5 Steps to an Organized Desk

Organizing My Desk, and Keeping it that Way…

You might recall the post I wrote about organizing my Laundry Room or the 5 Tips on Organizing Your Pantry.  Today I am sharing how I got my messy, disorganized desk in order (and plan to keep it that way).  It truly was a huge mess with papers and crap piled up everywhere. Pretty embarrassing, actually.  How or why did I ever let it get that bad?  Lazy?  Busy?  Probably a little of both. Anyway, read below for the 5 steps that helped me and will hopefully help you to get your desk organized. I’m also sharing some useful products to help you along the way.

Step 1 to an Organized Desk, Purge…

Yup! Obviously. Duh!  That is why you’re in this mess in the first place.  Too many papers, etc piled on your desk.  Am I right?  You need to set aside time to purge all the crap and decide what you can toss or shred, and what you need to keep.  Start some piles to be filed later.  Also toss or shred any papers that need it.  This actually didn’t take me that long.  Less than 20 minutes to establish my piles.  Not bad!

5 Steps to an Organized Desk

Step 2, Invest…

Invest in some items to help you organize.  Target has very cute and affordable office supplies and Amazon carries the Martha Stewart line which is also cute and affordable and of course there are endless other choices on Amazon too.

Step 3, Organize…

Decide what can be filed away and what needs to stay close by.  I like to keep a file on my desk with a slot for my stuff and a slot for each of my kids.  I put all their school stuff (report cards, etc) in these which I will file/toss/recycle at the end of the school year.  I got this file holder at Target and they no longer sell it, but here is a very similar one from Amazon.

5 Steps to an Organized Desk

I also have this on my desk, for more easy filing.  Here is a similar one from Amazon.

5 Steps to an Organized Desk

I also bought this 3 tier tray at Tuesday Morning to use for pens, pencils, craft supplies and more.  Here is a similar one from Amazon.

5 Steps to Organize Your Desk
My Desk Cart

Step 4, Have a few ‘Catch Alls’…

I use this tray below for my ‘catch all’, cause lets face it, no one has time to organize their desk everyday (or maybe that is just me??? lol). This is where I put papers to be filed away later when I’m either to lazy or busy to put them away on the spot.  You can label each bin for your needs.  I found this tray at Target.  It is from the Magnolia line.  They are not only available anymore.  Bummer!!!  This one is a similar letter tray also from Target, that are nice!

5 Steps to Organize Your Desk

Step 5, Keep it Organized with a Weekly Cleanup…

Actually keeping my desk clean is the hardest part for me!  Stacks of papers wind up piling up on my desk with things I mean to file, throw away, or do something with, like store coupons, or school papers, but I get lazy or busy and don’t put them away when I should. This is where the catch-alls come in handy.

It is a good idea to try to plan a time each week to do a quick scan and weekly cleanup of your desk. Say, every Friday first thing in the morning, or Wednesdays at lunch, or whatever time works for you.  Toss any junk mail, envelopes, etc., try to file any important papers, and clean up your catch all.  This is my goal!  If you just do a dang weekly cleanup then your desk won’t get to be such a mess.  (I am talking to myself here, if you couldn’t tell.  LOL!)

And here is how it looks all cleaned up!  So much better, don’t ya think?

PS – we’ve had these big ole desks for years. My husband has a matching one and it is located on the other side of the window.  His is a bit neater than mine.  We bought them when everything dark brown was in style.  I’ve thought about painting them, like I did this table, and these barstools, and lots of my other stuff in my house, but its gonna stay dark brown, for now.

Do you LOVE or HATE the getting organized process?  I have to say I love it.  It just takes me awhile to get started and I have to be in the right mood, but there is such a sense of relief and accomplishment when you’re done.  Am I right? I’ve got a few more projects I need to tackle, like my closet and the guest room closet too.

If you have any tips or tricks to getting organized, please leave me a comment.


  • Reply Alicia January 10, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Looks fabulous!! I’m in same mode! I did living room last weekend.. but it made a mess of one spare room. HOWEVA… that is my motivation to clean and organize that room! My goal is the entire house once again. And… purchase new decor and furniture. I love organizing when I have time. Love your blog.. and you! Thanks for motivating and your fabulous ideas!! Xo

    • Reply Jodi House January 10, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks! My desk was probably a disaster as far back as last year when you girls came to visit! It was time to clean it up!!! There is ALWAYS something to organize, am I right? Hope you get your projects done that you want. Winter is a good time to stay in and do that sort of stuff. Love you girl!

  • Reply Heather January 10, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I am doing the same here. What is it about the new year that gets this energy working again. Went through my closets and got rid of 2 bags of stuff. I have so much to get rid of, old decor, old clothes, and breakable stuff. Time for new stuff for 2018. Oh ya I want to paint too if I can convince myself to get that far. Anyway I’m moving and that’s the important thing! Happy 2018 Jodi?

    • Reply Jodi House January 10, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Awesome! I am not sure why people feel the need to organize after the new year. Maybe its the feeling of getting a fresh start? I dunno, but it can get overwhelming, can’t it? We haven’t even lived in this house for that long and I feel the need to purge. Good luck to you. I hope you get back to painting. Your stuff is always so amazing.

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