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It's Clean Off Your Desk Day | We're Hiring | What's in Store for 2024? | Looking for a Speaker?

It's Clean Off Your Desk Day | We're Hiring | What's in Store for 2024? | Looking for a Speaker?

Monday, 8 January 2024‍



I‍t's "Clean off Your Desk Day!" 


January is full of many "organizing holidays."


Seems fitting since January is also National "Get Organized and Be More Productive" Month.


Which one will help you achieve your goals in 2024?


January 8th:  National Clean Off Your Desk Day


January 14th:  Organize Your Home Day


Week of January 22nd:  Clean out Your Inbox Week


January:  National Clean Up Your Computer Month


January:  National Clean Out Your Closets Month



Have you heard the phrase Clear Space = Clear Mind?


I believe this phrase relates to how you work at your desk, or whatever work space you work at. I know that I personally find it very distracting to work at a desk that is covered in paper or stuff; I like to see the color of my desk. What color is your desk? If you can't see your work surface, take advantage of Clean off Your Desk Day and see how it helps you feel more calm, proactive, in control and organized. Hopefully these tips below will not take too much time; just know that any time you invest will give you more in benefits of working with a clear mind vs. working on a cluttered desk.


Tips to clean off your desk:


1.  Remove "almost" everything from your work surface onto a folding table or the floor - whichever is easier.  The reason you don't need to remove it all is because there will still be things on your desk you will use every day; like your phone, keyboard, mouse, speakers, headset, etc...those can remain on your desk.  By removing everything else, your desk has to earn the right to have things placed back on the work surface.


2.  When removing items from your desk, try to divide items into three categories:  a) paper, b) stuff, c) dishes (yes, I've seen lots of desk with coffee mugs that never make their way to the kitchen).


3.  Start with the "easy" items - get the dishes to the kitchen and clean them.  Make it a habit in the new year to remove dishes daily.


4.  Next, tackle the "stuff" - what is the stuff? That could be anything that isn't paper; for example, extra office supplies (how many pens can you write with at one time?), decor, pictures, electronics, medicine, knick knacks you picked up at a conference or trade show (you know all that free 'logo'd' items you though you'd need), and whatever else is lying around that needs a new home. Decide what really needs to live on your desk that will not be super distracting. Put back ONLY the stuff you need access to on a "daily" basis and find a home for the rest; whether the home is the trash can, recycling bin or other location in your office. Return extra office supplies to the area where they are kept in your office - if you don't have one, make an area. If there is a lot of "stuff" this may turn into a larger office organizing project you might need to work on at a later date. 


5.  Paper may be the most time-consuming item you removed from your desk. There is a way to quickly sort through this as well. Sort paper into the following stacks:  project work, to-do/action items, follow up/pending items, personal papers, bills, cards/letters, sticky notes, random notes you took and any other category you may find on your desk. Doing a "macro" sort first will quickly let you see what your categories are and break it down into more manageable, smaller piles you can quickly work on. You could approach paper one of two ways:  a) do the easy stuff first and get it out of the way so you can quickly see progress or b) tackle the harder stuff or most time-sensitive items and get that into a new system that will work for you. 

After working with clients for over 20 years on organizing their paperwork, I know it's not easy, can be time-consuming and there is no right or wrong way to create a system; rather it's about what works for you and what you will maintain going forward.  Maybe a lot of your paperwork needs to be round-filed, recycled, shred or scanned - you might be surprised what you find.


I've written past articles on "how to organize" paper, or you can watch this video.


6.  Once you've scrutinized everything you've removed from your desk, you can begin to find new homes and/or systems so stuff does not pile up in 2024. 


If you've read this far, great - you're on your way to a more organized work space.


You see that picture above? This is my desk.


Does it always look this way? NO!


But that is what I strive for each day; putting only the things on my desk for the day that I work on, and clearing it off at the end of the day and putting the other items into the systems I've already established.


