Looking to make the most of your office desk space? Here's our guide to organizing a space without drawers.
Whether you have a home office or work away from home, it’s challenging to be productive when your desk is a mess. Knowing how to set things in order and keep them that way is an essential skill for efficiency. You may even be surprised at how much smoother your workflow is when you know where all your essential items are.
Plus, working in an organized office is a much more pleasant experience than being surrounded by chaos and clutter. If you work in a small office space, you may have limited room, which makes it difficult to fit a desk with plenty of storage space.
Fortunately, you don’t need a large desk with a bunch of drawers to stay organized. You have to know how to use space efficiently. I’ll cover some tips for organizing your office desk without drawers below.
1. Declutter Your Office
First and foremost, you’ll need to clear out your office and get rid of everything you don’t need in order to get organized. If your office is a complete mess, you can split the job into multiple sections and organize each one separately.
For example, tackle your file cabinets one day, then sort out the cluster of cables in your corner the next, followed by your desk. Just make sure you’re disciplined about sorting out your office within a reasonable amount of time, so it stays clean.
2. Get a Stand for Your Monitor
If you’re working with a desktop computer, keyboard, and mouse, you may have little to no room on top of your desk. One quick and simple way to increase the space available on your desk is by placing your computer on a riser or monitor stand. This will enable you to store other stuff beneath the computer, such as office supplies, business cards, or files. You may also want to invest in a keyboard tray to create even more space on your desktop.
3. Use a Bulletin Board
No matter how useful the calendar app on your phone is, you just can’t beat an old school bulletin board (or whiteboard). These useful items display everything you need to remember right there on your wall and can never run out of battery like your smartphone. While you’re on a call with a client, you can quickly look up and check your upcoming appointments without having to consult your technological device.
4. Add Pegs to the Side of Your Desk
Most people only think about the surface of their desks when they imagine storing items without drawers. But you should also make use of the sides of your desk, especially if you’re working with limited space in your office.
You can install pegs to hang items from, making them easily accessible. Some office workers even attach trays to the side of their desk for storing files and other miscellaneous items.
5. Utilize Wall Space
Even without drawer space, you can keep your files and work supplies displayed and organized by utilizing hooks and shelves. If this isn’t an option in your home office, you can look into getting a vertical shelf for storing your files, pens, and other office items.
Not only can you store things on each section of vertical shelves, but you can also place objects on top for easy access or decoration.
6. Get Some Trays and Organizers
If the only spare space you have is on top of your desk, you’ll need to get some organizers to hold your office supplies in place. Otherwise, you’ll end up with mountains of paper stacks and spare pencils littering your desk. You can get stackable plastic cabinets for the top of your desk, or wire trays to keep incoming and outgoing mail, for example.
7. Go Paperless
For the average person with a home office, most of the clutter in this area is paper. It’s amazing how fast it can pile up and turn your workspace into a mess. Consider going paperless to clear out a ton of clutter and make it easier to find essential documents during your workday. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of saving money by digitizing your files and keeping a minimalist approach with fewer physical items to keep track of.
8. Put File Cabinets Beneath the Desk
Just because your desk doesn’t come with drawers already installed doesn’t mean you can’t add some yourself. If you have enough room beneath your desk, you can place some file cabinets there to keep pens, pencils, sticky notes, notepads, and any other office supplies you need. This will keep your items neatly stowed away and easy to access throughout your workday.
9. Clean as You Go
Organizing your office the first time around is only half the battle. You must commit to keeping everything in place as you work from day to day. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a cluttered mess again in no time. Now that you have your strategically placed wall storage, desk pegs, and bulletin board, there’s no good reason why you can’t keep everything neat and tidy. At the end of the day, put every item back where it’s meant to go. The better you are at sticking with this simple system, the easier it will be to stay organized.
10. Schedule Regular De-Cluttering Sessions
Clutter accumulates so gradually that you may not even notice it. In addition to making it a habit to clean as you go, make it a point to regularly schedule sessions for de-cluttering your office space. While you’ll have the best luck staying organized by cleaning up at the end of each day and placing items back in their rightful place after using them, de-cluttering once a week (or once a month) is also a wise move.
Ready for More Productivity?
If you’re still having trouble finding enough room to store office items, you can look into more options for creative organization, such as a label maker. Simple solutions such as a pen holder can also make a world of difference for your workday. The hardest part is often getting started, so decide on a day to tackle this task and get it out of the way!