Let's face it — when your workspace is cluttered, you feel unproductive and unmotivated. There's just too much stimulation around you to distract and disturb your concentration. Even if it's not about distraction, you still need a clean desk to save space and know where everything is.

So, whether you organize to relieve stress or to procrastinate other tasks, make sure you find the time within the day to clean up your workspace. Here are ten things you can do right now to organize your desk for a more productive day.

1. Maintain a permanent layout

According to Gotham Organizers, your monitor should be at eye-level and about 17 inches in front of you. You can really do this however you want but make sure your computer and frequently used items are in the same place on your desk everyday.

I put my laptop diagonally to the left of my desk and my agenda to the right — it's not the most efficient way but the layout works for me.

2. De-clutter useless things from your desk

Throw away anything that doesn't help you with productivity. Make a list of all the items on your desk and categorize them by importance. Trinkets from last Christmas? Stuffed animals from your bed? Throw them out or put them away.

It's alright to have one or two personal items like a framed picture or flowers, but too many objects will distract and overstimulate.

3. Store your supplies

Keep office supplies together either on top of your desk or in a drawer. Things you need everyday should go on top of your desk — preferably in a supplies organizer. Objects you don't need everyday can go in a drawer — maybe even in a drawer organizer.

4. Free up some free space

Not every inch of your desk needs to be covered — leave a sizeable amount of room for short term projects or important documents. This way, you won't be struggling to clear space every time a new item is introduced to your desk.

5. Organize storage containers with colors and labels

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Desk storage bins can be super helpful in organizing your life — just be sure to color code and label them as you see fit. You don't want to be rummaging around all your containers every time you need some blank paper.

Taking time to color code and label can also be a destressing and relaxing task — have fun with cute colors and shapes.

6. Prioritize your tasks

Having to deal with a lot of projects at once can overwhelm and stress you out. Use file holders to prioritize everyday tasks — have a section for urgent, important and non-urgent. This way, you can just pluck a task off the top and work your way to the bottom.

7. Divide your workspace

Does technology distract you? Do you often eat at one of your workspaces? Performing a leisurely task frequently in the same spot can lead to habits and association of that task with the corresponding space. That's why I can never work on my bed like most of my friends.

Instead, separate out your workspace. Designate one area as a technology-free zone or remember to never watch Netflix at your desk. Doing this will provide you with a sense of routine and stability.

8. Don't forget your virtual workspace

Your laptop can also be a source of distraction — organizing your virtual workspace will make you more motivated and less overwhelmed. Trash items on your desktop that you don't need. Delete old and useless files from your folders. Categorize work into different folders and utilize reminders and calendars to organize your life.

9. Put a small trash can near your workspace

A separate trash and recycling bin would work best, but beggars can't be choosers. Place a small wastebasket next to your desk — you won't have to get up every time to throw scrap paper away which can disrupt your workflow.

10. Organize your cables

I use cable clips to keep my chargers and wires in order. This can be very useful, especially if you have an extension cord under your desk. Wires are just prone to becoming tangled up with one another so you don't want to always be undoing them.


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Home garden and porch

As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.

Extensive Plants and Greenery

A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.

Lawn Care

As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.

Paved Pathways

There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.

Usable Outdoor Furniture

Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.

A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.

Unfortunately, giving back can sometimes go haywire. If you're ready to make a donation, first consider common mistakes made when giving back.

Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.

Acting Quickly Out of Emotion

Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.

Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.

Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation

Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.

If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.

Donating Unusable Materials

Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.

Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.

Strictly Giving at Year's End

As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.

With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.

Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.

The Age of Your House

Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.

The One-Percent Rule

An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.

The Square-Foot Rule

Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.

The Mix and Match Method

Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.

Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.