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January 07, 2020
It’s the start of the new year so naturally we’re making resolutions. While some are vowing to lose weight, eat better and stay present, mine is fairly simple. Keep a clean desk.
I not only want to keep a neat and tidy desk, but I want it to be pretty too.
Sitting down at my desk to write and letter or pay bills should be just as pleasurable as sitting down to a beautifully set table. So, I’m taking that approach when thinking about what I need to keep on my desk on how to make it welcoming and functional.
I started by purging all unwanted and unnecessary papers, filing those I absolutely need to keep and then created a place for every item I use regularly. I'm dedicating myself to a few simple desk rules too.
Rule #1 : A place for everything and everything in its place! This means use it or lose it. Just about everything is replaceable so if I get rid of something I haven’t used in a while and need it again it’s no big deal.
Rule #2 : Handle papers once. Putting things back in their place is a start, however, how many times do you pick up the same piece of paper only to put it into another pile for “later?” I’m going to start marking a “dot” at the top of any piece of paper I pick up. Two dots is too many. From now on the choices are pay, mail, file, pin, shred or pitch.
Rule #3 : End everyday with a clean desk. If for some reason I’m not following rules #1 and #2 throughout the day I’m going to cut myself a little slack and allow for a “regroup.” The best way I know to do this is by setting a timer. It’s amazing how fast and efficient one can be when there is a time limit involved.
Lastly, I’m writing out these rules and keeping them on my desk in a pretty frame so that I can be reminded of them until they become habit. If the experts are correct then my rules should be routine by mid March and I can replace the list with a picture. Maybe it will be a picture of my clean desk. In the meantime, here are some of the things I am using to keep my desk neat, tidy, pretty and functional.
A Large Tray - Even before this blog post I’ve kept a tray on my desk which holds a box of tissues, a stapler, a roll of tape, my pencil cup and my keys. This laminated fabric tray is made with F. Schumacher’s Iconic Leopard design. The blue and white animal print is timeless and can be used in just about any decor.
A Pretty Pad of Paper and Stylish Pen - I often have sticky notes flying all over my desk which usually turn into an unorganized mess. I’m going to use this desk set to keep the day’s notes and thoughts in one place and on one piece of paper.
Chic Pencil Cup - This is one of our absolute favorite items! It’s a pencil cup that can also be used as a vase or planter. Our blue and white Dragon Pencil Cup is an easy and practical way to add style to your workspace.
Coasters - I always have a glass of water and sometimes a cup of coffee or tea on my desk. These monogrammed cork coasters are perfect for protecting surfaces and help prevent unwanted spills. They’re only $20 for a set of four which makes them a great hostess gift too!
Lidded Box - Although I will strive to touch a piece of paper only once there is one category that always seems to be in limbo and that’s receipts. This box is perfect for gathering them in one place. The goal will be to start fresh every month once my credit card bill has been reconciled and my expense reports completed. This is also a great catchall for things like eye glasses, medications, wallets or anything else valuable that you may want to keep handy but out of site.
Trinket Dish - I keep one of these on my desk with a few paper clips and rubber bands so that they are always at the ready. It’s great for jewelry too!
Something Living - Every room should have something living. My office doesn’t get a lot of light so plants don’t do well. A pretty and practical alternative is this preserved boxwood topiary. It’s made from real boxwood and preserved so it will last for years. The bonus is that I only have to “spritz” it every month or two versus weekly watering of a real plant!
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