Home Forums Your Office Help me declutter my desk!

This topic contains 15 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of xarcady xarcady 3 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #158788
    Avatar of Periwinkle
    Periwinkle
    Member

    I was going to post a topic about this but it got rather unwieldy so I’ve decided to post my summary of The Desk Problem over at my much-neglected blog to make it easier to view:

    http://ditod.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/desk-decluttering/

    I’m looking for any kind of suggestion that might help me improve this space…unclutterers, unleash!!

  • #170978
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    OK, you have a lot of stuff to keep on that desk and acres of wall space behind, you need some shelves! And maybe a cork board or something similar so you can pin things up. Plus you need to throw out some of the crap! Could you wall mount those speakers too? Seems like a lot of wasted space if you need to spread out your papers sometimes.
    I have a different problem, I need a desk for uni work but no room for one anywhere, and the dining room table is always messy and it’s too dark in there. Plus no storage for papers etc. However, I do have a laptop and would never go back to a desktop again, takes up lots of space, needs a dedicated desk and a biggish screen laptop is much more portable and versatile.
    Maybe you could look round on the net and find some ‘home office’ photos for storage ideas, like the Martha Stewart site or something. Lots of ideas out there which would be practical and beautiful and not expensive :)

  • #170984
    Avatar of mrsean2k
    mrsean2k
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    For some reason, my post here and at your blog responding are being silently rejected. A few URLs in it, but resolutely on-topic and nothing controversial.

    Any ideas?

  • #170986
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/desk-ideas#slide_5
    office organising porn :) There are some really great ideas there, many of the items are either home made or look like they come from Ikea or similar.

  • #170993
    Avatar of Periwinkle
    Periwinkle
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    Hm, not sure about mounting stuff on the wall as there’s a light fixture immediately above (you can’t see it in the photo) that shines straight down onto the desk, and we do move the furniture around, though possibly this is semi-permanent as things have changed slightly. Have to look into that. Perhaps I could look into some shelves to sit on top of the desk?

    And forget the corkboard – you gave me a better idea!! The filing cabinet (the purple thing you can just barely see at the left of the picture) is magnetic but I’ve never made any use of that. There’s some random magnets on the side at the moment but I could ditch those and put some stuff on there, which would both cover up the ugly side of the filing cabinet and free up some space on my desk. Hoorah!

    I would like to have a laptop, but for the moment, I don’t think it’s worth it as I have a good desktop and a netbook that’s barely a year old. I’ll definitely be replacing the desktop with a laptop next time it comes round to it though.

    And thanks for the Martha Steward site – I’ll check that out now.

    mrsean, it looks like your comments got marked as spam – I’ve fixed it :)

  • #170996
    Avatar of Kamakazi
    Kamakazi
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    As always in threads like this I will say you should get one of these: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10828&cs_id=1082808&p_id=5402&seq=1&format=2

    You would be amazed at how much space it frees up. I have 3 (3 monitors) and it took my desk from basically unusable for anything other than computing to actually having some nice storage/workspace. I think if you used one of those to put your monitor on the left, then moved your case over into the corner and basically just used it as an elevated shelf it would look a lot better.

    Also with the case I have found that if you don’t store anything on the top of your desk unless it can be easily put on that case you can really clear stuff up, makes you consider what really needs to be there.

  • #170998
    Avatar of sky2evan
    sky2evan
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    My opinion only, but…
    If the desk is your primary use space in this room, then at least the desk should be uncluttered, and the rest of the room can be temporarily cluttered. You can either spread your clutter evenly throughout the room, or unevenly with some places clutter-free, and other places overly cluttered. If you don’t want the status quo, sacrifices must be made somewhere.

    Leave only what you CONSTANTLY use while you’re using the computer, on the desk: one coaster (or 2), the pen, the bulldog notepad. (And also the lamp + speakers). If you’re not putting back your mouse into its mouseholder after every sitting, then the mouseholder should be removed as well.

    This follows the organizing principle of: What you use at every sitting, keep conveniently close on the desktop; what you use less frequently, keep inconveniently farther away somewhere else in the room. What you never or rarely use, get rid of. You can’t have everything conveniently close if you want clutter-free.

    ALL other items/containers that are not used at every sitting should be stored somewhere else in the room, even if it’s on the floor. Sure, it might not be as convenient to reach while you’re at the desk, but if you don’t use those items at EVERY sitting (such as everything in the pen tray + wire tray + shoe box it sounds like), then the occasional inconvenience of having to walk up and get anything is a very miniscule trade-off to having a clutter-free desktop. That’s why I keep all of my stationery items away from my table – I don’t use them every sitting.

