It’s that time of year… Time to clean out, tidy up, and get organized. As I shared in my New Year’s post, I’m trying not to be efficiency-obsessed, but I don’t want to be inefficient either, so a little desk organization was definitely called for.
I know everyone’s work space is different, but I do think there a few simple steps that will work for most desk areas. For the record, mine is right inside my front door, so I’ve got extra pressure to keep it neat!
Despite that, the drawers (and really the entire space!) had seriously gotten out of control.
So step 1: empty everything and create three piles: keep, move, and trash.
Normally when I purge, I have keep, giveaway, and trash… but my desk had become a dumping ground for things that belonged elsewhere in the house (and really, no one wanted my half used office supplies), so I changed it up a bit this time. Anyway, once that was done, I was ready to make it functional again. Here are the 7 things I think help every desk area stay neat and functional:
Subdividers for your drawers. A silverware tray or tupperware or a true desk organizer works great, too. I opted to use some vintage silver pieces because I already had them (which means free… thank you, Nana!) and because I think they’re pretty. I tend to keep things better organized when they’re nice to look at. 😉 Whatever you use, find a place for each office supply so they have a spot.
A good lamp. I love this lamp. It’s not only my favorite to look at, but it’s just the right size and shape. It shines down onto the desk and not into my eyes, it provides excellent light onto my work space because it’s not filtered by a shade, and it doesn’t take up too much space. (I got it at Homegoods several years ago, by the way).
A cute pencil cup. It’s probably the former teacher in me, but I need pencils/pens accessible on my desk. I don’t want to dig into a drawer for one. I use this mug to hold mine… Find something you love for yours.
A file holder. If you have a drawer for files, great. Obviously, my desk has very little drawer space, so I made my own file space (see here for more details).
A place for larger items. External hard drives, a hole punch, a book or two, Bible studies, clip boards… It all adds up pretty fast. I keep an extra basket (and I prefer an open top one so I can’t let the clutter build up in there too much) for those items.
Pretty office supplies. I love my stapler and my scissors. Insert eye roll, I know. But really, they work so well, and remember how my desk is in my living room? Having pretty office supplies helps me feel like I don’t have to hide them all the time.
Easy access to your calendar. If you are a computer only planner, great. You’re already set. But if you’re like me and need to write things down, having access to your calendar is key. I got a beautiful planner from my mother for Christmas this year, and it’s perfect because it’s not too big (doesn’t eat up all my desk space) and it’s pretty enough to leave it out.
And one more tip: keep the decorative items to a minimum. You can see my candle (sometimes we need ambiance when working, right?) and my little bowl of pinecones (which, I confess, are left over from Christmas decor… they’ll probably be put away in a month or so). That’s about it. I try to keep my desk clear so I have room to work. And most of all, I try to have a place for everything so I can put it away when I’m finished.
I hope this helps you in some way! If you have a favorite desk organization tip, feel free to leave it in the comments. Happy organizing, friends.
desk: El Paso Import Co (several years ago) | lamp: Homegoods (several years ago) | pencil cup | scissors | stapler | chair (similar) | throw | round mirror | ottoman| rug
antiques/vintage: trunk, magazine holder, silver dishes
MORE ORGANIZING IDEAS:
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