14 Tips to organize your work desk

work desk organization tips

Share it

You must organize your work desk or your workspace at home to be productive, organized, and efficient. Organizing your work desk is key to a productive workday. A clean and organized desk keeps you focused, motivated, and creative. Whether you are working at an office, working from home, or are a student you must have an organized workspace to help you be efficient. If you’re like most people and your desk is a disaster, keep reading to know how to set up an organized work desk.

I have been working from the office for 8 years and have moved from a cubicle to a separate cabin during this period and Covid made me work from home for 2 years. So, I have worked in a variety of workspaces and have got good at work desk organization. I have always felt overwhelmed on days my desk is not organized. An organized workspace brings a sense of calmness. I like to keep things essential and in this post, I am sharing with you tips to organize your desk that I have found effective and will make workspace organization easy for you.

Let’s dive deep into organizing your desk.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Why you should organize your work desk?

It is often said clean desk, and a clear mind and I find it true. Here are some benefits of having an organized desk to motivate you to go from a messy desk to an organized work desk.

1. You save time

When your desk is organized you do not waste time searching for things and while working you can easily access the thing without breaking your thought flow.

2. You are less distracted

When your desk is cluttered you can easily get distracted and will not be able to focus well at work

3. You have a professional appearance

A clean and organized desk brings a professional aesthetic.  

4. You are not overwhelmed

The mess at your desk can make work more overwhelming, you find it difficult to find things and this creates chaos that may make even simple work more daunting.

5. You have better hygiene

When your work desk is a disaster and not clean you are surrounded by many bacteria, according to WebMD, there are more than 10 million bacteria on a typical office desk — 400 times more bacteria than found on the average toilet seat. You are putting your health at risk too. So, being organized get take you a long way.

I have written a post on How to be organized at work, make sure to read it to be better organized and productive at work. But in this post, we are specifically discussing work desk organization.

14 tips to organize your workspace

If your work desk is all over the place here are tips to organize your workspace or your work desk.

14 tips to organize work desk

1. Keep it minimal

Keeping your work desk minimal provides you with enough space to do the work. It also makes it easy for you to keep things organized. I feel a minimal desk brings a sense of calmness and gives your workplace a clean and elegant look.

Your work desk should not be an extension of your office, to start organizing your desk you should first declutter and get rid of things that are not required for you. Your workspace should have only the things that are required for you on a regular basis and those that make work easier for you.

2. Find your flow and work need

A prevalent mistake when setting up your work desk is organizing it as you see in beautiful work desk images. You should organize your work desk as per your workflow, let me explain this more. If you are left-handed, you should keep frequent reach things like phone, and pen stands to the left hand rather than the conventional way of keeping it to the right.

Similarly, if your work does not involve using too many office phones you may place the phone in an extended space in order to get more space to work

Also, if you’re someone who needs to refer to many documents and deal with a lot of paperwork, you should organize your work desk such that there is enough space next to your laptop or desktop to have all reference documents for reference while working.

So, spend some time understanding your workflow and work needs before you start organizing your work desk to make it most effective.

3. Organize the cables and devices

You must sort out all the cables and wires, they can be a real nuisance. They don’t just make organization difficult but also, can be a hazard. You must identify all the wires, and charging cables for all the devices and sort them out. Go ahead and label them for easy identification. 

Most cables must be concealed below the work table so that they do not get in the way of your work. If this is not an option try cable organizers to sort the wires. Routine use cables and devices like data transfer cables or portable charges must be kept neatly in a designated space. I like to keep them in travel organizers so that they are not all over the place and when leaving work or traveling, I can easily grab them and go.

 Also, where possible go for wireless devices to avoid cables.

All your work-related devices like headphones, mouse, hard drives, USB, etc. must be kept in one place. You can use organizers to keep them sorted.

4. Use the right stationary/office supply

Benjamin Franklin said -The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade. When doing a desk job stationary and office supplies are your tools. You should use supplies that are related to your work, help you be organized, and productive and make work easy for you.

Invest in good quality supplies of paper clips, staplers, folders, sticky notes, highlighters, etc. to keep your work and workspace organized, and more importantly get a good organizer to keep all your stationery and work supplies organized and maintain an organized work desk. 

5. Clean your work desk

Make a habit of clearing your desk at work’s end each day. This is a simple way to keep your desk organized always. I  give a quick wipe to my work desk each day before starting work. I keep a solution of soap oil, vinegar, and a few drops of citrus or lavender essential oil made up of water in a spray bottle handle. Just spray it on the desk and wipe it with a tissue. You should also wipe your frequently used items like your phone, and stationary stand on a weekly basis and your keyboard monthly.

