Quick Desk Organization Tips

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.

what a lovely desk - great tips for a functional and beautiful office space | maisondepax.com

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!

lovely neutral living room with an office area on one wall | maisondepax.com

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.

great tips for purging and tidying up your desk space | maisondepax.com

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.

tip for functional desk storage: use small containers like this vintage silver to subdivide your drawers | maisondepax.com

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).

gorgeous lamp! A good lamp is key to having a functional desk space | maisondepax.com

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.

what a lovely desk - great tips for a functional and beautiful office space | maisondepax.com

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).

tip: use a magazine holder with file folders for additional desk organization... click through for more great functional desk ideas | maisondepax.com

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.

tip: use a magazine holder with file folders for additional desk organization... click through for more great functional desk ideas | maisondepax.com

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.

love the gold office supplies! great tips for a functional and beautiful desk space | maisondepax.com

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.

lovely desk space with simple planner

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.

what a lovely desk - great tips for a functional and beautiful office space | maisondepax.com

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. :)

Sources:
desk: El Paso Import Co (several years ago) | lamp: Homegoods (several years ago) | pencil cup | scissors | stapler | chair (similar) | throw | round mirrorottoman| rug
antiques/vintage: trunk, magazine holder, silver dishes

pin it image

tip: use a magazine holder with file folders for additional desk organization... click through for more great functional desk ideas | maisondepax.com

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MORE ORGANIZING IDEAS:

I love this laundry room! 10+ Tips for Creating a {multi} Functional Laundry and Mud Room | maisondepax.com

Great functional suggestions for organized bookcases and storage | maisondepax.com #organization #declutter

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Comments

  1. Love, love, love the desk in your pictures today..what can you tell me about it? Did you salvage it, build it, what?

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      You are so sweet, Nancy. Thank you! Mr Pax actually bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago. He got it at a store in Houston called El Paso import company. They actually sell some pieces online here. I hope this helps!

  2. That’s a beautiful desk…and great tips! I can’t focus without a clean and organized desk!

  3. Marlene Stephenson says:

    I love your desk and it seems like you told us one time where it came from but, where did it come from? Thanks Rachel for this desk organizing tip.

  4. I love your desk. And the fact that you can easily keep it neat is great. Like your file system too. I am in favor of using things in an out of the ordinary or not for their original use. Those little silver dishes do the trick. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I adore that lamp! But those scissors? Serious crush! After the holidays, just understated seems so refreshing.

  6. These tips are fantastic, I definitely need to utilize them in my home! Thanks :) #MoonlightandMasonJarsLinkParty

  7. I am so in love with that desk! I checked the website and they have nothing like that now. If you ever want to get rid of it just say the word 😉

  8. Oh how I desperately need your help! It all looks lovely, clean and organized. My problem is paperwork . . . Just can’t stay on top of it.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      I’m looking at a pile right now! I just have to force myself to deal with it on a (fairly!) regular basis. Ugh. 😉

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