Ways to Organize Your Desk at Work (Or at Home)

Whether you’re still working from home or you’ve made the long-awaited return to the office, you’ve likely had to move a lot of stuff back and forth: keyboards, mice, mousepads, pens, papers, folders, and who knows what else that you just throw on your desk and forget about it until you need it and can’t find it. So, what about ways to organize your desk at work?

The world may be hectic these days, but that doesn’t mean your desk has to be. But how do you go about getting your desk organized, functional, and ready for work, all while still keeping it a fun, positive place that reflects you?

We’re here to help by offering tips and insight into some of the things we do around the Blue Summit Supplies office, and some of the fun things we like to keep on our desks.



The Benefits of Keeping Organized at Work (or Home)

You Know Where Things Are

This might seem obvious, but when you put things away in a neat and orderly way and designate a space on your desk for everything from pictures to staplers, it makes finding anything a breeze. It may not sound like a lot, but keeping your desk organized can save you a lot of time (and potentially embarrassment).


you know where things are


It Looks More Professional

Let’s be honest: nobody wants to have the desk that makes coworkers think, “Whoa, what a mess, how do they get anything done?” Picture, if you will, a desk from a TV show or movie where the main character works at a newspaper or magazine where there are stacks and stacks of folders, papers, pictures, and more, piled up on their desk.


messy desk


You don’t want your desk to look like this. If your boss or co-worker comes by, you shouldn’t need to reshuffle things and play file-folder Jenga just so they can put their coffee cup down.


it looks more professional



So, How Do You Keep a Tidy Work Desk?

desk with drawers

Invest in Desks with Built-in Drawers

Depending on the type of desk you have, there are a number of ways you can start to organize things. If you have a more traditional desk with three-stacked drawers on one side and a thin, slide-out drawer beneath the surface of the desk, take advantage of those built-in storage spaces.

Your bottom drawer is generally made to be a file cabinet, so take advantage of hanging file folders and color-coded file folders to get organized and keep your desk free of clutter. Your other, smaller drawers can then be used to keep extras of other supplies you might have that you don’t want sitting our on your desk, rolls of tape, extra staples, pens, anything that you need but don’t need to have out on display at all times.

desk without drawers

How to Organize a Desk Without Drawers

Maybe you don’t have a desk with built-in drawers; this is becoming more popular as offices embrace modern minimalist design. Organization in a desk without drawers creates more of a challenge in putting things ‘away’ without drawers but there are ways to get it done!

  • Get a separate filing cabinet. Quality, stand-alone filing cabinets similar to built-in desk drawers can be had for under $100 and they can be moved to suit your needs, plus serve as a secondary desktop for décor or other necessities you want right at your fingertips.
  • Get desk- or wall-organization tools. There are plenty of ways to organize or keep files readily on-hand without being forced to leave them laying on your desk, or ways to circumvent keeping things on your desk at all. If your office or home has walls that allow you to put screws in, something like this 5-tray wall mount file organizer will keep your desk clear while providing plenty of storage. If you need files close at hand, there are plenty of desktop trays that keep folders, papers, and other items organized while looking neat. Desk organizers are another option for storing things like scissors, pens, business cards, notepads, and whatever else you can fit in them.
  • Keep your cables in order. A desk with no drawers usually means a desk where you can see under or behind it, and if you’re someone who works on a multiple monitor setup (like most of us at Blue Summit Supplies), your cords can quickly turn into a spider web of tangles that is unpleasant to look at. Simple solutions such as zip ties or binder clips can keep your cords together, or you can grab cord sleeves.



How to Keep Your Home Work Space Organized

With many of us still at home, challenges to organization have become the norm – one of which is keeping your workspace in order so you can actually get work done. So, what can you do to keep your workspace free of clutter?

dedicated workspace

Create a dedicated workspace

Yes, it’s tempting to work from the couch every day with Netflix playing in the background, but let’s be real: it isn’t the most conducive spot for productivity. Instead, create a dedicated space for your desk, or if you have a spare room, post up in there. At-home workers are most productive when they have a space designated specifically for working. It might feel harsh, but don’t let kids, roommates, or partners take it over; this is your workspace.

distractions on desk

Keep distractions off your desk

When you have a dedicated spot picked out and set up at home, keep it clear of things that might impede your work. Don’t let the TV remote or XBox controller hang out nearby; that’s just needless temptation staring you in the face. Don’t even let your mail pile up on your at-home work desk. Think like you’re actually in the office: keep your space as clear as you can, and limit what’s there to the work-relevant things you need on a day-to-day basis.

home filing system

If possible, create a home filing system

We know not everyone has the space for it, but if possible, you can make a home filing system to keep your work in order and your desk free from papers, folders, and other projects that pile up. In fact, we have a guide on how to make one! Like we noted above, this will make it much easier to find things while also keeping your (likely) smaller workspace clear to do actual work.



    Cool Things to Put on Your Desk at Work (That Are Also Functional)

    We know how to create an organized desk, but maybe the idea of having bland filing cabinets or basic black organization racks isn’t the most exciting way to organize your desk. And we understand that! You want to make your desk feel like yours while also serving its purpose.


    ron's golf cup

    For instance, two of my favorite things are golf and pens. What better way to combine those two interests while also keeping my desk organized than this sweet PGA Tour Golf Bag Pen Holder? It’s about the size of a coffee cup, looks really cool, and holds about 20 or so pens.

    shannon's phone holder

    Another example is our Director of Marketing Shannon, who has a stylish and functional phone holder. It keeps her phone screen in her line of vision while minimizing the clutter without taking up needless desk space. Plus, it has a sleek, modern look, which fits because she is a sleek, modern lady.

    jess's binder clip photo holder

    Or our Creative Associate Jess, who got creative with her use of office supplies, turning a large binder clip into a picture holder so she could have a picture of her and her husband on her desk. Simple but fun, and the pink clip adds a pop of color to her desk. Good job, Jess.



    Other Cool Things to Put on Your Desk (That Aren’t Functional)

    nonfunctional desk items

    Of course, not everything on your desk has to serve a purpose, and your workspace should feel comfortable and like it’s yours. That being said, if you’re going to put something on your desk that doesn’t help with work, keep it small. Small plants are an awesome way to brighten up your desk. Those little Funko dolls are funny and a good way to show people some of the pop culture you might be into. Or awards! If you’ve won award, don’t be afraid to put those on display for your desk visitors to see.



    So with your newfound knowledge on how (and why) you should organize your work desk, show your colleagues how a work space should look while becoming a more productive worker who isn’t afraid to show off their personality on their newly organized desk!

    Got more questions about working from home? We’ve got answersCheck out our blog or find us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Or, if you have a questions or concern, leave a comment below or send us an email – Larry loves hearing from you.


    Email newsletterFor more informative articles about office supplies, subscribe to our email newsletter!

    Never fear, you won't begin receiving daily sales emails that belong in a spam folder. Instead, we promise a fun weekly roundup of our latest blog posts and great finds from across the web. And if you lose interest, it's always easy to unsubscribe with a single click.


    Ron is the marketing assistant at Blue Summit Supplies and joined at a weird time - just before the coronavirus hit. His goal is to combine humor and information in his articles, which he hopes makes them easier to remember. Outside of work, Ron enjoys spending time with his wife, their dog and cat, and managing his passion project blog, BusLeagueHockey.com

    Leave a comment

    All comments are moderated before being published