6. Have a home for every item

You should have a designated space for every item you use for work, that is the basic rule for keeping things organized. It might be a chaotic mess with papers and pens scattered everywhere. That is not the best way to work.

It is important to have a home for every item at your desk so that you can find them quickly when you need them. A good way to do this is by using the following three principles:

1) Place items in close proximity to where they are used;

2) Group items according to function;

3) Put frequently-used items at eye level or lower.

7. Use organizers for stationery

Stationery is the most used tool during work and small stationery can bring a mess to the workspace. Based on the type of stationery you use, choose the right type of organizer to help you keep everything in order. You can use them to store pens, paper clips, sticky notes, etc. They also have a special compartment for your phone and notebooks. 

You can use an organizer that can be kept on a desk. I like the acrylic organized below they give a clean appearance and since you can see through finding this is easy. Also, by using the cute stationery in a transparent organizer one can add aesthetic to the desk along with functional use.

8. Use folders to sort paper

Use paper folders to keep your desk free from the mess of paper and also, to keep them organized for easy reference in the future. Here are a few tips to help you use folders to organize your paper: 

1. Sort your paper into different folders based on the type of material it is. This can include folders for documents, papers, drawings, and photos.

2. Label your folders and use sticky notes to briefly describe the contents. This will help you quickly find what you are looking for.

3. Use dividers to create more specific folders, such as “drafts”, “final copy”

I like to keep documents at the work desk in a folder only till the time they are in the review stage or incomplete. Once the activity is complete, I move them to their specific file or scan them to my computer. In this way, my desk is never overflowing with documents.

9. Organize your desk drawer

Don’t just limit yourself to organizing your desk. To have a productive and organized desk, you must also have your desk drawers organized. Designate your desk drawers to different things, such as the top drawer for stationary and work devices. Lower drawers for files and folders. 

You can also use desk drawer organizers to make enough space for all the things and still keep them organized. I like to keep my less used stationary under the drawer and keep them organized with the help of drawer organizers. This helps me save space at the desk.

10. Use the vertical space

If you have less space at your work desk try to use the space around your desk wall. You can use the vertical space in many ways such as pasting some frequent reference documents or motivational wall art. 

The best way to use vertical space is to use a vertical mount file holder from Amazon as below. You can keep your files as well as stationary in this.

11. Have some open space

While organizing your desk to have enough open space, you should not fill your desk with many things. I think it’s important to have some open space at your work desk as it lets you work unhindered, limits distraction, and give you some breathing room.

You do not feel cluttered and crunched while working if you have enough open space on your desk. 

I like to keep desk organizers and other things just on the right side of the desk and leave around 80% of the desk for laptops. After placing the laptop the remaining space is available for me to keep my notebook and reference papers. This allows me to be productive and focused on my work.

12.  Use bins to keep your work desk organized

One way to keep a workspace organized is to use bins or baskets to store your materials based on category. I use baskets under my work desk to keep my notebook, folders, and notepad that I frequently use, this frees my workspaces and yet keeps things accessible to me. 

Choose a bin system that works for you. If you need a lot of space, use a traditional filing cabinet. If you have a small work area, use a smaller bin system.

13.  Go digital to keep your work desk organized

One way to have less paper clutter and maintain an organized desk is to go digital. Keep all your documents on the computer as soft copies by scanning or using a digital signature when required. This allows you to keep all of your work files in one place, making it easy to find what you need. You can also access your work files from anywhere.

14.  Use file cabinets to organize your work desk if you do not have drawers

You can use file cabinets to organize when you have limited storage available and do not have drawers at your desk. Nowadays there are many options available for storage. I find collapsible file cabinets an interesting way to bring additional space at work for organizing and storing your files. Below is an option for you to consider if you do not have desk drawers.

Pin for later

how to organize work desk


These are 14 ways to organize your work desk. So, you can get rid of your messy work desk and have a productive, organized workspace that helps you keep focused on getting things done. Make sure to use these tips to set up an organized work desk.

Related posts you may like

10 Work From Home Desk Setup Ideas That Boost Productivity

20 Inspirational Work Desk Decor Ideas

10 Halloween desk decor ideas that are Simple and Spooky

10 Christmas Desk Decor Ideas for Office

10 Unique Women Desk Accessories- You Need

Similar Posts

One Comment

Comments are closed.