Over the years, I have learned effective ways to create desk office organization, as I have set up client’s in-home offices, along with small businesses. I have helped clients create home offices in their living rooms, dining rooms, closets, and corners of bedrooms. As I have set up office spaces, I have learned a thing or two about key elements that need to have a specific location in order to create a space you can feel productive in.
Paper is the very first thing that needs a system or routine in order to get your desk office organization under control. I have created systems using magazine holders for each individual category of paper. Things like medical, children’s artwork, school, etc. Each category gets its own magazine file. You can easily find the papers you need when you need them as the magazine holders typically sit on a desk or shelf.
Another option is file boxes. These are nice for smaller desk spaces. I have used these for clients to keep important documents for kids’ schools so they can be stored in the kitchen or small desk area. You can also do a similar filing system with hanging wall files. I love the wooden or harder plastic ones the best, as they really hold up the best with continual use!
Finally, you can go the traditional route of using filing cabinets. I have found that giving each file cabinet a specific purpose helps you stay on top of filing. For example, give one drawer of your filing cabinet the category of family. This is where I store all family medical, schooling, and memories. I have filing cabinets in my home office along with magazine holders. I actually used the filing cabinets to create a giant desk, which I share more on later in this post!!
The second thing that needs a system are your office supplies. Things like tape, paper clips, and pens all need a home. My first space for storing these items are in drawers with drawer organizers. I shared a ton of tips on organizing drawers here.
But drawer organization isn’t always an option. Sometimes desks don’t have tons of drawer storage. So I have used decorative boxes to store office supplies. It is an easy way to add some decorative elements to your open shelving.
Just try to keep every day supplies nearby, and store “sometimes” used supplies in a different location that may not be as accessible. This helps make daily clean up easier.
Finally, I always create a system for keeping up with desk office organization. Things to keep your workspace clutter free. I do this by creating a routine that at the end of the night, you file away papers from the day and put away pencils and pens. By keeping everything within arms distance in your office space, cleaning up at the end of the day can be easy. So think about where you are storing supplies. I try to store every day supplies either in front of you, like the desk drawer under your computer, or the drawer to the right or left of you (depending on if you are right or left handed).
Another space saving tip is to create a project planning board. This is a board made of construction paper, poster board, or something fancy, that holds all the components of projects you are working on. For myself, I have a project planning board that is broken down into categories of new clients, scheduled projects, my website stuff, and other components of my business. I use Post-It notes to keep track of everything within each particular category.
My Home Office
My home office is located in a room that also serves as our mud room. It’s great because I can have space to myself, but it can be troublesome in creating desk space, since I get half of the room for my office. I created a design plan to create one large desk you can read about here.
Once I got all the materials I needed, I was able to install the desk myself. I started at one end of my office by placing a filing cabinet near the wall. I placed the desk top on the ground in front of the first filing cabinet so I got an idea of where to place the other filing cabinet. Then I placed another filing cabinet where the other edge of the desk top. Then I picked up the desktop and placed it on top of the filing cabinets. I adjusted the middle filing cabinet because it would be holding 2 desktops. The desk top needed to be in the middle of that filing cabinet. I repeated this process with all 4 filing cabinets and all 3 desktops. Now I have a giant desk, with 3 spaces along the opposite wall from my cubbies for my mud room.
I added the Elfa drawers to another wall to add some drawer storage for my supplies. These drawers are super helpful when it comes to creating storage you need for supplies. I love using them in office spaces.