. 

Put all the things you needed to use in one pile on the floor for now. 

It depends on the work space you have. If you are working from home and it is your command centre for your family home or you keep your personal things there as well now is the chance to separate them and organise them so you know where the items all are.

There are so many different scenarios and people thinking that is not me or I have more complicated things. We are trying to keep it simple. We all use the computer/laptop and we use pen and paper and some kind of paperwork. 

So we all just need to think about ourselves. Stop looking at other people and how they have their work space. Each of us is different and that is the beauty of it all. 

What works for me may not work for you or anyone else. There may be a system that works for me and if I find it I am blessed. Otherwise I have to keep working at it. 

So looking at the items you did need for today. Sit back and smile. That is what needs to be readily accessible to you. 

How should your tidy desk look?

This is something you need to decide for yourself. How deep are you going to dive into this project? A deep dive and complete declutter of the desk, drawers and entire work space area? Or just the desk and drawers?  How much do you want that tidy desk?

This is up to you and your motivation level. 

Why not just jump in and go for it? You have figured out what the essentials are. You now know what needs to be easily accessible and that is the main battle.

Just figure out how to store those items so you know where they are. 

Who says you can’t have a tidy desk or work space? Not you anymore.

The secret to achieving a tidy and organised desk is here.