A big part of your life is spent in just a few square feet of space: your desk.
And that space is bound to accumulate clutter. That is natural - the places where you spend a lot of time are where the many pieces of your life will come together. That means everything from important paperwork to granola bar wrappers you keep forgetting to throw away.
A good desk organizer can keep your workspace tidy and productive, and it can turn your workspace into something that feels easy to keep clean and organized.
Remember, success isn't about changing who you are. You are not magically going to turn into an organized person over night, if you're someone who is currently drowning in clutter.
Instead, success is about getting the right tools in place to support your goals.
A few things to consider before you delve into shopping for accessories that will help get your desk in order:
- What kind of workspace suits you best? Some of us are more suited to minimal work environments, with as few visual distractions on the desktop as possible. But for others, the desk is a place of creativity, where keeping different tools in reach is a must.
- What wastes your time most, right now? You want organization tools that solve your actual problems. If you're constantly losing time to digging around in your drawers for scissors, get a drawer organizer. If visual clutter makes it hard for you to think, get a desktop organizer that can contain the chaos.
- What do you want to accomplish? No two jobs are the same, so no two desk setups should be either. Take some time to figure out your work priorities and how your workspace plays into that. A place where you feel inspired and comfortable is as important as a place that helps you focus and dive into the work.
Once you’ve thought through your workspace and what works best for your style of productivity, consider how to incorporate these tips and recommendations into a space as unique as you and your goals.
Find a way to tidy your paperwork
Desks are a natural dumping ground for paperwork. Sticky notes, reports, mail. It all seems to end up in a pile, even when you swear you won’t let it happen.
The best way to stay on top of it all is with a designated place for that accumulation. It’s easy for junk to become entangled with really important documents when it all ends up in the same pile, and that is a recipe for disaster.
Instead, keep a paper tray nearby where you can keep more important documents. Adding folders to that tray can level up your organization, so you know exactly where that utility bill went without having to thumb through pages of an old hardcopy of a presentation.
Another way to keep all of the paper at bay — especially the sticky notes and daily reminders — is to commit to streamlined systems and notepads that actually help you throughout the day. A Dashboard Deskpad can keep the busiest of people in order with several focus areas and the ability to track daily tasks.
Trying to keep track of research or a big project? There’s a notepad for that, too.
And for those who need a schedule reminder throughout the day, try a Daily Task Pad. It’ll help you start the day on the right foot and prevent you from piling up to-do notes.
Manage your cords
Nothing is quite as frustrating as delving into a project, paper, or important email and feeling the computer charger cord wrap around your feet under the desk. Fortunately, there’s a way to avoid that - and it will make your desk look instantly more organized and professional too.
Cord ties are a great desk accessory, whether you need to keep chargers out of the way or keep smaller items, like headphones, orderly when they aren’t being used. Pick up a pack (or two) and use them a handful of different ways.
Using multiple colors is especially helpful if you’ve got a lot of cords, so you won’t have to spend too much time figuring out which is which when you need one.
Keep your essentials within reach
Minimalism is great until it’s not. It may seem like a great plan to keep folders, pens and other office supplies stuffed into drawers, but some of those tools you end up reaching for more than you realize. A notebook. A highlighter. Chapstick.
Things that you find yourself frequently needing throughout the workday should be kept on top of your desk and within reach.
Having items on your desk doesn’t automatically mean that there’s clutter - in fact, having those items out and organized will likely actually prevent you prevent from making a bigger mess from digging things out throughout the day.
Instead, opt for a tidy stack of books with a pretty bookend. And for smaller items or writing utensils, a stackable pen organizer keeps everything neat and contained nearby.
Consider a whiteboard
If you think whiteboard doesn’t sound like it’d do much for desk organization, think again! It can easily replace all of those sticky notes you write throughout the day while keeping you on top of all of the tasks that come your way.
Instead of spending time sorting through those notes each day (which can be a sizable task itself), you can simply check lists off as you go or erase items as they become irrelevant.
Make it personal
Being organized doesn’t have to be boring! You can easily adapt it to your own personal style. After all, you’re more likely to be productive in a space where you feel comfortable.
The goal should be to keep your desk as a place you want to work.Adding colored accessories can really help cultivate a mood. White is fresh and airy (though too much can make things feel a little sterile). Earth tones and greens promote calmness. If you work in a stressful environment, you might want to incorporate those. The same goes for blue, which has been proven to give a sense of peacefulness while also promoting productivity.