With more and more people working from home, having a tidy desk where everything is easily accessible and even aesthetically pleasing has grown in importance. Yet, many people lament the state of their desk: what starts out well-organized in the morning seems to turn into a rat’s nest at the end of the day. The good news is that this state of affairs isn’t inevitable. A well-organized desk increases productivity, and here are some tips and DIY ideas when it comes to keeping the work space in good order.
How should I organize my desk at work?
First, the worker will need to choose the right desk. Some people can do with a small desk with no drawers that can fit into a tight space while others need a desk that’s roomy enough to do the work they need to do with ease. However large or small the desk is, it should be organized so that everything the worker needs is within reach.
Another way to organize the work desk is to place everything in a category. Experts say there are only two categories. Items are either permanent or temporary. Permanent items include equipment such as a computer, all things that connect to it and supplies such as pens and pencils, printer paper, perhaps a pad of sticky notes and other desk accessories. Reference material is also considered permanent but is usually kept in shelves or file cabinets. Some experts claim that decoration also goes into the permanent category. These can be a houseplant, artwork or photos of the worker’s loved ones. Temporary items include reminders, materials needed to start and complete projects and all the things that go into the inbox.
How do I keep my desk clean and organized?
When it comes to keeping a desk clean, the basic rule is not to eat or drink anything at the desk. Some people, of course, have a mug or tea or coffee at the ready but it should be no more than that. A worker who’s hungry should eat in the kitchen or dining area. A keyboard that has food or drink spilled all over it is at best unsightly and at worst ruined.
At the end of the day, it may be a good idea to give the desk a wipe with a cloth that’s just damp or a cloth made of microfiber. Not everything has to be taken off the desk. One tip is to move everything to one side and wipe down the clear area, then move everything to the other side and wipe down the rest of the desk. After that, writing implements should be put in their containers, files should be put in file holders, desk accessories should be returned to their designated spots on the desktop or placed in their designated spots in the drawers. Reference materials need to be put back on their shelves. Make sure to neaten everything in inboxes and outboxes.
What do you put in a desk?
What a person puts in their desk depends on how many drawers that desk has. Kneehole or executive desks have two pedestals that contain drawers and a long drawer just beneath the writing surface. One of the drawers in a pedestal is often built to hold files, so files would go in there. The drawer just beneath the writing surface is often the place for rubber bands, colored markers, stapling machines and their staples, paper clips, binder clips, push pins, small pads, stamps, labels, scotch tape dispensers and sticky notes. To keep these items from being a jumble, experts recommend buying drawer dividers. Another DYI idea is to buy inexpensive and attractive containers from dollar stores to hold these items. Make sure that the inside of the drawer is measured first to make sure that the containers fit.
How do I add storage to my desk?
Sometimes even a desk that seems roomy doesn’t have enough storage. There are many ways to increase a desk’s capacity. One is to place shelves or even empty boxes on the wall above it. Some people don’t even bother with shelves but hang a coat rack to hold items. Another of the DIY ideas is to hang a pegboard nearby tohang needful items. To keep cords and cables out of the way, place them in a cable box or fix a power strip to the underside of the desk. Hang a coated wire basket beside it to hold all the wires.
Another way to add storage to a desk is a rolling cart. If there’s no room on the desk for a proper lamp, an adjustable clamp-on lamp is an option, and if plants are taking up too much space on the desk, put them elsewhere. A person with a minimalist desk that doesn’t even have a drawer might find enough space to place an entire small bookshelf beneath it without comprising their legroom overly much.
Organizing a desk is not difficult and certainly doesn’t need to be expensive. Whether it’s making sure cables and wires don’t snarl up to making sure all things are in their right place to wiping down everything before the end of the day, keeping a clean and tidy desk can be as much a pleasure as a necessity.