Organizing your desk is an art. It’s expressive, personal, chaotic, but always rewarding. Almost anyone who has a dedicated desk for work will tell you it becomes a living organism, evolving over time to whatever form it feels like – sometimes out of your control.

Which is why it’s important to keep the chaos in check. After all, this is supposed to be an organized workspace that aids in your productivity, not hamper it.

Today, I’m sharing a few tips and ideas on how to organize your work desk, thus making room for your tools and keeping it visually pleasing in the process. Most of these are pretty straightforward tips for organizing your work desk so let’s get to it!

“Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way." – Charles Bukowski

Use separators

Separators are saviors! Source: HGTV
Separators are saviors! Source: HGTV

We all know a drawer without separators is a recipe for chaos, but we all have that one messy drawer where anything and everything goes. And sure, maybe you don’t need a separator like this for every single drawer in the house, but for your desk? It really makes a difference.

Take inventory on the things you want to keep inside the drawer and get separators that match their size. You can also DIY your own organizers with small containers, PVC, cardboard, and even cereal boxes.

You can also have a desk organizer on top of your desk if you use certain things really often, but for the drawer it’s super useful to rely on these separators to make sure your stuff is in the right place, easy to find, and always organized.

Keep it minimal

You might want to be diligent with what you bring to the table… literally.

It’s easy to get carried away with stuff you think might be useful someday, or stuff that just looks nice, and last thing you know your desk is cramped and hard to manage, leaving you little room to breath.

I’m not suggesting you can’t decorate your desk, by the way, of course you can! But always make a conscious effort to keep it minimal. That way, you have space to decorate AND to work.

A lot of that has to do with avoiding clutter… and speaking of which:

Avoid clutter!

OK, you might be thinking this is kind of a no-brainer. Yeah, of course you should avoid clutter, right?

I’m bringing special attention to it because, like I said, our work desks basically have a life of their own. If you turn away for two seconds nothing is how you left it and you have no idea where to begin organizing it, it’s crazy.

So, one way to prevent that is to keep things in their proper place (which many of the topics in this article will help) and avoid unnecessary clutter.

The thing is, keeping your stuff organized is one part of the job. The other is to prevent useless stuff from gathering around your desk. Keep books, plates, documents – anything that can be stored away or isn’t immediately useful should have its place somewhere else. And it can be nearby, on a shelf or organizer, just not cluttering your desk.

Keep a shelf or caddy nearby

A caddy is perfect for keeping beside your desk. Source: Apartment Therapy
A caddy is perfect for keeping beside your desk. Source: Apartment Therapy

OK, so your desk has to be clean but you still need a whole bunch of tools to be available, whether for exercising your hobby or for work. What to do?

Well, the best way is to have either a shelf or a caddy right beside your desk. There you’re free to store anything that you need within hands reach without cluttering your desk beyond salvation.

In this case, installing a floating shelf might come in handy if you’re low on space, but a caddy has the benefit of being easy to move around if you’re looking for a non-permanent solution. Use the same tips for containers and separators if needed to keep if organized as well!

Use a pegboard or pinboard

A pegboard is awesome for organization. Source: Good Housekeeping
A pegboard is awesome for organization. Source: Good Housekeeping

A pinboard or pegboard is perfect if you don’t have a lot of space to work with. It’s easy to customize by adding tons of compartments and containers for useful tools, decoration, and even organization tidbits like notes and reminders.

And all of that without it touching your desk!

DIY desk organizer

Make your own desk organizer! Source: The Crafted Maker
Make your own desk organizer! Source: The Crafted Maker

For your pens, pencils and paper clips, you might find a desk organizer quite useful so you don’t have to constantly reach inside your drawer. You can easily find one of these for sale pretty much anywhere, but you can also make one yourself with very few materials.

The one above is just one example: take small planks of wood and glue them together forming a square. Then spray paint the whole thing for a nice look!

Hide your wires

A famous and very useful lifehack. Source: Wonderful DIY
A famous and very useful lifehack. Source: Wonderful DIY

Probably one of my favorite organization ideas out there. We’re having a lot more wireless stuff nowadays but we won’t be free of cables anytime soon and they can really, really clutter up your desk. Not to mention when they get tangled either between themselves or with your things. Yikes.

Simply attach some binder clips to the side of your desk and use them to hang your cables. Makes it much easier to find them, but also to prevent them from creating a mess whenever you don’t need them right away.

Liked the idea of getting yourself a floating shelf? Get free quotes from a local carpenter and start a new project!


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