How to Organize Your Desk: 9 Quick Tips

how to organize your desk

Photo by Flickr user Oyvind Solstad.

A desk is most often used as a working space, which makes it an important fixture in the home. You don’t want to deal with a cluttered and disorganized work area. Nor do you want to be embarrassed by a part of your home that is less than tidy.

Organizing your desk isn’t a very challenging task, but it does take a certain amount of brainpower and planning. Are you ready to get started?

How to Organize Your Desk: 9 Quick Tips

new desk start fresh clean slate

Photo by Flickr user Anna Majkowska.

1. Start Fresh

Before you even think about organizing anything, you’ll need a clean slate. Take everything off the top of the desk and out of the drawers. Don’t worry about the chaos this might create, as the process of organizing shouldn’t take much time. Before too long, your room will be back in order again.

clean up your desk

Photo by Flickr user Satish Krishnamurthy.

2. Clean It Up

Messes are a natural part of life. Over time, your desk may have experienced its share of spills, crumbs, stains, and stray hairs, and dirt and dust have been accumulating everywhere you look. Spend some time washing and dusting your desk to restore it to its original spick-and-span state.

throw it away

Photo by Flickr user Lara604.

3. Throw It Away

Now you can start sorting through the piles of clutter you removed. First, dispose of what you can. This means things like memos and fliers from dates long past, any other papers you don’t need, pens that no longer work, pieces of trash, and anything that’s broken.

put it away

Photo by Flickr user Orin Zebest.

4. Move It Elsewhere

While digging through your things, you may find items that belong in other rooms of the house. They don’t need to be stored in or around your desk, so they should be moved. Stack dirty dishes and bring them to the kitchen to be washed. Gather children’s toys and deposit them in their bedrooms. Put clothes you’ve worn in the laundry and clean ones in closets or dresser drawers.

group like items

Photo by Flickr user Simon Cocks.

5. Group Like Items

You may have several pens or quite the paperclip collection. Keep these things together so when you store them they will all be in one location, instead of haphazardly stashing them places where they will end up lost again.

desk caddy

Photo by Flickr user Wicker Paradise.

6. Know Your Priorities

Have a general idea of what you use most frequently and what is of lesser importance. For example, a calendar isn’t necessary to have around if you keep track of events through an online schedule.

Your priorities chiefly depend on the function of your desk. Do you run your own business from home? Do you use it for sketching or doing craft projects? Are you a professional photographer that spends a lot of time organizing images? Know what makes sense for your individual needs.

keys phone important items first

Photo by Flickr user Jennifer Peyton.

7. Important Items First

Put away high priority items before anything else. These things should be on the surface of your desk or in the top drawer for quicker access. Also, it may be handy to create a drop spot for your cell phone, keys, wallet, and other things you carry in your pockets.

create an organizational system

Photo by Flickr user Dennis Hamilton.

8. Create a System

For everything else, implement an organizational system you will follow. Store most gadgets and cords out of sight, corral loose papers, and clearly label file folders or trays. Make it logical, efficient, and easy to remember.

don't forget decorations

Photo by Flickr user Kevin Tostado.

9. Don’t Forget Decorations

It’s okay to have a few personal touches, such as family photographs, pieces of artwork, and small trinkets. Use these sparingly though, as you don’t want your desk to start looking cluttered again.


What do you use your desk for? What do you think is the hardest step in organizing your desk? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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