The Minimalist trend has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years, and for good reason too. It looks nice plus it’s cheap to maintain. It’s been adopted by many celebrities and influencers alike, most famously by guru Marie Kondo. While most of us can’t go all out on the minimalist living, there are smaller variations of the concept that can be applied to small installations much like your work space. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep that desk clean and neat. 

1. Reduce

Easily, the best way to make your workspace neater is to just get rid of all the junk on your desk. Yes, that includes all the ketchup and sugar packets you took from that last pizza delivery you had. The most common culprit in a cumbersome work space are paper wastes, this is why a lot of companies are transitioning to paperless environments. But if you haven’t adapted this style yet, then the most common tendency is to hold on to a lot of items because you don’t know when you’d be needing them.

Don’t be afraid to throw stuff out. If you don’t need it now, you wouldn’t be needing it in the future too. 


We suggest you get a stacked paper organizer, categorize all your on-desk files into 2 categories, put things you will definitely need on the top level and then put papers you think you might need in the bottom rungs. Now check on your activity. If you haven’t pulled out anything from your second stash, then it’s time for you to toss them.

Still unconfident? Scan them into your computer, then throw it out, in case of a really, really, rainy day. 

2. If you think you have enough, then you probably do 

We are guessing you have 50 different colored pens stashed in your drawer somewhere. We’ll take a second guess: you probably haven’t used 70% of them beyond three words. 

Here’s the thing about having excess: you always waste two things, the item’s worth and it’s value. You lose both your money and in extension, the items’ function (had it been used by someone else) if it stays stowed away for a long time. 

Here’s our suggestion, put ALL your items on display so you know your limit and you don’t go beyond it. If you have a regular sized pen holder, remind yourself that you only have that (and no, don’t buy a bigger one) and stick to keeping at least 75% of that free. 

Pro tip: if you can not pull your items out  from any of your organizers because of crowding, then it’s time to throw some items out. 

 Remind yourself. Subtly.

3. Organizers are your best friend 

 This is probably a no-brainer. This way, you can stack things vertically instead of just horizontally. 

Pro-tip: get ones that are multi-functional. This one right here has a rack for papers, a small drawer for small trinkets and a file organizer.

4. Digital is the best way to go 

Keep your photos, notes and all other trivial items safe and preserved in digital mode. It’s always good to keep your desk free from things that might fall out from your space. Innovation has taken us so far and it’d be a shame to not maximize it. 

But if you feel more comfortable and sentimental with the standard post-its and framed photos, then designate a set area for these and avoid going beyond it. Again, the minimalist lifestyle is about keeping only the essentials and maintaining that. 

   Don’t be afraid to chuck it all out. 

5. Essentials only. 

Generally, an essential item is: 

 – something you don’t already have 

 – something you need immediately and something you’ll be needing long-term 

– necessary to your life or lifestyle. 

Now this tip is a bit hard to implement but the trick is to find the middle ground of your wants and needs. If your internal slider leans towards the want side then it’s time to rethink if that purchase will fit the minimalist lifestyle you desire. It becomes even harder if you have the I Need This mentality which is basically an internal voice that tells you that everything you want is also a need. 

That voice sounds something like this: 

“You have the money for it, go buy it”

“You deserve that. Go get it” 

“You can use this when <an unlikely event> happens” 

While these statements could be true, this thinking is the primary culprit to over purchasing. Again, you need to be careful about allowing yourself to give in to these thoughts all the time. Find a healthy balance between spoiling and limiting yourself. Buy only when necessary. Trust us, your savings account will love it too.