Six Easy Steps to Keep Your Desk Clean

January 12, 2012

With the National Clean Off Your Desk Day having come and gone, M. Colleen Klimczak, professional organizer in Chicago, provided the following tips on reclaiming work space in 2012. National Clean Off Your Desk Day is the second Monday in January, which was Jan. 9 this year.

Here are Klimczak’s tips for creating and maintaining an organized office system:

  1. Remove non-work related items from your desk.
  2. Set up a physical system for “Passive Papers” — documents that have been acted upon and are now waiting for a pre-determined time until they are no longer needed for reference (e.g., receipts, bills, bank statements, etc.). Klimczak suggests creating a system of hanging folders, labeled by date, either on your desk or in a nearby drawer.
  3. Set up a physical system for “Active Papers,” also in vertical folders, labeled with the action that need to be taken, or by client name, or project.
  4. Set up a specific space for “Archived Papers” for long-term record keeping and label by date, client, or project.
  5. “Treasures,” such as your children’s school projects, received greeting cards, and photos, should be moved to a shelf or wall, out of your desk’s active workspace.
  6. Grab two bags, one for papers to shred and one for recycling. Start distributing your desk papers to their new homes.
  7. Put the stuff away that needs to go elsewhere in your home or office.


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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