5 easy steps to de-clutter your desk

You'll likely spend more time scavenging your desk for paperwork than on vacation this year. In fact, the average executive pilfers six weeks a year searching for important documents buried in clutter, according to the Wall Street Journal. Simple tidying could avoid that kind of egregious waste of time and productivity. One useful tip: color-code hanging files to distinguish between different types of files-such as project or client folders--just by glancing it them, advises Donna Smallin, author of The One Minute Organizer Plain and Simple. Quit frittering away your valuable time with Smallin's top five tips for de-cluttering your desk.

1. Treat Virtual Folders Like the Real Thing
When creating electronic folders, set them up in the same way as physical ones. Use subfolders within desktop folders to organize files sufficiently.

2. Avoid the Miscellaneous File
Sort day-to-day papers into action files. Label them clearly: Bills to pay, receipts to enter, papers to photocopy, data for reports, items to discuss with your boss or papers to forward to another department. Store them upright in a stepped desktop organizer. Don't make a "miscellaneous" file-if the information isn't important enough to have its own label, it either belongs in another folder or in the trash.

3. Sort Your Desk Drawers Organize your desk drawers so that each contains like items-office supplies in one drawer, stationery and notepads in another. This eliminates scrounging through your drawers to find the only pen you work with, or a post-it at deadline time.

Click here for the next two Steps to De-Clutter Your Desk

By Eileen Conlan - Career & Money Blogger - Marie Claire

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