Dealing with desktop clutter is often a three step process. It begins with identifying the items you can eliminate on your desktop, creating a type of organizational system, and then finally sticking to that organizational system when new items come in. Of course, desktop clutter can refer to two different things: physical clutter on your workspace or desk, as well as virtual clutter on your computer desktop.
Dealing with virtual desktop clutter is often much easier than dealing with actual desktop clutter. To begin, go through all the icons on your computer desktop and consider the ones you actually use; chances are, you don't use all of them. Delete the icons you don't regularly use. You are not deleting the programs, just the desktop shortcuts, and you can always access the programs through the menus if you need to.
Then, create a system of folders to organize any documents that litter the desktop. For instance, if you are working on a specific project for work, place all the files for that project in one folder. Before long, you will have eliminated all unnecessary icons on the desktop, and it will be much easier to find what you are looking for.
Then, you can begin to deal with the physical clutter in your workspace. The first step is to go through everything on your desk and throw away anything that is unnecessary. Remember to shred documents with any personal information on them.
Next, consider which items on your desk are contributing to desktop clutter that you actually need. You may decide to purchase a bin or small storage box for the top of your desk. These allow you to keep all your important papers in one place, while separating and dividing them to prevent them from becoming lost or buried. Desktop organizational systems often include a number of different dividers, such as for incoming documents, outgoing documents, or mail, to name a few.
Consider a cord organizer to streamline any cords from electronics such as a computer, cell phone, camera, or other types of devices. In addition, sometimes pictures and knick-knacks can contribute to desktop clutter, so determine whether you actually enjoy looking at everything on your desk, or if you can get rid of a few things, or even just relocate them to somewhere else. Finally, do not let people simply drop things off on your desk and leave them; if people hand documents to you personally, they will be less likely to get lost in the shuffle and create more desktop clutter.