How to Clean Up Clutter Quickly

When someone stops by unexpectedly, you might need to clean up in a hurry. Get-It-Done Guy tells you how.

Stever Robbins
1-minute read

How to Clean Up Clutter Quickly

Every now and then, we need to straighten up for when our bosses, colleagues, clients, parents, houseguests, or debt collectors come to visit. After all, they’re always judging. The problem is that if you normally keep things in plain sight to remind yourself to deal with them, your office looks more like a Jackson Pollock painting than a Martha Stewart fold-out pinup.

When you need to make things look nice quickly, grab a handy box. Take that top-of-desk clutter and toss it into the box. Close the box and put it away in the closet or someplace out of sight.

The problem, of course, is that out of sight can mean out of mind. So add a to-do item to your task list: “Retrieve box hidden beneath the stack of Proceedings of the ASM in utility closet #3 and retrieve the contents.” Now you have the best of both worlds: a clean desk when necessary, but a guarantee (since you have an excellent task management system, right?) that you’ll recover the stuff you shoved away and deal with it properly when needed.

For more tips on quickly organizing and cleaning your space, check out my episode on organizing and cleaning quickly.

Box of items from Shutterstock

About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.