    The records could possibly be temporarily stored on the ground between wall & bottom cabinet thing. Sure, not the ideal long-term solution, but if you want to avoid desk clutter NOW, something has to give. If you moved the pink shoebox + wire catch-all tray to somewhere else in the room, even on the floor, then you could leave the records on the desk because they’re fragile + valuable. But everything else that you don’t use at every sitting MUST leave the desktop.

    And after every sitting, make sure you dump everything that somehow magically appeared on your desk, into the catch-all tray which should should be somewhere else in the room.

    Personally, I make it a rule to never leave ANYTHING on my computer table after every sitting – this ensures that whenever I come back to my primary work/leisure space, it’s always clutter-free.

    Other than this, it seems rather difficult to offer permanent solutions to the clutter without having an idea of the situation for the rest of the room and your limitations (like whether or not you can install shelves or not, which is a great idea if you can).

    I hope some of this was helpful. Best of luck!

  • #171015
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    Good suggestions above. Re: mounting things on the wall, if you got two tiny little corner shelves, each could be placed in the wall corner and hold one of the speakers. I myself would have the computer case standing on edge in the corner under the speaker shelves, and mount the monitor to the wall, but that’s me – when I’m working on a desk, I want writing space and room to open a file or notebook or ledger. If you did this, the bookmooch box could then sit right in front of the computer case and serve as a “bookend” for the record albums that are in process, and you’d have a little area underneath the monitor mount for a pen tray, etc.

  • #171025
    Avatar of Periwinkle
    Periwinkle
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    A wall bracket would be great but isn’t possible due to the ever-changing furniture arrangements.

    I don’t use the mouseholder all the time, but it has to be there as it’s what maintains the signal between the mouse and the computer.

    Regarding moving things elsewhere in the room – also not an option. This room is shared with the rest of my family (3 other people) and all our electronic equipment, plus storage of important papers, stationery etc. And at the moment, it’s become a temporary guest room as well. The desk surface, the wall behind (though we frequently move the furniture, depending on the season, as it affects the light/need of the radiator/etc) and the side of the filing cabinet are the only spaces I have. I don’t think you can see it in the photo, but there’s a printer and filing cabinet type thing underneath the desk which take up the room that my feet don’t (along with the speaker). The printer can’t move elsewhere due to what it needs to be connected to, the printer has to go on something and the filing cabinet thing is almost the exact same size as the printer so it’s probably staying that way.

    chacha, unfortunately I can’t stand the computer on edge as it’s designed to be horizontal (it’s an ex-media center PC) and ventilates at the sides

  • #171026
    Avatar of Kamakazi
    Kamakazi
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    ****
    A wall bracket would be great but isn’t possible due to the ever-changing furniture arrangements.
    *****

    The mounts I linked to just clamp to the back of the desk, stuff have the same effect really, but don’t require holes in the wall and can go wherever the desk does.

  • #171027
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    Well phooey on the media PC. :-) In that case, could it sit on top of the metal file cabinet adjacent to your desk? I realize you have the printer there, but there *are* risers that would enable you to locate both devices there.

    +1 on Kamakazi’s clamp-on monitor mount. Not pretty, but would open up all that lovely workspace!

  • #171028
    Avatar of Kamakazi
    Kamakazi
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    yeah, definitely isn’t the nicest looking thing. They have simpler ones on that site that doesn’t have as much adjustability and I am sure with a bit of spray paint and some creativity (I have none, zip, nada) you could make it look more presentable.

  • #171034
    Avatar of Periwinkle
    Periwinkle
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    Ooh, didn’t see that and now I *definitely* want one!!! I’ll have to look for a clamp that’s available in the UK.

    No dice on putting the PC on the filing cabinet – any riser would have to be about 2 foot high and there’s also another PC behind, and all my cables would have to be about 3 foot longer. (For the record, I don’t think I was clear earlier – there is one printer on top of the filing cabinet, and another printer on top of a drawer thing that is underneath the desk.)

