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Want to get organized? Start with your desk.

What's wrong with most desks?

Let's start with all those stacks of paper rising up to the ceiling.

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And it's probably time to get rid of last month's newspapers that are still hanging around.

"People love piles - piles give them security," says productivity guru Jeff Mayer, who has been cleaning up people's desks for the past 15 years.

Most people leave things on their desk to remind them of work they still have to do.

Try writing it down instead.

Most people can throw out 60 percent of what's sitting on top of their desk, and 80 percent of what's inside, says Mr. Mayer, whose license plate reads "Mr. Neat."

"I open some people's desk drawers and you'd think they were running a museum," he says. "They have papers five years old stashed away."

And don't forget to clear away those post-it notes stuck on your computer terminal. Most probably contain information that you rarely use.

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The only way to organize your desk is to start sorting through every piece of paper.

You have three options: To put the paper in your to-do pile and write it on your to-do list, file it away, or throw it out.

"And don't make a copy before you throw it out," Mayer quips.

Don't laugh. People do.

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