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How many of you sit at a desk for a large chunk of your day? Whether you work in an office, work from home or are a student, you sit at a desk for what feels like 90% of your life, am I right?
Do you ever look at your desk and wonder how the heck it got so messy? Where did all this clutter come from? Why is my hair dryer here? How did I forget to send out this piece of mail that was supposed to get sent out 6 months ago?
Fear not, friends. I’m with you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my desk and thought the exact same thing. But let me tell you a secret. It doesn’t have to be that way! With a few bucks and a little time, you can get your desk organized for a little workplace peace.
Today, I’m actually going to be showing you both my desk and my husband’s desk (his was a massive facelift because it basically sat and collected stuff for the past few months so I decided it needed to actually be used as a desk). I think you’ll find the differences here interesting! To be fair though, I do use my desk a fair amount more than my husband uses his so that’s why mine wasn’t super bad like his was!
The very best place to start with your desk organization is to start by decluttering. When I clean off any space, I like to do it in waves.
In the first wave, I’ll take anything off the desk that should not be there so, coffee mugs, hair brushes, camera parts, towels, etc. (yeah some weird stuff gets put on desks, am I right?).
In the second wave, I’ll get down to decluttering whatever should be on the desk. Throw away junk mail, sort through papers and file them or throw them away if need be, test pens to ensure they actually work, change your calendar over to the correct month (yeah it takes me at least a full week into a new month to change my desk calendar).
In the third wave, take literally everything off of your desk, including your computer if you’ve got a desktop like I do. After it’s cleared off, dust it (because when’s the last time you did that?) and wipe it down with an all purpose cleaner and a clean rag. (This Method All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaning Spray is my favorite to use. I love the honey crisp apple scent and also the ocean waves scent but you really can’t go wrong with any of them!)
In the fourth and final wave is to simply return everything back onto the desk. However, now that you’re starting with a fresh desk, you can put some organization systems into place:
If there is one thing you should have on your desk (in my opinion) it’s a desk organizer. The one I have on my desk I got from LTD Commodities like a year ago. While I couldn’t find it on their website, they do have other, really nice organizer options. This Black Desktop File Organizer from Amazon is really similar to the one I’ve got and I would highly recommend it. I love that it’s got the section in the back for files. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about them but now, I don’t know what I’d do without them! I use these to hold relevant papers in a file for work (interpreting), another file for blog stuff and finally, a file for mail/bills. I go through these files about once every two weeks to make sure things are still relevant and to make sure bills have gotten paid when they were supposed to. I will then file away anything that needs filed after it’s taken care of. On the bottom shelf in the front I keep church paperwork from the past year, in the middle I keep blank lined paper, notebooks, sticky notes and notepads and on the top I hold my pencil cup and a decorative N (though in the winter that gets swapped out for a box of tissues haha). If you’ve got an organizer that will allow for at least a small file system like the one I talked about, you’re in good shape. As a side note, you could also absolutely get away with the really simple desk organizers that the Dollar Tree has like the paper trays and upright magazine holders (is that what they’re actually called?). Do whatever works for you and whatever fits your budget. You definitely do NOT have to go out and spend a lot of money for your desk to stay organized!
Next is easily the most dreaded task: cleaning out and organizing the drawers. My desk only has tiny drawers and so one would think that the less space, the less junk, right? Yeah I wish that’s how it worked. However, somehow, even my tiny drawers can end up cluttered and unorganized.
So, my best tip here is to really decide what needs to be in your drawers. Drawers, in my opinion are meant for things that are desk-related and relevant but things that can be out of the way because they don’t get used very often. These are things like tape, a stapler, scissors, paper clips, and an endless amount of other desk-y, office-y things. For those small office supplies like paper clips and rubber bands, I really love the plastic organizers from the Dollar Tree. They are absolutely perfect for wrangling those small little bits and bobs that could otherwise get very lost in the sea of larger office objects. I know that I can’t be the only one that’s just got a pile of like a million and one pens and pencils just sitting in a drawer. For these, a very simple little zipper pouch pencil case from the Dollar Tree is just perfect for the task of keeping them together and neatly tucked away. (You could even get really fancy here and get a different pouch for pens, one for pencils, one for highlighters…you could have a separate one each for anything and everything that writes haha!)
Now that we’ve got everything cleaned and organized, we can move onto some of the more exciting aspects of desk essentials. Some extras that I really love (and at this point can’t live without) to have on my desk are as follows: a candle, coasters (yes that’s plural because you’ve gotta keep hydrated, man), a photo (the one I have is of the hubs but I’ve seriously considered swapping him out for the dog), and some inspirational quotes taped up all around me, at eye level.
That’s literally all you guys! I know this may seem like a lot, and even more so if you’ve got a really cluttered or messy desk but I promise you, when you work in waves like I’ve described, you’ll be amazed at how easy it really can be!
What are some of your favorite things to have at your desk? How do you keep your desk nice, neat and organized?