  • #171040
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    hmmm, you are working with some major restrictions.
    personally, i’d make the decision to commit to not moving the furniture and then you can start building shelves.
    sounds like nothing can go UNDER the desk at present…..unless you moved the printer up onto a shelf.

    you need some of that stuff in drawers or on shelves and OFF the desk surface, for sure.
    how about some ELFA shelving?
    you mount a single strip on the wall, then hang rods from that, then clip on various shelves and drawers as needed. it is completely flexible and customisable.
    the top strip is the only thing that is mounted and even that can be moved any time.
    i’d get everything i possibly could up onto the ELFA shelving and then i’d buy a small desk lamp.
    the room the desk lamp takes up is a tiny sacrifice compared to not having shelves.

    my entire desk is made of ELFA stuff and i run a company from it.
    i do have a whole wall to use, unlike your situation, but my ELFA desk also houses the house phone and all the computer stuff in the house, all the bed linen, my entire work library, seven years of tax returns, and some junk that is probably time to revisit and move on.
    the ELFA is kind of expensive, but it is durable and i love how it gets every inch of space utilised.

    alternatively, how about a desk with overhead shelving already built onto it?
    not as flexible, but would still be an improvement.

  • #171054
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    Help me declutter my desk!

    I’d get a shallow monitor riser (you could possibly improvise one, but the point is to create a space under the monitor, and also to have the monitor further back on the desk for more comfortable viewing, with the speakers tucked in behind it. I’d move the computer case over to the side of the desk (you’d possibly need a longer monitor cable) with the Bookmooch storage box and filing tray sat on it. Cardboard storage boxes and baskets are very cheap so I suggeset you invest in one that is easier to use!

    This will give you the illusion of more space because the vertical spaces will be used more efficiently. The space under the monitor will take any small in-use items. TIDY UP the other ‘stuff’ that’s in your filing tray and find proper homes for them in your stationary and media storage places!

    Add a pinboard to the right side wall – or even just a hook – for that clipper of paper and functional notes, and a pinboard in front for nice things like the postcard, if you want.

    Only have one coaster and that will force you to put away the extra cups.

    And do some cable management to get rid of the mess under the desk :)

    Have fun!

  • #171099
    Avatar of xarcady
    xarcady
    Member

    Help me declutter my desk!

    Well, you’ve got a couple of different issues here. Here’s how I grouped things.

    You need:

    -a filing system
    -a place for office supplies (tippex, highlighter, pens, ruler, hole punch, etc.)
    -a place for personal stuff (nail clippers, hair grips, etc.)
    -to put some things back where they belong (whiteboard pen, batteries, flute music, etc.)
    -to either fix or toss some broken things.

    First, the filing system. Do you have one at your other desk space? In which case, what you need here is a movable file box that you can carry back and forth. If you don’t, can you use one drawer of the purple cabinet for your paperwork? The letter, postcards and list of textbooks can all then be filed away. Or maybe a two tier wire tray, with the top for “to go to other desk” and the bottom for “to be worked on.” Or maybe what you need is a vertical file holder, that could hold various papers and the records. I guess my point is that the wire tray doesn’t seem to be working and you should explore other options for holding paper on your desk.

    There are small sets of plastic drawers that could hold all your office supplies: Tippex, highlighter, pens, scissors, USB cable for camera and MP3 player, ruler, holepunch, post-its, bookmark, string, rubber band. Get the right set and you can designate a drawer for the nail clippers, emery boards, kirby grips and hairpins. Or stash those in a pretty box.

    Things that need to go back where they belong: whiteboard pen, batteries, staples, flute music, calculator, zip lock bags.

    Things to be fixed or tossed: plastic cover for computer ports, broken MP3 player, screws for cable basket–either put the basket up or toss the screws or label them and store elsewhere for future use.

    As for the coasters, get a set that stack neatly together when not in use and only have the number you need at the time out on your desk. Or maybe the extra ones could go in the storage drawers.

    Can you get a better bookmooch box that is easier to use? I know, for me, that the harder it is to put something away, the greater the chances that it will never, ever, be put away. I deliberately look for easy to use (according to the way I will use it) storage. One time, on a decluttering TV show, they gave a guy who left his clothes all over the bedroom a new clothes hamper. A hamper with a lid, so he’d have to open it every time he used it (which I see as an extra step that isn’t necessary). And then they put it in his closet, under a shelf. Now, in order to use that hamper, he’d have to open the closet, pull the hamper out from under the shelf (because it just barely fit under there and couldn’t be used without pulling it out), and open the lid in order to toss anything in there. Any one of those (opening door, pulling out from shelf or opening lid) I could have lived with, but all three? I doubt that hamper got used much, at least not while it stayed in the closet.

    If you put all the “foreign” stuff away and tossed the broken stuff, you’d be a pretty big step towards clearing the desk off.

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