How to Organize Your Desk for the Most Productive Workday

Desk a little untidy? We’ve all been there. You’ve had a long week of working, your desk is messy, and you just can’t seem to focus. Who can blame you? When you barely have room to set down your computer or keyboard on your desk, it complicates things.

As we ease into the new year, creating (and hopefully sticking to) resolutions, tidying your desk can help you create a productive work environment and keep your mind from feeling cluttered. Plus, it’s nice to have at least one fresh start at the beginning of a new year.

If you’re overwhelmed by a cluttered desk, don’t worry. We’ve gathered up some inspiration that can help start your organization journey.

Keep Things Bright and Light

clean desk
BREATHING ROOM ORGANIZATION + STYLING

If you hate working under fluorescent lights, we feel you. Adding a warm overhead light and desk lamp can help you feel less blah while working, and a light and airy space make work feel a little less heavy.

Add Storage for Kids

desk organization
JOANNA ORGANIZE

If you have a little one who does their homework at a desk, make sure there’s plenty of room for other things, too. Toy storage is a must, but it can double as craft and school supply space as well.

Add Storage Behind Your Desk

organized desk
LAURA CATTANO ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN

If you have a lot of books or work with a ton of materials, only having storage in your desk isn’t necessarily realistic. If you have to expand your storage space, try adding some drawers or shelves behind your actual workspace. That way, all you have to do is spin around in your chair to grab a file or book instead of heading to another room.

Keep Cords Organized

cord organization
MIKA PERRY

It feels inevitable, but cords don’t always have to be a tangled mess. If you have the room, dedicate a drawer to corralling extra cords, adapters, and chargers. If you don’t have that much space, consider using cord wraps, which keep wires bundled up when not in use.

cord wrap
CAILLU Cord Organizer 10 Pack
Use a Desk Calendar
organized desk
NEAT BY MEG

A large desk calendar can do two jobs: it not only keeps track of deadlines and events, but it’s a great desk pad if you use a mouse or laptop. Even though it’s paper, it should help keep your laptop from sliding around the way it would on a smooth desktop.

Section Out Drawers

desk organization
NEAT METHOD NYC

Drawers are great for hiding away clutter, but unfortunately, they’re also great at getting cluttered. Using small bins is a great way to keep items separated while still utilizing all of your space.

Use Shelves for Bulk Items

desk organize
NEAT METHOD NYC

In larger office spaces, drawer space is a precious commodity. When it comes to bulk items like pens, paper, and staples, use open shelving to keep things tidy and easy to access.

Any Surface Can Be a Desk

desk organization
A FRESH SPACE

You don’t have to have a desk in order to be productive. Places like kitchen and dining room tables and bars are great places to work that have a ton of surface space. To keep things from getting cluttered, be sure to put your work away at the end of the day so you can actually use your table or bar for its intended use.

It’s also a good idea to wipe the surface down after using a computer on it.

Elevate Screens If You Can

desk organization
DOMM DOT COM

Not only is it better for your posture, but elevating your screen can actually clear up more desk surface space for you. If you can, use a laptop stand to add a bit of space to your desk, and use an arm to hold up larger monitors. You can use all that newfound space for books or keyboards if need be—or you can add some non-distracting décor.

Liven Things Up

desk organization
DWELL AWARE

They may not be super functional in terms of productivity, but adding plants to your space helps it feel more cozy and alive. Adding a small plant to the corner of your desk or even hanging it above can help the space feel more intentional.