As you can tell from these before photos, this was a disaster zone. To make sense of all the clutter and have this area sustain order, here are the steps I followed:
Step 1: Define the purpose of the desk.
By defining the purpose of the desk, you can determine what should really be happening here versus what is actually happening currently. For me, the purpose of this desk is to keep all the daily mail and quick-grab items easily accessible, including our charging station, bills and receipts, but also in a proper place to not run rampant. I also want the desk to stay mostly clear to allow for a place to write quick notes and/or a place for my husband to set up his laptop and work if necessary. For the cabinets above the desk, I want to have an easily accessible medicine cabinet as well as a place to house all the kitchen-specific baby items that we have no place for.
Step 2: Identify the problem areas.
Once you've determined the purpose of this area, it's time to get that notepad out and identify the problem areas.
- What is collecting that doesn't have a specific place?
- What do you want to be able to do in this space (reference the purpose above) that you currently cannot do?
This area is usually not a very big space, so try not to give it too many jobs. For me, I definitely need this space to:
- Function as a mail organizing space
- Have the desk be majority cleared in its natural state
- Allow us to grab items quickly that are needed day over day
- Be able to find a full deck of cards and be able to grab paper and a pen quickly
Identifying the problem areas is a good way to make sure you tackle them when you put the space back together.
Step 3: Focus on the purge.
There is no need for a junk drawer if you rid yourself of the useless junk. Here are my rules for purging this area:
- If it's weird and we have not used it in months, years, or since we've moved in, purge it.
I ended up with an entire grocery bag filled with nonsense that had no business being housed in my house. It was liberating to get rid of these weirdo items I was holding on to for literally no reason. And, the best part is I ended up with two full drawers that are completely empty.
- If it's an item we may need at some point, but don't really use very often, find a place somewhere else that these items can coexist together.
For instance, we had spare headphones, extension cords, random electronic chargers, and other parts to items that we don't use or look for often, so I created a bin in my office for all the misfits.
Step 4: Follow my decluttering and organizing checklist.
With having done these key items above, it's now time to follow my original decluttering and organizing checklist. Using this checklist will make working through your kitchen desk clutter much more efficient. To me, it's what I need to stay focused to go from beginning to end.
After following these steps, here is what my kitchen desk looks like now...