How to Keep Your Desk Clear

Hi everybody!  I was thinking about sharing with you something that truly changed the way I do business at my desk.  Organization does not come naturally to me.  I really have had to learn strategies along the way to help me keep up with calendars, paperwork, and bills.  Running around with kids all day and dumping the mail on my desk to get to later, sifting it from a tote bag on bleachers during t-ball games and really just trying to keep up with all of it left me looking for some systems.  I knew there had to be a better way than piles of papers that gathered on my desk.

I read books and talked to friends and honed what I learned from others and so now this is the system that works for me.


These are mine, I like yellow.  Yellow is easy to find and reminds me of sunshine, which I love.

Files by day


I use a big black Sharpie so I can easily see them but some of you might prefer a label maker.

files by month

Hopefully this makes sense to you….mine are all upright in a file drawer.  They go 1-31 and then behind those are the months of the year.  If I get an invitation for something in May, I drop it in that month, unless I need to RSVP or send a check with it or something.  I drop the bills to pay in the day of the month that I plan to pay them….that could be the 15th or it could be a certain Monday that you are free or Saturdays.  Of course most bills I handle through autopay online but I still deal with some paper.  Maybe you shred at this point or just don’t keep the paper because you can get the full year through the company online but I still keep some level of paper flow through a filing system.

Invitations in file blackboard



Paper related to errands go in on the day that I plan to drive around dealing with prescriptions, scout shirt patches, wedding gifts that I’m ordering in person or whatever.  I mark these days in my calendar. My calendar ends up at the beginning of the month having strike throughs for desk time filing, phone calls for appointments or insurance etc., bill paying, errands.

Each day I just pull out one days worth of work and lay it on my desk.  Some days I’m happy because I opened my file and there is nothing in it!  That must be play day, hair salon and lunch with a friend day!

chalkboard go play

But all month, the papers are sorted and I’m not worried about losing or forgetting anything!  Well only half worried about that!

Then I have space for some fun things like this on my desk like this lovely gift from a friend that holds just a few blooms to make my desk bright.

desk vase bird

And these….Arthur Court desk accessories, the letter opener is really helpful on my nails and the magnifier makes me feel like a SPY!

arthur court letter opener

This return address stamp makes me feel like the President vetoing all my mail! STAMP!  The little Nantucket box hides loose buttons or bits.  

return address stamp

Adler candle and French

Jonothan Adler’s Grapefruit candle is my favorite and you already know I love yellow.  The precious French bulldog calendar was a gift from my friend who knows I love French bulldogs.  I wonder why?


I hope your desk is clear, your file is empty and your flowers are bright.  Do you have any other tips for keeping paper straight?  I always like new ideas so share them in the reply box below.



desk flower


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