Share on Facebook

A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Attention, Perfectionists! 8 Clever Ways to Organize Everything at Your Desk

Let's be honest: Shuffling through that jumbled pile of papers is not the most productive use of your time.

1 / 7
01-keep-clever-ways-organize-desk-design-for-mankindCourtesy Laura Parke for Design for Mankind

Keep your pens in place

Even if you keep your pens, pencils, and Sharpies in their places with a pencil holder that has a designated spot for each writing utensil. The one pictured here even lets you post notes in the cork. Visit Design for Mankind to learn how to make one. Find out how science says to organize a productive cubicle.

2 / 7
02-sort-clever-ways-organize-desk-204-parkCourtesy 204 Park

Sort papers right away

Instead of piling castaway papers on top of a random pile, organize documents and mail right away. Even if it’s a matter of separating “hand off” from “read later,” a few labeled files will do wonders in keeping you organized so you don’t have to leaf through dozens of papers before finding the right one. Make them less intimidating by decorating them with a fun pattern, like these DIY magazine holders from 204 Park. (Here are more things clutter-free people do every day.)

3 / 7
03-hang-clever-ways-organize-desk-emily-henderson-tessa-neustadtCourtesy emily henderson and tessa neustadt

Hang up your paperwork

Rows of magazine files can hog up more than their fair share of desk area. Clear some space by organizing your papers in wall files instead. Keep things organized with big labels announcing what’s inside. Get the full instructions for the ones here from Emily Henderson, with photos by Tessa Neustadt. (Don’t miss these organizing tips you’ll wish you knew sooner.)

4 / 7

Contain clutter in trays

Do you find it impossible to actually follow through with your promises to put every item back in its place as soon as you’re done? Effortlessly cut the clutter by leaving a pretty tray on your desk. When it’s contained, your clutter will instantly look more intentional than it would strewn all over your workspace. Learn more about this setup from Living in Color Print.

5 / 7

Make use of bulletin boards

Framed photos add personality and give you something happy-making to look at, but they also take up quite a bit of precious workspace. Arrange your favorite photos and mementos on a bulletin board instead to keep your décor contained. Best of all, your sticky notes will look much better on a framed corkboard than they would scattered around your computer.

6 / 7
06-label-clever-ways-organize-desk-dabbles-babblesCourtesy Dabbles & Babbles

Label your cords

A jumbled mess of electronics plugged into your power cord can make it a puzzle to figure out which plug belongs to which device. Quit the guessing game by attaching labels to each one so you don’t accidentally unplug your whole computer when you were looking for the lamp. Find out more from Dabbles & Babbles. Check out these other ways label makers can help you organize.

7 / 7
07-think-clever-ways-organize-desk-its-overflowingCourtesy It's Overflowing

Think horizontal

Making a pyramid of pen jars will give you more space than you’d have if you stood each one upright. Glue together several Mason jars to keep everything separated and handy. Visit It’s Overflowing for the instructions.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.