What you don't see is a similar desk that is "behind" me that many of my "ongoing projects" sit on - that I can turn around at my desk and work on them.


And if you look really close, you will see my Daily Action Center underneath my desk that keeps many of the other paper files I need access to on a regular basis - quickly at my fingertips.



Here are some additional resources if you want to focus on the other holidays I listed at the top of this article:


Organize Your Home Day:  Check out this playlist on our YouTube Channel that covers our unique 10-Step process as documented in Laura's book:  Eliminate Chaos:  The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life.


Clean out Your Inbox Week:  Check out this video to hear how to Organize Your Outlook Inbox.  Or you could watch this video that shows Laura's Inbox.


National Clean Up Your Computer Month:  There are several Outlook videos on Laura's "Outlook" YouTube play list that you can watch here.


National Clean Out Your Closets Month:  Refer to my November 2023 newsletter where I covered this topic. If you need a copy, respond to this e-mail and I will send you a copy.




Wishing you sustainable organization and purposeful productivity.


Laura Leist



What's in Store in 2024?

Whether you a moving, remodeling, downsizing, or just want to get your house organized, our team of Specialists can provide their expertise to all of these projects.


Here's a short list of all the ways we can work with you:


Work with you to downsize BEFORE you move - so you don't pay to pack and move things you won't use at your new home.


Pack your home if you are moving, remodeling or building a new home. We can also recommend our trusted movers that we coordinate with to ensure your move project is stress-free and you don't have to meet with multiple movers.


Unpack and organize your home AFTER you move, including setting up your electronics, and hanging pictures.


Project manage your move, or just help you create a plan.


Organize any room in your home; including your garage or storage units.


Organize your paper files to create a system that "works" for you.


Get your passwords and other vital information organized and secure - your family will thank you for this one day.


Design and install ELFA from the Container Store (which is on sale for 30% off until mid-February 2024). 


Our It Specialist, Rob, can work with you to:  poor Wi-Fi performance, solve spam/junk mail problems, computer backups, e-mail/domain configuration, computer hardware recommendations, network printer setup, password management/computer security issues, VOIP phone systems and more.


Call our office at 425-670-2551 for more information or to scehdule time with our amazing team.  We look forward to helping you achieve your goals in 2024.

We're Hiring!


We are looking for a few new team members.


Organizing Specialist (must be a problem solver, an excellent listener, have an eye for design, posses amazing organizing skills and have excellent computer skills.)


Move Project Manager (must have at least 5 years of proven project management experience) 


Office Assistant (must be extremely detail oriented, tech savvy and have advanced Microsoft Office skills, on a PC.)


If you are interested in one of these positions - email your resume and cover letter as to why you are a good fit for our team to:

[email protected].


If you know someone that may be interested in one of these positions, please forward this e-mail to them.

Looking for an Engaging Speaker for Your Meeting or Conference?



There are a variety of topics Laura speaks on; at a high level the topics are below, but if you click HERE, you will find very detailed descriptions.


Office Organization


Home Organization and Downsizing

Microsoft Outlook


Microsoft OneNote


Productivity Topics


For more information, visit Laura's Speaking/Training/Coaching Website HERE.  (Note: this link takes you to a different website.)


Call our office at 425-670-2551 or e-mail me for additional information and a quote.  

Whether you desire to live more organized at home, need to be more productive at work, or are planning an upcoming local or cross-country move; our team of Organizing Specialists will listen compassionately and deliver systems, professional advice and customized organization and productivity solutions that really work. Best of all, you will be able to maintain them easily and seamlessly. You can breathe a sigh of relief as you put into practice systems created just for you that deliver practical, priceless and life changing benefits.

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Prepared for: | Newsletter 92 | January 2024

‍© 2024 Eliminate Chaos LLC. 
You may reprint this article in its entirety with the following credit:
© 2024 Eliminate Chaos - Reprinted with permission from Laura Leist of Eliminate Chaos.