15 Items You Can Use To Organize Your Desk

Some can live and work among organized chaos on their desk. However, a cluttered office space can serve as a significant disadvantage for the majority. Disorganization can be a distraction to everyone in the office setting and can give you the reputation of being unreliable. This extends to another level if you run a business because sifting through piles of paper and supplies will inevitably cost precious time and, thus, income.

On the other hand, a clean desk can positively affect both your career and your mood, as well as your colleagues'. According to Good Housekeeping, a tidy workspace can actually inspire you to want to work; you'll find that it's easier to be productive and efficient when you don't have to clear an area or frantically look for what you need. Ahead are 15 items you can use to organize your desk and, perhaps, motivate you to produce your best work yet.

1. A monitor riser

A monitor riser should be on your must list of desk organization items if you use a desktop computer. Not only will it give additional space to store things such as a notebook, your planner, or a keyboard underneath, but you can also keep supplies such as a pencil cup or stapler on either side of the monitor stand. Many risers are also equipped with additional storage like containers, cubbies, and small drawers. Depending on your aesthetic, there's no doubt that you'll find one that fits as they are available in various colors and materials. 

2. Divided drawer trays

Anyone who has had desk drawers knows how frustrating it can be to keep them tidy. Rubber bands get tangled with binder clips, and you can never quite find what you need in a pinch. The solution? Divided trays that fit inside the drawers will keep items sorted and in place. Clear organizers are the most popular go-to because of the clean look and hold-up over time. There are shallow and expandable options, so you should be able to find one that fits your desk drawers, no matter how unique they may be.

3. A metal basket

The versatility of incorporating baskets in or near your desk is endless. You can find them in a range of sizes and finishes, such as a trendy matte black or gold. Use them to corral books, binders, and even your office plants. If there's little space on top of your desk to place a basket, utilize an open cubby or any nearby surface. This will help clear your desk of bulky items but keep them contained and within reach.

4. Clear stackable organizers

No matter the size of your desk, the idea is to keep the surface as clutter-free as possible. Not only will this allow you to spread out to do some writing or planning, but it will also look and feel more calming. So, any type of organizer that helps create extra surface space is a win. Small stackable containers for office supplies such as paper clips and thumbtacks are ideal if you miss drawer space or find yourself reaching for them often. Use clear ones to see what's inside and when it's time to replenish your stash.

5. Desktop file holder

Desks with built-in file cabinets are ideal for easy organization, but many are made without that feature. Plus, you may only have a handful of files at any given time that doesn't warrant a separate file cabinet, which can be both bulky and pricey. In this case, desktop file holders are the next best bet. They're usually slim and available in various materials, from acrylic to wood to metal. Vertical organizers are the ideal choice compared to horizontal trays since you'll be able to see the tab labels and pull or put files away easier.

6. Wall-mounted file holder

If your surface is too small to fit a vertical file organizer, the wall nearby can provide the same amount of storage. Find a wall-mounted file holder that can be attached using simple hooks and use it to store paperwork that needs immediate attention or that you're in the process of working on. If you have a larger file cabinet in the office, create a "to file" section, so the ones that need to be put away don't stay on the desk while in limbo.

7. A solo pen stand

A pencil cup is a pretty standard organizer for almost everyone's desk. However, if you're really going for a minimalist look, or you find yourself fumbling around the cup for your favorite pen, consider a solo stand. Using an organizer like this won't only make it easy to grasp a pen when inspiration strikes, but it also feels fancy and may encourage you to elevate your work.

8. Laptop and tablet stand

Whether you have multiple devices or your home office desk doubles as the family command center, a laptop stand is essential to keeping things organized and from getting lost. Find a sturdy, vertical one in a finish that matches your decor to maximize space and keep laptops and tablets safe and within a close distance when you're working. As a bonus, you can usually also have the devices plugged in and charging while they're resting on the stand.

9. A headphone stand

As more and more professionals embrace video calls and virtual meetings or take audio calls from a noisy setting, headphones are becoming necessary. While small or Bluetooth-enabled earbuds are relatively easy to tuck away, over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones are bulky and difficult to find a spot in or around your desk. A slim, vertical stand made specifically for these headphone types is an ideal solution. Store them to the side of your computer, using your dominant hand to determine the best side, and simply reach for them whenever you need to.

10. Simple dishes and cups

The best organizing method is to keep things simple. Find a matching set of a cup and bowl or dish for the items you need to reach for regularly, such as scissors or binder clips. There's no shortage of options in terms of aesthetics, so it'll be a breeze to find ones that fit your office color scheme. Keep them close to each other on the desk, and tidy them up regularly. Once per week, sift through the dish or bowl to pull out what doesn't belong and ensure your pens are in good working condition.

11. A utility board

Like a pegboard, a utility board is an excellent option if you lack desk drawers and want to keep the surface as clear as possible. These come in basic, neutral colors and are completely customizable to your needs. Hang hooks to suspend items like scissors, pop on shelves to store notebooks or your stapler, and attach small containers to store office supplies. Feel free to move them around as needed to fit your workflow. Since it's on the wall, it is a bit more on display, so it's important to keep it as organized as possible.

12. Memo board

If your work is less supply-heavy and more visual, consider a memo board. Use the wall space to keep them organized rather than cluttering up your desk with photos, memos, and reminders. Some memo boards do come with attachments, which can allow you to store a few office supplies or even decorative items like succulents. If motivational quotes get you through your day, pop a few of them on the board and take in the inspiration whenever you need to from your desk.

13. Magazine holders

Despite their name, magazine holders are not just for magazines. Yes, they are excellent at keeping them upright and organized, but you can use them to store so much more. From printer paper to client folders or brochures to packs of labels, these organizers can be put on the edge of your desk and either face you or away. Many types contain a spot to label, or you can add your own. Just like desktop file sorters, magazine holders are available in endless material and color options to fit in with your office.

14. A rolling cart

If you have a writing desk or one with little to no storage, think outside the box a bit: Use some space on either side of it to place a three-tiered rolling cart. One can hold anything from cords to writing supplies and be organized within separate containers and attachments. Some even give the option to add a pegboard if you'd rather not hang one on the wall or your desk is facing a window. They are also quite helpful if you would like to take your work to another room for one reason or another.

15. A cable box

If there's one thing that everyone can agree is difficult to keep organized, it's wires and cords. Fortunately, with new organizational products on the market every day, this may no longer be a problem soon. One of the best ways to conceal some of the clutter is to use a cable box: They're designed to hold standard surge protectors and power strips and often come with matching lids. Simply plug in what you need, place the lid on, and keep it discreetly hidden underneath the desk.