Banish these items from your desk

Your desk and surrounding areas are prime real estate in your office and you should make the most of them. It’s important to only have what you need in this area so you can work efficiently and not feel overwhelmed in your workspace.

If you’re feeling like you have too much stuff surrounding you in your office, consider these points on what to remove and what to keep in your workspace.

Personal Items

Remove: Excess personal photos and collectible items, Star Wars figures should leave the desk area, sorry.

I worked with a client who had a small office space that included a bulletin board filled with personal mementos above her desk. When I pointed out how much she had going on in the space, she said no wonder she felt overwhelmed. Look at your work area with a fresh set of eyes. What would a stranger see?

Keep: To appear professional and uncluttered, remove as much as you can from your desk. Install sturdy shelves to hold a select number of framed photos and collectibles

You can also frame photos and certificates and hang them on the wall. You don’t have to hang one picture per area. You may be able to create a focal wall with several pictures or certificates with the proper layout. If you really want to keep the Star Wars figures, keep the number to a minimum and work them onto bookshelves or wall shelves. There’s nothing wrong with having personal items to showcase your tastes and your interests, just don’t overdo it.


Remove: Duplicate supplies. You probably don’t need three pencil cups surrounding your computer. How many pens, pencils and highlighters can you really use at one time?

Keep: Items in your workspace that you use daily. You’ll probably need your computer, printer, printer paper, scanner, files and office supplies like pens, stapler and scissors. Keep what you need close at hand so you can work efficiently.

Office Equipment

Remove: When was the last time you replaced your office chair? Have someone else sit in your chair to see if it’s still supportive and comfortable. You may have gotten so used to how it feels that you don’t notice it’s time to replace it.

Take a look at your lighting. Is it bright enough in the room or is it so dim you’re squinting? Do you have computer equipment that no longer works, taking up space? I see broken and outdated computers, monitors and keyboards in offices all the time. Clean the hard drive or whatever it is you need to do to feel comfortable moving it ou t.

Keep: Add or continue using items that will help you work better. Make sure you have adequate lighting, a comfortable chair, an ergonomic keyboard for happy wrists and only computer equipment that’s working.

When you walk into your office, I want you to feel like you can sit down and get right to work. I don’t want you to stand at the door and feel overwhelmed or embarrassed by your workspace. Remove the unnecessary, unused and excess items from your space so you feel in control and focused in your office each day.

Monika Kristofferson is a professional organizer and productivity consultant who owns Efficient Organization NW in Lake Stevens. Reach her at 425-220-8905 or

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